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Columbus, OH 43215


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Small Businesses and Human Service Agencies Benefit from CARES Act Dollars

[Columbus, OH] The City of Columbus received $156.7 million in funding from the 2020 CARES Act. The City prioritized its CARES funds to address our COVID-19 response, support human service needs, and promote economic recovery and resiliency. Council will consider several ordinances tonight that will significantly close out the dollars received by the City.

“We have heard from small business owners in the Downtown and Short North areas who have shared the critical need they have for the survival of their businesses,” said Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy. “With these grants, we have the opportunity to protect jobs and the success of  small businesses in the core of our City.”

Many small businesses across the City and Franklin County have been severely affected by COVID-19.  The Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund was launched and awarded grants, low-interest loans and technical assistance to small minority and women-owned businesses. Applicants received up to $10,000 in Recovery Grants to help sustain their businesses through the pandemic. More than 900 businesses were awarded grants and loans totaling more than $8.6 million. 

“We’re fighting to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep families afloat in our City,” said Council President Shannon G. Hardin. “Using dollars from the 2020 CARES Act, we’ve been able to provide small business grants, rent assistance, PPE, and much more. I’m excited to see the City continue to push much needed resources out to local businesses.”

Tonight, Council will consider ordinance number 2739-2020, the $2 million Downtown and Short North Business District Small Business Grant Program. The fund has been established as a grant program for businesses located in the Downtown Special Improvement District and the Short North Special Improvement District impacted by COVID-19. The maximum award amount per business will be $10,000 and the grants will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“The pandemic has created uncertain challenges for small businesses, these dollars will help support an inclusive economic recovery, build community resiliency, and promote shared prosperity,” said Michael Stevens, Director, Department of Development.

Funding was provided to human services organizations that provide programs that address the essential needs of Columbus and Franklin County residents from $20 million received from the 2020 CARES Act through the Columbus and Franklin County Resilience Initiative.

The City and Franklin County invested more than $20.6 million of funding to a diverse group of 110 human service agencies serving a wide variety of residents living Columbus and Franklin County.  The money will be used to support services such as the purchase of technology to enable remote learning, telehealth and mentoring to the provision of basic needs, including food, clothing, PPE, diapers and other basic necessities.

Council will consider the following ordinances for COVID-19 relief:


Ordinance 2691-2020
Community Shelter Board-$1,000,000

Community Shelter Board will work with partners to continue to operate existing emergency shelters, a shelter for isolation and quarantine to care for people experiencing homelessness who have COVID-19 or have been exposed, and to operate social distancing shelters.


Ordinance 2700-2020
Canvas Consulting, LLC-Service Contract- $815,000

Canvas Consulting will implement a targeted, multi-media campaign that will focus on awareness, education, prevention, and call to action, utilizing media partners, websites, radio, social media, community outreach, and other marketing media.


Ordinance 2701-2020
Ologie, LLC, Service Contract-$185,000

Ologie will assist the City of Columbus with planning and executing a new, comprehensive campaign to help stop the spread of COVID-19.


Ordinance 2702-2020
Impact Hope Fund-Contract Mod 4- $800,000

Modification of a contract with IMPACT Community Action Agency for the fourth time in order to add additional funds to provide rent and mortgage assistance to families affected by COVID-19.  The need is greater than anticipated, and IMPACT has the capacity to deploy additional funds to the community.


Ordinance 2719-2020
Clintonville-Beechwold COVID-19 Support $250,000

Enter into a contract with the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center to support a material assistance fund to meet the increased basic needs of families and individuals experiencing hardship resulting from COVID-19.