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Ohio Businesses: Don’t Miss These Grants Before it’s too Late

10/27/20 – Ted Funk & Kerri Richardson

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Due to the effects of COVID-19, we feel it’s important now more than ever to keep our clients and friends up-to-date on grants that can aid your business. If you’re a business in Ohio, listed below are two separate grants available to you now – the Small Business Relief Grant (SBRG) and the JobsOhio Inclusion Grant.

Small Business Relief Grant

Recently, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a $125 million grant program to help small businesses that have been harmed by the effects of COVID-19. The Governor designated up to $125 million of funding received by the State of Ohio from the Federal CARES Act to provide $10,000 grants to small businesses to assist in ensuring the survival and stability of these crucial businesses. For-profit businesses with 25 employees or less are eligible to apply (the criteria and application can be found here). The SBRG, which will begin accepting applications on November 2, 2020, will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.

What can the grant be used for?

Eligible businesses that are approved to receive grants can use the money for a variety of expenses, including:

  • mortgage or rent payments
  • utility payments
  • salaries
  • wages, or compensation for employees and contractors
  • business supplies or equipment
  • other costs


JobsOhio Inclusion Grant

JobsOhio has recently launched new programs aimed at investing in distressed communities – many of which are classified as Ohio’s small and mid-sized legacy cities. One of these grants is the JobsOhio Inclusion Grant which exists to provide financial support for eligible projects in designated distressed communities and/or for businesses owned by underrepresented populations across the state. Grant decisions are based on a number of project factors, including but not limited to company location, company ownership, jobs created and/or retained, and project fixed asset investment. Support is generally intended for small to medium-sized companies with eligible projects.

Am I eligible?

Eligibility requirements state that companies must be engaged in JobsOhio’s targeted industries and business functions. These industries include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Aerospace and Aviation
  • Automotive
  • Energy and Chemicals
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Food and Agribusiness
  • Logistics and Distribution
  • Technology
  • Military and Federal

Ineligible projects and companies include retail or operations that include point-of-final-purchase transactions at a facility open to the public or other population driven businesses that derive most of their sales from in-person delivery of services or products. Ineligible projects may include but not be limited to:

  • Restaurants; Retail; Salons and Barbershops; Doctor and Physician Offices; Retail Pharmacy; Daycare Facilities; Drycleaners; Gyms and Fitness Centers

Companies must meet at least one of two criteria for consideration:

  1. The company is owned by an underrepresented population.
    • Underrepresented populations include consideration of geographic location, race, ethnicity, gender, veterans and disabled. Racial or ethnic makeup includes African American, Hispanic, Alaska Natives and Pacific Islanders. Women-owned, veteran- owned and disability-owned businesses must be either certified as such or otherwise be able to verify that at least 51% of the business is owned, managed and controlled by the underrepresented population.
  2. Project is located in a qualified distressed community as defined by an index score of 50 or greater by the Economic Innovation Group.
    • In the greater Cincinnati area the qualified distressed communities are:
      • Cheviot, Franklin, Forest Park, Hamilton, Middletown, North College Hill, Middletown, and Oxford

If you have questions about either one of these grants please contact your VonLehman advisor.