Small Business Grants in Ohio | Fund Your Business

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
Last updated: 
WebinarCare offers informative content for educational purposes only, not as a substitute for professional legal or tax advice. We may earn commissions if you use the services we recommend on this site.
WebinarCare is led by Steve Bennett, a seasoned expert in the business world. He's gathered a team that's passionate about giving you reliable advice on everything from starting a business to picking the right tools. We base our tips and guides on real-life experience, ensuring you get straightforward and proven advice. Our goal is to make your business journey smoother and more successful. When you choose WebinarCare, you're choosing a trustworthy guide for all things business.
Ohio Small Business Grants

In Ohio, also known as, The Buckeye State, starting and growing a small business can be challenging, particularly when securing the necessary funding. One often overlooked source of funding for small businesses comes in the form of grants. In Ohio, various grants are available to small business owners, offering a valuable source of funding to help you achieve your business goals. 

This comprehensive guide will explore the Small Business Grants in Ohio, how to find them, and tips for successfully applying. And, if you are planning to form a Limited Liability Company in Ohio and want to have small business grants, this article is right for you. Read the guide to fully understand small business grants in Ohio.

Webinarcare Editorial Team had thorough research and market study regarding the state-funded small business grants in Ohio. It would be best to cross-check all the factors before choosing the right one for your Ohio business.

What is a Small Business Grant?

A business grant is a sum awarded to a small business that does not need to be repaid. Grants are typically given by governments, nonprofit organizations, and private companies to help support the growth and development of small businesses. Grants can be used for various purposes, such as starting a new business, expanding an existing one, purchasing equipment, or funding research and development.

If you are planning to start a business in Ohio, you should consider having small business grants for your business’s funding.

Small Business Grants in Ohio

Various types of small business grants are available in Ohio, depending on the source of funding and the specific needs of your business. Here are three main categories of grants that you can explore:

Ohio Funded Small Business Grants

Ohio funded small business grants offer several programs to support small businesses. These grants may be specific to certain industries, regions, or business stages. Examples of state-funded small business grants in Ohio include:

1. Ohio Third Frontier Programs

The Ohio Third Frontier is a technology-based economic development initiative that offers various funding opportunities for small businesses in the state. Some of the grant programs offered by the Ohio Third Frontier include: a. Technology Validation and Start-up Fund (TVSF) – This program provides grants to Ohio research institutions and startups for the purpose of validating and commercializing technology with market potential. b. Entrepreneurial Services Provider (ESP) Program – This program offers financial assistance to support entrepreneurial service providers that help technology-based startups and small businesses with services such as business development, mentoring, and access to capital.

2. Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) Program

The JCTC program offers a refundable tax credit to businesses that create new jobs and invest in fixed assets within the state. While not a direct grant, this tax credit can help small businesses offset Ohio income tax liability, making it an attractive incentive for businesses that are expanding or relocating to Ohio. The tax credit is based on a percentage of the state income tax withholdings for the newly created jobs, and it can be claimed for up to 15 years.

3. Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Export Assistance Grants

The Ohio SBDC offers Export Assistance Grants to help small businesses in the state expand their market reach through international exporting. The grants can be used to cover various export-related expenses, such as participating in trade shows, obtaining international certifications, and conducting market research. The Export Assistance Grants aim to help Ohio small businesses overcome the financial barriers associated with exporting and increase their global market presence.

Aside from Ohio funded small business grants, there are federal small business grants available. These grants can not only provide a much-needed funding boost, but they can also offer valuable networking and mentorship opportunities for entrepreneurs starting a business in Ohio.

WEBINARCARE EDITORIAL TEAM

Federal Small Business Grants Available in Ohio

Federal small business grants in Ohio may also offer grants to businesses, particularly those that contribute to the community’s economic development or create jobs. Examples of federal small business grants in Ohio include:

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive federal initiative that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in research and development (R&D) with the potential for commercialization. The SBIR program is coordinated by the Small Business Administration (SBA). It operates across 11 participating federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.

sbir

To apply for the SBIR program, small businesses must submit proposals in response to agency-specific solicitations, which outline each participating federal agency’s research topics and priorities. The application process is highly competitive, emphasizing the proposed technology’s technical innovation, feasibility, and commercial potential.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is a federal initiative designed to encourage collaboration between small businesses and research institutions in the United States. The program aims to promote the commercialization of innovative technologies from research and development (R&D) efforts and foster entrepreneurship and economic growth.

Administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the STTR program involves five participating federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

To apply for the STTR program, small businesses must submit proposals in response to agency-specific solicitations, which outline each participating federal agency’s research topics and priorities. The application process is highly competitive, with a strong emphasis on the proposed technology’s technical innovation, feasibility, commercial potential, and the quality of the collaboration between the small business and research institution.

