COVID-19 Employment and Small Business Resources

Updated at 12:46 p.m. on April 14, 2020

Whether your job has been impacted by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak or your business or non-profit organization is struggling because of it, we've gathered resources to help you make it through this crisis.

Filing for unemployment in Ohio

The governor has issued an executive order which grants the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services , opens a new window(ODJFS) the authority to accept and grant requests for unemployment compensation without requiring the normal 1-week wait period. There are two ways to file: 

•    Online at , opens a new window
•    Call toll-free 1-877-644-6562

To apply for unemployment insurance benefits, you will need:

• Your Social Security number
• Your driver's license or state ID number
• Your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address
• The name, address, telephone number, and dates of employment for each employer you worked for during the past 6 weeks of employment
• The reason you became unemployed from each employer
• Dependents' names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth
• If claiming dependents, your spouse's name, Social Security number, and birth date
• If you are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national, alien registration number and expiration date
• Your regular occupation and job skills

Ohioans filing for unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 may use the mass layoff number 2000180 to help expedite the process.

Also note that Jobs ODJFS is expanding the Prevention, Retention, and Contingency assistance program beginning April 6.

For more information, read this recent article from the Cincinnati Enquirer, opens a new window.

United Way's 211 helpline , opens a new windowis connecting people to essential community services. 

Looking for work

Update: Ohio’s new website for job openings, opens a new window to help combat unemployment.

Some grocery stores are hiring due to the increased business they are experiencing. Get the details from Channel 9 WCPO, opens a new window

Shipping and distribution centers, opens a new window are also hiring to help get products quickly to people and businesses who need them. Workers are also needed in the medical, health care, and non-profit sectors, with job postings already surging, opens a new window

Working from home 

If your employer has asked you to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS News has a wonderful list of tips to help manage, opens a new window

"How to Host a Virtual Convening", opens a new window from Net Impact is helpful for those looking for ways to gather digitally.

Support for workers, small businesses, and non-profit organizations 

Visit the United Way of Greater Cincinnati's Community Resource Directory, opens a new window to search for resources to serve your specific needs. 

Every week beginning Thursday, April 16, Community Action Agency will answer your questions regarding their Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). You can also access information about their mobile food pantry. 

The Ohio Development Services Agency is preparing to submit an application in the coming week to qualify Ohio for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This program provides low-interest loans up to $2 million in order to help businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue during the state of emergency. 

Update: Phase 3 of the government’s COVID-19 related stimulus package, is a record-breaking new program being offered by SBA-approved banks, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

Non-profit organizations in Ohio will also be eligible for low-interest loans through the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

In order to complete the state's application, which should open by Friday, March 20, 2020, according to The Business Journal, opens a new windowbusinesses impacted by the current public health crisis should immediately send their contact information to, opens a new window Additional information on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available at, which is also where the application is posted.

This helpful video, opens a new window from Senator Rob Portman explains how to apply for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. 

The Cincinnati Business Courier has created a resource guide for small businesses, opens a new window

City non-profit Cintrafuse is hosting Startup Series: entrepreneur-centered informational sessions on a variety of topics, opens a new window

Local chef Jose Salazar turned his restaurant Mita's into a relief center for any restaurant worker who has been laid off or has had a significant reduction in hours and/or pay. They'll have nightly to-go dinners for recently unemployed restaurant workers through The Lee Initiative's Restaurant Workers Relief Program, opens a new window. They'll also have supplies on hand for those in need: diapers, baby food, non-perishable canned foods and cereals, toilet paper, and more.

Dinner pickup address: 501 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Pick up time is 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. nightly. Must show proper ID and have some identifying paperwork to prove recent employment at a restaurant. A pay stub will suffice in most cases. First come first serve.

For more Cincinnati COVID-19 resources visit, opens a new window.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced a measure, opens a new window that will help people whose jobs could be impacted by COVID-19.  Please check the Kentucky Career Center , opens a new windowfor more information.

National funds: 

We will update this list as more information becomes available and more programs are implemented. 

For the latest Library service updates and resources, please visit our COVID-19 resource page, opens a new window.