As one of the final stages of Ohio’s "responsible restart" plan, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio's child care providers may reopen on May 31st. The reopening of child care is a crucial aspect of the Governor's plan since efforts to get Ohioans back to work would be severely crippled without a child care solution. The plan centers around (1) reduced staff to child ratios; (2) checking temperatures of all staff, children, and adults; and (3) mandatory hand washing practices.
The COVID-19 pandemic, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, has brought an abrupt halt to everyday life for nearly all Ohioans. Ohio has implemented restrictive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, limiting many Ohioans’ ability to travel, work, and enjoy the amenities of American life that we are so accustomed to. Along with the restrictive measures on individuals, came restrictions on businesses. Many businesses have been forced to temporarily close their doors and faced unprecedented challenges, including the ability to comply with contractual obligations. In facing contractual compliance issues, the concept of force majeure is at the forefront.
After weeks of stringent stay at home guidelines, Governor DeWine has put forth a plan to responsibly restart Ohio's economy. By reopening the consumer, retail, and services sector on May 12, approximately 89% of the private economy will resume in Ohio. Before reopening, consumer, retail, and service businesses should be familiar with the Governor’s mandatory guidelines and develop a reopening plan to both reduce liability concerns and promote the safety of Ohioans.
Have you been considering returning your Paycheck Protection Program Loan? The deadline to take advantage of the safe harbor has been extended from May 7 to May 14, 2020.
Governor DeWine stated in his April 30, 2020, briefing that the stay at home order would be extended with certain exceptions. The Order instructs Ohioans to stay home (except to participate in activities and business operations as permitted in the Order) and provides for continued compliance with the previously implemented six-foot social distancing mandate. Under the new order, some businesses are permitted to reopen so long as workplace safety standards are met.
On Monday, April 27, 2020, Governor DeWine outlined his plans to begin gradually reopening the State’s economy. As part of that plan he set forth the “COVID-19 Responsible Protocols,” which included a new requirement that all employees must wear face coverings/masks while at work. It also required that retail companies require their customers to wear masks when they were at their store.Less than a day later, in response to significant push back from several constituencies, the State nixed the requirement to wear masks and instead made it a strong recommendation that employees and customers wear masks.
On March 13, 2020, President Trump issued an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While federal, state, and local governments have taken unprecedented action to combat the economic consequences of the pandemic, an existing provision in the tax code (Section 139) may also provide needed relief to the country.
In an effort to aid the nearly 950,000 small businesses within the State of Ohio during the current COVID-19 health crisis, Lt. Governor Jon Husted has announced the creation of the Office of Small Business Relief.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down in many ways and caused countless instances of business loss of income, ranging from minor inconveniences to complete shutdowns of businesses. Many impacted businesses likely have insurance coverage for losses variously called “Business Interruption," “Business Income” or similar terms. No doubt, they are wondering, will that coverage apply to a loss of income due to being impacted by the State orders which have caused them to reduce or completely cease business operations. There is no clear answer to this and the answer ultimately will depend upon the language in the relevant insurance policy. The likely answer, however, is that it will be very difficult to make a successful claim.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday, April 2, that Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton, would sign an Amended Stay at Home Order to extend through 11:59 p.m. on May 1. The amended Order, which is effective immediately after its predecessor’s expiration, is largely the same as the state's previous stay-at-home order but is slightly expanded. All individuals currently living within Ohio are still ordered to stay at home or their place of residence, except as allowed in the Order. Leaving home for Essential Travel and Essential Activities as set forth in the Order is acceptable. Only Essential Businesses continue to be permitted to stay open. The CISA Guidance on Essential Infrastructure Workers’ definition of which workers are essential changed on March 28, 2020.