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Gov. Mike DeWine announces $5 billion dividend to help Ohio businesses amid COVID-19

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday that he is seeking a $5 billion dividend to help the state's economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As Ohio continues to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from both a health and economic standpoint, Governor Mike DeWine announced that he is asking the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation to approve a $5 billion dividend to help the state's businesses.

RELATED: More coronavirus coverage from WKYC

The dividend marks the largest dividend ever issued by the Ohio BWC. It will be used to send to businesses and entities facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Bottom line, this is about keeping our businesses open," Gov. DeWine said. "This is about keeping people employed in Ohio."

According to Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, the $5 billion dividends comes as a result of not deficit spending, but returns on investments from money that businesses have paid to the Ohio BWC. The Ohio BWC has paid out multiple dividends since the start of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.

Last Friday, DeWine announced a proposal to distribute $429.5 million in CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security)  Act funding. On Monday, the state of Ohio controlling board approved the distribution of $419.5 million as a part of that plan.

“I’m very pleased the State Controlling Board has approved our CARES Act package of more than $419.5 million," Gov. DeWine said in a statement. "We worked closely with the General Assembly, and I am grateful for their continued partnership in supporting Ohioans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic." 

DeWine's announcement comes one week after Ohio repeatedly set new records for daily highs of new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, Ohio reported 2,509 new coronavirus cases, 198 new hospitalizations, 20 ICU admissions and 22 new deaths.

Later this week, Ohio could see its first counties reach Level 4 "purple" on the state's public health advisory system. You can watch DeWine's full press briefing from Tuesday in the video player below.

You can watch Gov. DeWine's full press briefing in the video below.