State Reps. D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron) and Al Cutrona (R-Canfield) have introduced key legislation that provides significant grants to bars, restaurants and the lodging industry due to financial burdens placed on them by the pandemic.
“Being the representative of Erie and Ottawa Counties, an area that incorporates tourism as part of its local economy, I’m sure many of you can imagine that they’ve been devastated over the course of this past year,” said Swearingen. “Our state, businesses, and jobs need to bounce-back from this pandemic, and this bill is a step in the right direction of moving our economy forward for Ohio families.”
The bill appropriates $125 million in federal COVID-19 relief aid to support Ohio bars, restaurants and the lodging industry, which have been hit hard by the closures and restrictions stemming from COVID-19.
“We need to help these industries get back on their feet, especially assisting our small business owners whose bars and restaurants have been impacted by COVID-19,” said Cutrona. “During and post-pandemic, it’s vital we provide them with the opportunity for this relief. While it’s sadly too late for some, it is my hope this substantial aid delivers much-needed dollars that keeps our local businesses running.”
Specifically, the bill appropriates $100 million in grants for bars and restaurants, and $25 million in grants for the lodging industry. For bars and restaurants, the grants will be awarded in the amounts of $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 based on loss of revenue and the number of employees. Additionally, the lodging industry grants will be awarded in the amounts of $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 based on loss of revenue and occupancy rates.
The bill is currently awaiting its committee assignment.