Governor Mike DeWine has designated $38.7 million of funding received by the State of Ohio from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide assistance payments to on-premise liquor permit holders to help them through the financial difficulties experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, as most permit holders have not been able to fully use their liquor permit due to current restrictions within the state.
Recipients of the assistance payment are not required to pay the funds back, but in accordance with the CARES Act requirements, the funds must be used on COVID-related expenses due to business interruptions caused by the pandemic. This program is available to about 30 permit types, and is intended to support businesses such as breweries, restaurants, wineries, casinos, and more. Eligible applicants for the $2,500 grant are active on-premise permit holders who hold an active (or “issued”) permit with the Ohio Department of Commerce-Division of Liquor Control. The applicant must have had an active on-premise permit as of close-of-business October 23, 2020. For a list of which permit types qualify, click here.
Applicants must submit the online application by December 30, 2020, but applicants are encouraged to apply by December 18, 2020, as funds cannot be distributed after December 31, 2020. The applicant must have an OH|ID to apply, and can access the online portal by clicking here. Applications that have been successfully received will return an email confirmation. To view a list of frequently asked questions published by the Ohio Department of Commerce, click here.
The tax implications of the acceptance of a grant under this program are still unknown, as they can vary depending on each situation. If you are unsure about any tax consequences or legal implications that may arise as a result of accepting the assistance payment under the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund, contact an attorney at Critchfield for more information on what course of action is best for you and your business.