DeWine hopes to use portion of COVID relief funds to pay off business unemployment insurance debt
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - In an effort to keep businesses afloat and hiring, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that he will ask the Ohio General Assembly to use a portion of the state’s COVID relief funds to pay off the unemployment insurance debt companies accrued due to the pandemic.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit last spring, and businesses throughout the country were forced to shut down, the federal government offered loans to help them pay their unemployment insurance, since their workers were laid off, but they still had no revenue to pay their portion of unemployment costs.
By paying off those loans, DeWine’s goal is to allow employers to focus on business costs, rather than debt incurred because of the shutdown.
“During the last unemployment crisis, Ohio borrowed about $3.4 billion to pay unemployment benefits to workers. During that time, Ohio employers were hit with federal interest and penalties that cost them over $3 billion,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio. “Due to the COVID pandemic, Ohio is already over $1.4 billion in unemployment compensation debt. To pay that back would be a huge cost to Ohio businesses who are trying desperately to recover and hire people.”
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