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Franklin County Providing Funds To Businesses, Workers Hurt By Closures

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As many businesses close for the coronavirus epidemic, the Franklin County Board Of Commissioners is offering some new assistance.

Commissioners this week approved two initiatives for businesses and employees unable to work during Ohio's new stay-at-home order. 

One includes $500,000 in additional funding for the Economic and Community Development Institute, or ECDI. The organization can use the money to provide $2 million in market-rate small business loans to use for payroll or inventory. 

Another program by the commissioners provides $500,000 in direct support to employees laid off by the order. That money will pay for a $250 direct cash support for qualified applicants to use for immediate expenses, until unemployment kicks in. 

Applicants must take part in workforce preparedness or credentialing activities like online workshops to qualify for the money.

In an emailed statement, Board of Commissioners president John O’Grady says this is the time to act.

“We know that our residents and small business people are hurting right now,” O’Grady said. “This crisis is likely to go on for quite some time, and folks are going to need support.  We know this is just a first step, but we’re glad to be able to get it up and running so quickly.”

County officials expect programs to be underway within the next two weeks.

Debbie Holmes began her career in broadcasting in Columbus after graduating from The Ohio State University. She left the Buckeye state to pursue a career in television news and worked as a reporter and anchor in Moline, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.