Other Federal Grant Programs

In addition to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, there are several other federal grant programs available to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in various sectors and stages of development in Ohio. Some of these programs include:

Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grants: The EDA, under the U.S. Department of Commerce, offers grants to support economic development, job creation, and business growth in economically distressed communities. These grants are typically awarded to local governments, nonprofits, and economic development organizations, supporting small businesses through technical assistance, infrastructure development, and other services.

eda

Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG): Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the RBDG program offers grants to support small businesses in rural areas. These grants are intended to promote job creation, business expansion, and economic development in rural communities. Eligible applicants include towns, communities, state agencies, nonprofits, and higher education institutions.

Local and Regional Small Business Grants in Ohio

In Ohio, various local and regional small business grants are available to support and encourage the growth and development of small businesses. These grants often target specific industries or demographic groups and can provide financial assistance, training, and resources to help businesses succeed. 

To find specific grant opportunities in Ohio, it’s essential to check with local and regional economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, and other business support organizations. They can provide information on available grants, eligibility requirements, and application processes.

Benefits of Small Business Grants

There are several benefits to obtaining a small business grant for your Ohio business, including:

  • No Repayment Necessary: Unlike loans, grants do not require repayment, making them an attractive option for small businesses needing financial assistance.
  • Retain Equity: Grants allow owners to fully own their businesses without giving up a portion of their equity in exchange for funding.
  • Credibility: Receiving a grant can enhance a business’s credibility, making it more attractive to potential investors, partners, and customers.
  • Networking Opportunities: Many grant programs offer networking opportunities and support services, helping small businesses connect with mentors, industry experts, and other business owners.

Tips for Applying for Small Business Grants in Ohio

Applying for small business grants in Ohio can be competitive. Here are some tips to help you increase your chances of success:

  • Research Available Grants: Research the various small business grants available in Ohio. Look for grants designed for your industry, target market, or demographics. Check with local and regional economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, and other business support organizations for information on available grants.
  • Read the Eligibility Criteria Carefully: Ensure your business meets the eligibility criteria before applying for a grant. Some grants may have specific requirements based on location, industry, business size, or the demographics of the business owner.
  • Create a Solid Business Plan: A well-written business plan is essential when applying for grants. It demonstrates your understanding of your business, target market, and growth strategy. Be sure to include financial projections and a clear explanation of how the grant funds will be used to achieve your goals.
  • Prepare a Detailed Budget: Grant reviewers want to see how you plan to use the funds. Prepare a detailed budget that outlines the specific expenses the grant will cover and how these expenses will contribute to your business’s growth and success.
  • Follow the Application Guidelines: Each grant will have its application process and guidelines. Be sure to read these carefully and follow them closely. Submit all required documentation and complete all necessary forms.
  • Write a Compelling Grant Proposal: Your grant proposal should clearly explain the purpose of your business, how the grant funds will be used, and the expected outcomes. Be sure to highlight your business’s benefits to the local economy and community.
  • Review and Edit your Application: Review it carefully for errors or omissions before submitting it. Consider asking a colleague or mentor to review your application, as they may also catch mistakes or provide helpful feedback.
  • Submit your Application On Time: Be aware of the grant deadline and submit your application well in advance. Only complete applications may be considered.
  • Be Prepared for Follow-Up: If your application is successful, be prepared to provide additional information or documentation as requested by the grant agency. This may include progress reports or updates on the use of grant funds.
  • Don’t Get Discouraged: Applying for grants can be competitive, and you may only receive some grants you apply for. Use your feedback to improve your application for future opportunities, and keep searching for grants that fit your business needs.

Can I Get an SBA Grant for Small Businesses?

The SBA doesn’t typically offer grants directly to small businesses. Instead, the agency issues grant funding to state, local and tribal governments, as well as nonprofit organizations, to be used to support small-business initiatives. SBA loans are an available alternative to SBA grants.

