COVID-19 Resources and Information for Residents of Cleveland, Ohio

Last updated on April 6, 2020


As of 4-6-20, this is a list of the latest information for Cleveland local media outlets and businesses, gathered by Neighborhood Media from state, county, city and community development organization sources. Please email corrections, updates, or revisions to Thanks to Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) for the majority of this updated content and format. For more Detroit-Shoreway-specific resources, visit

About COVID-19

General information about Covid-19 is available on the CDC website

State of Ohio updates are available here and here

Cuyahoga County updates are available here

City of Cleveland updates are available here and here

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Ohio Orders Related to Business Operations

  • On April 2, 2020, the Stay at Home order was extended through May 1, 2020. 
  • The April 2, 2020 order provides that starting on April 6 essential stores that remain open must:
    • Determine a maximum capacity of individuals who may be in the store at one time. Maximum capacity is based on the number of people who can be in the store while maintaining a 6 foot distance from other people.
      • The maximum capacity must be posted on every entrance to the store
      • If a line is formed outside the store, the store must enforce a 6-foot distance between each waiting customer
      • Every store must make sure that baskets, carts, and other similar items are disinfected between each customer’s use.
  • Unless specifically exempt, all individuals in Ohio are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence beginning at midnight on Monday, March 23. Essential businesses may continue to operate and individuals may report to work at essential businesses. Essential businesses are all those workers identified in this memorandum and this Director’s Order. Essential businesses include the following:
    • stores that sell groceries and medicine
    • restaurants for takeout
    • hardware and supply stores
    • building/construction trades
    • mail, post, shipping, delivery
    • home-based care/services
    • residential facilities & shelters
    • professional services (real estate, legal, insurance etc)
    • manufacture, distribution and supply chains for critical products and industries
    • critical labor union functions
    • funeral services
    • educational institutions
    • laundry services
    • supplies to work from home/essential business
    • hotels/motels
    • food, beverage and licensed marijuana and agriculture production
    • charitable and social services
    • religious entities
    • media
    • gas stations/transportation
  • Barbershops, beauty salons, tattoo parlors, hair and nail salons must close indefinitely as of the end of business, Wednesday, March 18. Press conference here
  • Every business in Ohio should immediately start taking the temperature of every single employee every day before they come to work. Employees with a temperature should be sent home. March 18 press conference here.
  • As of close of business on March 16, 2020, all gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, bowling alleys, indoor water parks, movie theaters, and trampoline parks must close until further notice, no public gatherings of 50 or more people. News report here
  • All Ohio bars and restaurants must close to in-house patrons, effective at 9:00 p.m., March 15, 2020. Restaurants with take-out and delivery options will still be able to operate those services, even as their dining rooms are temporarily closed. Order available here.
  • Mass gatherings (100 people are more) are prohibited as of March 12, 2020. Order available here.

Health, Safety and Other Tips

How to Clean and Disinfect To Prevent the Spread of Covid-19

  • Use a diluted household bleach solution if appropriate for the surface. Dilute the bleac based on the instruction on the bottle. If you’re unsure, you can use 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water; or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water or 1 tsp per cup.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Do not use if product is past its expiration date. NEVER mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
  • Use an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol.
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Discard gloves after use, or, if reusable gloves are used, they should be dedicated only for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces for COVID-19 and no other purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.

Hand Washing Print-Out

Ask readers to cut/print this out and keep near sinks

Federal Requirements for Employee Paid Leave

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law takes effect on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

Operating businesses must post this poster by April 1, 2020 in a conspicuous place where all your employees can see the poster, or you must directly e-mail the poster to your employees, or place it on an internal employee website.

Questions and answers about the poster requirements are available here. The Department of Labor has issued guidance for employers about the FFCRA including a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document.

Health Insurance Coverage for Employees

  • The state issued guidance about health insurance coverage, available here.
  • Paid Sick Leave for Workers
  • Affective April 2, 2020, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires employees to receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for or COVID-19 related reasons and expanded paid child care leave when employees’ children’s schools are closed or child care providers are unavailable (businesses with under 50 employees are exempt from the child care requirements). Additional information is available here. Employers can receive an immediate payroll tax credit for the funds expended to provide this additional leave. More information is available here

Articles, Quick Fact Sheets, & Webinars


Unemployment Policy Updates

  • Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will waive employer penalties for late reporting and payments for the next quarter to assist employers impacted by the lack of staff availability. See this fact sheet for details
  • This website provides an overview of the unemployment process with links to the necessary forms and answers to common questions
  • Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation Insurance has deferred insurance premium installment payments due for March, April and May for the current policy year may be deferred until June 1, 2020, at which time the matter will be reconsidered. More information is available here.
  • is regularly updating this FAQ

Unemployment Eligibility

  • The State’s unemployment system has been updated to cover employees who are out of work due to Covid-19, even if only temporarily. 
  • The state will waive the typical waiting period required to qualify. 
  • Workers without paid time off who are under quarantine by their job or a health-care professional can also receive unemployment
  • The state has set up a Q&A page with more information

Applying for Unemployment 

Employees should apply for unemployment online

  • This website provides an overview of the unemployment process with links to the necessary forms and answers to common questions
  • Here is information about filing for unemployment if you lost your job due to COVID-19

SharedWork Ohio

  • SharedWork Ohio is a voluntary layoff aversion program. It allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, the participating employer reduces affected employees’ hours in a uniform manner. 
  • The participating employee works the reduced hours each week, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.
  • Employer FAQ and Employee FAQ

Direct Assistance to Service Industry Workers

Cleveland Tip Jar

Cleveland Tip Jar is a new online tool that lets users directly tip a local service industry worker remotely. The website randomly generates a server to tip and users are encouraged to tip every time they have a meal or a drink at-home. Servers can add their information to the website here.

