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Ohio REALTORS offers solutions to help small businesses meet the economic challenges from COVID-19

Mar 25, 2020

The following letter was sent by Ohio REALTORS to Lydia Mihalik, Director of Ohio's Development Services Agency, today. The Director is spearheading Ohio's newly formed economic Strike Force, consisting pf the state's leading business and industry organizations, trying to identify innovative ways Ohio can support small businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dear Director Mihalik:

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Economic Strike Force call today and provide input on assistance that would benefit the more than 33,000 REALTORS operating across Ohio.

As you know, the vibrancy of Ohio’s real estate marketplace is critical to our overall economic strength. Our industry accounts for $99.6 billion annually, or almost 15 percent of Ohio’s gross state product. Every real estate transaction put more than $50,000 back into the Ohio economy.

Our membership is continuing to meet the challenges of the current marketplace, understanding that providing professional service to clients reliant on successful transactions is paramount. To that end, our brokers and agents have invested in technology and are proactively practicing using virtual tours and other social distance techniques to control exposure and spread of COVID-19.

Ohio REALTORS would appreciate consideration of business tax credit for brokerages/agents that have invested in remote technologies.

Additionally, REALTORS are independent contractors and not currently eligible for many of the financial support programs being offered. Support in providing Ohio’s independent contractors with financial relief would be greatly appreciated.

Lastly, our brokerages would benefit from a modification or forgiveness of Ohio’s Commercial Activity Tax for the second quarter 2020. Activity in the marketplace has been significantly impacted by the onset of COVID-19 and any relief from the CAT would help our small businesses.

Thanks again for your leadership in these challenging times. Ohio REALTORS stands ready to work with you in helping to rebuild our communities.

Sincerely,

Scott Williams
Chief Executive Officer, Ohio REALTORS

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