Over the past few weeks I’ve come across several things in the news that I wanted to share. A lot has been happening in the state of Ohio, including new loans for small businesses and federal funds to support Ohio’s unemployment compensation system.  

JobsOhio Commits $50 Million to Banks for COVID-19 Lending Support: JobsOhio committed up to $50 million to assist Peoples Bank, First Federal and Home Savings Bank with providing loans to small businesses that have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The partnership will provide local businesses additional financing on favorable terms. The support from JobsOhio will enable banks to increase lending by up to $200,000 per business, with funds available for immediate use. Eligible businesses can use the loans for payroll, rent, mortgages, other fixed debts, utilities and other bills. For more information, businesses should go to: www.peoplesbancorp.com/coronavirus, www.First-fedbanking.com/covid-19 or www.Homesavings.com/covid-19.

Ohio Ranked 10th in Number and Amount of PPP Loans in Second Round: Ohio businesses received the 10th highest share of loans and payment amounts during the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program, according to the US Small Business Administration. Between April 27 and May 1, Ohio companies were approved for 58,834 PPP loans totaling $4.71 billion, out of a national total of 2.2 million loans worth $175.7 billion.

Federal Funds Targeted to Unemployment Compensation: The DeWine administration continues to allocate federal coronavirus dollars toward state programs, including the unemployment compensation system. $52.5 million was recently allocated for the Department of Job and Family Services to support unemployment insurance.

BCI Instruments Ready to Distinguish between Marijuana and Hemp: The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation can now perform quantitative analyses of cannabis seized by law enforcement. The ability to differentiate between marijuana and hemp creates a valuable resource for officers who depend on BCI lab services. The services will be offered by BCI at no cost to the officers.

I, along with the Ohio Legislature, will continue to work for the citizens of our state and foster an environment in which our business communities can thrive. As always, I am eager to hear your ideas on how to better serve Stark County. Please do not hesitate to contact me by calling (614) 752-2438, emailing Rep48@OhioHouse.gov, or by writing me at 77 S. High St., 13th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

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