Small businesses and local communities would receive hundreds of millions of dollars to help with recovery from the coronavirus pandemic under a $1 billion initiative announced by Ohio Govenro Mike DeWine that also includes aggressive marketing of the state as a place to work and live.
The small business aid includes $20 million for those that opened only last year and missed out on pandemic aid dollars, $40 million for indoor entertainment venues and $200 million in grants for bars and restaurants.
Pandemic help for communities includes $200 million in local infrastructure projects and $250 million to boost broadband access for Ohioans who lack it.
“We have a unique opportunity to make significant investments that will spur growth and economic renewal across the state,” DeWine said of the “Investing in Ohio Initiative."
The plan also includes spending $50 million on promotion of the state as a place where people can move to, work and raise their families.
That money will help “tell a national audience about Ohio’s excellent career opportunities, top-tier colleges and universities, amazing getaways, and the inviting communities we have for people to call home,” DeWine said.
The $1 billion comes from a combination of savings through a reduced workforce and frozen state spending, and the temporary availability of increased federal dollars. It’s meant as a one-time investment only, the governor said.
DeWine unveiled the initiative as part of Ohio's two-year, $75 billion budget for the business year beginning in July. The governor's plan increases state spending 3.4% the first year and 11% the second.