Senator Antonio Shares Important CARES Act Funding Information

Last week, Governor DeWine announced the distribution of the Covid-19 Relief Fund dollars throughout the state. The Federal CARES Act provides assistance for state, local, and tribal governments impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is certainly a win for many of the people, businesses, and organizations of Ohio, for whom I have been tirelessly advocating.

I would like to extend a sincere “Thank You” to all those who have been in contact with my office sharing your stories, letting us know what support is needed, and advocating for funding. Your dedication, time and effort over the last few months have been extraordinary.  

Clearly, more support is needed, but in these unprecedented times, this is a critical next step. I wanted to share a brief breakdown of Ohio’s CARES Act distribution so eligible people may apply for assistance as soon as possible.

$50 million has been allocated to rental, mortgage, water, and/or sewer utility assistance. Beginning this week, Ohioans at/below 200 percent Federal Poverty Level will be able to apply for assistance through their county’s Community Action Agency. While current federal restrictions on evictions exist, absent a state moratorium, this assistance is most helpful.

Small businesses will be able to access a state total of $125 million through the Small Business Relief Grant (SBRG) Program. SBRG will provide a $10,000 grant to eligible small businesses with no more than 25 employees. $44 million of the funding will be set aside to ensure that at least 50 businesses per county receive this assistance and the rest is to be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bars and restaurants across the state can apply for some of the $37.5 million total allocation through December 31, 2020. Checks in the amount of $2,500 will be distributed to establishments with on-premises consumption. This applies to roughly 30 permit types, including bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, wineries, casinos and private clubs.

New appropriations will be distributed to nonprofits and the Arts. Non-profit agencies providing high-priority social services which support individuals, families, and at-risk communities and have been interrupted or reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, can apply for a share of the $25 million appropriation. Another $20 million will establish the Ohio Arts and Cultural Orgs Grant Program to assist art organizations whose primary mission is cultural, artistic, or performing arts.

Additionally, $62 million has been allocated to rural and critical access hospitals, allowing them to continue responding to the Covid-19 crisis. $100 million will also go toward higher education as Ohio’s colleges and universities are highly important to our local communities.

I am incredibly supportive of this important step to help lift our communities up during this difficult time, and I will continue to advocate for additional resources for Ohioans.

Nickie Antonio

State Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving in her first elected term in the Ohio Senate District 23, following 8 years of service in the Ohio House of Representatives, 13th House District with 5 of those years serving in leadership as Minority Whip. Antonio has also served as Lakewood City Councilmember, Executive Director of an outpatient drug/alcohol treatment program for women and teacher for children with special needs.

Antonio serves as Highest Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Transportation and Joint Medicaid Oversight Committees. She also serves on the Finance Subcommittee on Health, and Ways and Means Committees. She is also a member of the Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus—previously serving as chair—and is the State Director for the Women Legislators’ Lobby.

She has been a dedicated champion of workers’ rights, high-quality education, our local governments, equal rights for women and the LGBT community, healthcare for all and fighting the opioid crisis.

Antonio is recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she has worked to pass legislation such as Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (SB 23/HB 61) and a step therapy reform law (SB 265/HB 72). During each of her four terms in office, Antonio has introduced the Ohio Fairness Act (now SB11), to provide civil rights protections for members of the  LGBT community,  as well as an end to Ohio’s use of the death penalty and an array of other bills focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. Antonio continues to be an established expert in health policy in the General Assembly.

The first in her family to graduate from college, she holds both MPA and B.S.Ed. Degrees from Cleveland State University and was named a CSU Distinguished Alumni in 2013. She is also an alumnus and Bohnett fellow of the Kennedy School Harvard Leadership Program (2011).

Daughters Ariel and Stacey have made Antonio and wife Jean Kosmac, very proud as the girls engage in their adult life journeys.

Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020