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

Restaurant workers can apply for $500 in direct relief funds from the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund here.

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation Grants

Restaurant workers can apply for direct relief funds from the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation here.

Bartender Employee Relief Program

  • Financial assistance available to a Bartender or the spouse or child of a Bartender, defined as an individual employed in serving beverages or otherwise engaged in the production, promotion or distribution of alcoholic beverages. 
  • Application available here
  • For COVID-19 Relief, must upload your most recent paycheck.

Sam Adams and Greg Hill Restaurant Strong Fund

Full time restaurant employees can apply for a $1,000 grant. To be eligible, an individual must:

  • Complete the Application Form
  • Be a Full-time employee (Minimum of 30 hours total per week, can be multiple restaurants)
  • Employed for 3 months or longer at the same location
  • Worked in a restaurant, bar, cafe or nightclub in Ohio
  • Submit last two pay-stubs, showing that you have worked at least 30 hours/week

More information is available here.

City of Cleveland Relief

Working Capital Loans

The City of Cleveland is offering working capital loans of up to $10,000. No interest or payments due until January 1, 2021, and a 1% interest thereafter. The loan payments are $150/month until the loan is paid off. Applications are available here and more information is available here. Applications can be submitted to Kevin Schmotzer at

Water and Electrical

Federal Stimulus Bill (CARES Act)

  • The CARES Act was passed on March 27, 2020. The Act provides multiple relief provisions for businesses
  • An overview of the economic relief provisions are available here, here, and here

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans (Forgivable)

  • Businesses (including, sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals) with under 500 employees can apply for relief with the Paycheck Protection Program Loan through an SBA Lender. 
  • Quick overview of the program
  • A sample application is available here. Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply.
  • Borrower FAQ is available here
  • Lender FAQ is available here
  • This loan program cannot be used to pay the same expenses as funds obtained from the Employee Retention Credit.
  • The expanded loan would allow small businesses to apply for a loan through a bank to obtain a loan to help their business operate, a large portion of which is forgivable. 
  • Your maximum loan amount is based on your average monthly payroll. A calculation guide is available here.
  • More information about the program is available here.
  • In preparation, small businesses can do the following:
  1. Find out from your bank who their SBA lender is and get introduced as soon as possible. 
  2. Compile documentation of the number of full time or full time equivalent employees and pay rates of those employees for each month from February 2019 through March 2020. Include payroll tax filings sent to the IRS and documents sent to the state for  income tax and unemployment insurance. Compile information about all payroll expenses, including your costs related to employee benefits.
  3. Compile documentation of all the outstanding debt you have for the business — mortgage or lease documents indicating your rent or mortgage interest payments, utility account payments due including electric, gas, water, telephone, internet, and any loan documents for any other debt you have for your business. This can include cancelled checks or payment receipts from February 2020. The loan will only cover debts incurred before February 2020, so it won’t cover any new debt.

*If you are pursuing the Economic Injury Disaster Loan for Payroll, you cannot double-dip and use the Paycheck Protection Program payments to pay the same expenses you’re paying for using Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Small Business Administration

  • SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million in assistance. Applications are available here and a fact sheet with answers to common questions is available here.
  • Landlords affected by a loss of revenue from COVID-19 may apply for EIDL
  • Checklist with links to forms and a list of information needed to apply is available here
  • Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. 
  • Emergency grants from the Small Business Administration (SBA) provide grants within three days of submitting the application of up to $10,000. The applicant shall not be required to repay any of the amounts advanced even if subsequently denied the EIDL loan.
  • Interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. 
  • The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. 
  • Up to a maximum term of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • E-mail questions to or call 1.800.659.2955

For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit and for information on all federal programs, visit or (en Español).

Employee Retention Credit

  • A credit against an employer’s portion of payroll tax for a business that is forced to suspend or close operations due to COVID-19, or otherwise has a significant revenue decrease, and continues to pay its employees while not currently working.
  • Credit applies to wages paid from March 12, 2020 through January 1, 2021
  • Guidance from the IRS is available here

Overview of Relief Offered by Banks

Verizon and LISC Small Business Grants

Verizon is working with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to provide grants to small businesses. Applications are available here. Learn more about the fund.

Food Banks and other Free Food

Here is a map of food pantries and other businesses offering food to students and people in need. If you would like to add your business, contact: 

Small Business Development Centers

Urban League of Greater Cleveland Minority Business Assistance Center

Small business seeking assistance can contact Felicia Jackson at 216-812-3162 or Please leave a message and a client relationship manager will return your call or e-mail.

Minority Business Assistance Center

Small businesses seeking assistance can contact Richard W. Brown at 216-535-1132 (work), 216-990-4749 (cell) or by e-mailing

City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development 

Limited staff availability down to two days per week (Tuesday and Wednesday) and can assist with filling out loan documents. Contact the City here.

Women’s Business Center

Phone and video conference coaching and training available, schedule online

Ohio Development Services Agency

Looking for businesses to complete this survey to connect business owners to aid

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