CLEVELAND — Concerns continue to mount over the state of both America's and Ohio's economy, with unemployment numbers now at their highest level since the Great Depression as a result of the coronavirus shutdown.
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish echoed those concerns on Friday during the county's weekly COVID-19 press briefing. With uncertainty still at high levels, Budish is urging small businesses in the region to keep applying for the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which has received billions of dollars in funding from multiple Congressional acts.
According to Budish, 21 businesses across Cuyahoga County have already received $2 million in PPP loans, part of an effort to deploy more than $6 million through the county's own Small Business Stabilization Fund. Cash is still available, and businesses can apply here.
"I and our Department of Development along with many crucial partners are working to make sure we are able to get as many resources as possible out to our local small businesses," Budish said. "Without the National Development Council’s $2 million in PPP funding to small businesses, we would have lost 283 jobs. I encourage businesses to apply for PPP loans as there are still funds available."
More relief could be coming in a different way, with businesses across the area now allowed to reopen at various points this month. In addition, the Cleveland Foundation's Rapid Response Fund has received more than $8.5 million from various donors, and grants will continue to be distributed.
More than 3,000 Cuyahoga County residents have contracted COVID-19, and 157 of those have died. Officials have said testing and tracing protocols will continue (and even be expanded upon) as more parts of the county open up.