Grants Available for Lodging Properties with 10% Occupancy Decrease Qualification Threshold
The State of Ohio has published details regarding the first phase of economic relief for hotel & lodging businesses impacted by the pandemic.
The Investing in Ohio’s Future Lodging Grant Program will begin accepting applications online on Tuesday, June 29.
The Lodging Grant program will be administered by the Ohio Development Services agency. It provides grants up to $30,000 to hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast operations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount of the individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’ decline in occupancy rate in 2020. An applicant’s reduction in occupancy will be determined by comparing the average daily occupancy rate for calendar year 2019 with the average daily occupancy rate for calendar year 2020. The resulting occupancy reduction percentage will be rounded to the nearest whole number.
New businesses, food & beverage establishments, and entertainment venues are all eligible for separate grant programs also found at businesshelp.ohio.gov.
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|Terms & Conditions||Terms & Conditions||Terms & Conditions|
- Hotel & lodging businesses must have an OH|ID. This can be obtained now at Ohid.Ohio.gov. Businesses which applied for the liquor permit holder assistance available last year will already have an OH|ID.
- Online applications will be accepted at BusinessHelp.Ohio.gov beginning Tuesday, June 29. Required information will include EIN, NAICS Code, business type (corp., LLC, etc.), year established, copy of hotel license, amount received from other relief programs, and revenue and occupancy for 2019 and 2020.
- Each business can submit only one application per Employer Identification Number (EIN), therefore a separate application will need to be submitted for each property (See note below about separate locations under one EIN.)
Hotels & lodging businesses are eligible if they experienced at least a 10 percent reduction in occupancy in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. The key eligibility requirements for businesses include:
- can be for-profit entity or non-profit
- has a valid hotel license from the Ohio Department of Commerce
- has at least one physical lodging location in Ohio
- at least a 10% reduction in occupancy in 2020 as a result of COVID-19
- has been in continuous operation since at least December 1, 2019, except for interruptions required by public health orders, and has the ability to continue operations
Ineligible entities include:
- those operated by a governmental agency or entity
- those engaged in conduct regulated by the state casino control commission or racing commission
- those that operate as a sexually oriented business as defined by state law
Separate locations under one EIN: Businesses with multiple locations under the same EIN will be eligible to receive a grant for each Ohio location that individually meets the eligibility requirements. The applicant business will be required to provide the unique address for each location covered by the same EIN and will also be required to prove that each unique location is eligible.
Note for Unique Lodging members: the current Lodging Grant program terms & conditions contain eligibility requirements that the business “is required to obtain a hotel/motel license from the Ohio Department of Commerce.” OHLA is discussing suggestions to expand eligibility with the Ohio Dept. of Development. Other available grants include the New Small Business Grant; Food and Beverage Establishment Grant; and Entertainment Venue Grant.
Note for hotel operators: the current Lodging Grant program terms & conditions also require at least a 10% reduction in occupancy in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. OHLA is discussing additional measurements to expand eligibility, including a 10% reduction in revenue.
Use of Funds
Hotel & lodging businesses have flexibility on the use of funds. Permissible uses include:
- Mortgage, rent and utility payments for business premises
- Salaries, wages, or compensation including health insurance paid to contractors or employees
- Business supplies and equipment
- Measures taken to protect employees, customers, or clients from COVID-19
Grant funding may not be used for taxes, non-business or political purposes.
OHLA working on additional funding for all hotel & lodging businesses
This funding was the result of continued advocacy by OHLA and the industry, which resulted in the passage of S.B. 108 last month. OHLA helped secure widespread support for the measure which passed the Ohio Senate 33-0 and the Ohio House 94-1. The measure has been sent to Governor DeWine for his signature. After that, it becomes law.
Additional relief funding is currently contained in the state operating budget which must be passed by June 30. The budget legislation, H.B. 110, contains an additional $25 million for hotel & lodging businesses.
OHLA is also calling on the state to prioritize lodging and other travel economy businesses with an additional round of support from American Rescue Plan Act dollars that were approved by Congress earlier this year and directed to state and local governments.
The American Rescue Plan Act prioritizes “aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality” (Sec. 9901), and states that regarding Economic Adjustment Assistance Grants, “25 percent shall be for assistance to States and communities that have suffered economic injury as a result of job and gross domestic product losses in the travel, tourism, or outdoor recreation sectors” (Sec. 6601).