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Small Businesses: COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Brainstorm


Priorities and Key Concerns

"If we pay our employees, we can't pay our rent."

Paying April Rent Paying next month’s rent or making a mortgage payment is top of mind for most business owners.

Utility bills and other regular business expense bills for April. While some businesses have the option to stop their utility payments, they are concerned with what will happen when those bills come due. This is also true for additional regular business expenses.


Access to up-to-date and reliable information There are so many different sources of information right now, but individuals are seeking a single, trustworthy, updated source of information about resources and assistance.

Guidance for small business owners on how best to help employees Many business owners are stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of keeping staff employed and paid, and are unsure if it would be most helpful for their employees to lay them off, or keep them on at lower pay for as long as they can.


“If we pay our employees, we can’t pay our rent.” - Small business owner in Over-the-Rhine.

Ideas/Solutions:

Place a moratorium on issuing evictions for landlords. Our current moratorium is on the processing of evictions at the courthouse, but we need the prevent landlords from issuing evictions for non-payment of rent for the foreseeable future. Seattle just issued a model for this type of moratorium.

Incentivize landlords to commit to reducing or postponing rent Provide subsidies or incentives to landlords who agree to defer rent payments or accept partial payment.

Keep businesses afloat by providing access to grants as opposed to loans for small business owners and social good organizations who have either lost sources of revenue and funding. It will ultimately cost far less to keep existing businesses open now, than to try and get new businesses and nonprofits going in 6 months.


Continue to support local business through carry-out. While business is still slow, some individuals noted that they appreciate people trying to spread the word and still order carry-out when possible.