FAQs

Are there any Ohio-specific grants for small businesses?
Yes, Ohio offers various grants through the Ohio Development Services Agency.
What criteria do I need to meet to be eligible for an Ohio small business grant?
Eligibility varies depending on the specific grant, but generally, you must be a registered business with a physical location in Ohio.
What types of businesses can apply for Ohio small business grants?
Most Ohio grants are available to businesses in various industries, including manufacturing, technology, and healthcare.
Is there a limit on the amount of money I can apply for from an Ohio small business grant?
It depends on the grant, but many have maximum award limits.
Are Ohio grants available only to new businesses or can existing businesses apply, too?
Existing businesses are often eligible for Ohio grants.
How do I know which Ohio small business grant is the best fit for my business?
Careful research and consultation with a business advisor can help determine the best grant for your needs.
Can Ohio grants be used for start-up costs?
Some Ohio grants are specifically available to cover start-up costs.
Can Ohio small business grants be used for payroll?
Some Ohio grants, including the Payroll Protection Program, can be used for payroll expenses.
Are there Ohio grants available to female business owners?
Yes, several Ohio grants are available to minority and underrepresented small business owners.
If I’m awarded an Ohio small business grant, will I be responsible for paying it back?
It depends on the grant. Some Ohio grants are loans that must be repaid while others do not require repayment.
Do Ohio grants require an application fee?
No, Ohio grants do not have application fees.
What documentation do I need to provide with my Ohio small business grant application?
Required documentation varies depending on the grant, but generally, you will need to provide proof of ownership, tax returns, and financial statements.
Can non-profit organizations apply for Ohio small business grants?
Depending on the grant, non-profits may be eligible for Ohio grants.
Is there a deadline for applying for Ohio small business grants?
Deadline varies by grant, but most have a set application period.
Can Ohio small business grants be used for marketing expenses?
Some Ohio grants allow for marketing expenses use.
Will my business credit score impact my ability to receive an Ohio small business grant?
In most cases, your credit score will not be a determining factor.
If my small business is located in Ohio but registered in another state, can I still qualify for an Ohio small business grant?
No, you must have a registered business in Ohio to be eligible for Ohio small business grants.
Are Ohio small business grants impacted by COVID-19?
Yes, Ohio has implemented Coronavirus Relief Programs to provide financial assistance to impacted small businesses.
Can Ohio small business grants be used for inventory?
Some Ohio grants are specifically designed to help small businesses maintain or increase their inventory.
Is there a preference given to socially disadvantaged small business owners in Ohio’s grant selection process?
Yes, Ohio has initiatives to promote diversity in their grant-giving process.
What are some tips for successfully applying for an Ohio small business grant?
Gather required documents in advance and make sure to meet all eligibility requirements before applying.
Are Ohio small business grants open to sole proprietorships?
Yes, many Ohio grants are open to sole proprietorships.
Is there an age limit for small business owners to qualify for Ohio grants?
No, age is not a determining factor for Ohio grants.
Can Ohio small business grants be used for rent or mortgage payments?
Some Ohio grants specifically allow using funds to cover rent or mortgage expenses.
Are there any Ohio grants available for minority small business owners?
Yes, Ohio offers several grants specifically designed to assist minority small business owners.
How long does the Ohio small business grant application process take?
The process can range from weeks to months depending on the specific grant.
Can Ohio small business grants be used to hire new employees?
Yes, depending on the grant in question.
Do Ohio grants require business owners to attend classes or workshops?
Depending on the grant, there may be a requirement to participate in education or training sessions.
Who can I contact if I have more questions about small business grants in Ohio?
The Ohio Development Services Agency has advisors ready to answer your questions about Ohio small business grants.
What kind of small business grants are available in Ohio?
Ohio provides various grants for small businesses depending on the need and type of business.
How do I apply for OH small business grants?
Interested persons can apply for OH small business grants online or by contacting a local state development organization.
What is the eligibility criteria for OH small business grants?
Eligibility criteria for OH small business grants vary depending on the grant type.
What amount do OH small business grants typically provide?
OH small business grants vary by grant type and can range from a few thousand dollars to over a million dollars.
How long does it take to get approved for an OH small business grants?
Some OH small business grants can take up to several months to approve after submitting an application.
Can non-profit organizations also apply for Ohio small business grants?
Ohio small business grants are typically available for for-profit businesses, but some grants may be open to non-profit organizations as well.
Are there grants available in Ohio that cater specifically to minority-owned small businesses?
Yes, Ohio offers many grants for minority-owned small businesses to help with capital expenditures or other financial needs.
What’s the difference between Ohio small business grants and loans?
The primary difference between Ohio small business grants and loans is that grants do not need to be repaid, while loans have to be repaid within a specified timeframe.
Is funding available for small business startups in Ohio?
Yes, Ohio provides grants for small business startups, but eligibility conditions can differ depending on the grant type.
Can existing businesses in Ohio qualify for small business grants or just startups?
There are grants available to both existing small businesses and startups’ interests in Ohio.
Do Ohio small business grants cover business relocation costs?
Some of Ohio small business grants do cover relocation costs, but it will depend on eligibility for the grant type.
Can government agencies receive Ohio small business grants?
Yes, local and state government agencies are sometimes eligible to apply for specific OH small business grants based on their business needs.
Are there grants available in Ohio to fund research and development (R&D) for small businesses?
Yes, OH small business grants for R&D are available to businesses developing or commercializing new technology or products.
Can franchises in Ohio receive small business grants?
Yes, franchises in Ohio can apply for small business grants, but eligibility rules will apply depending on the Ohio grant type.
Do small business grants in Ohio only benefit certain industries or genres?
No, The OH State agency provides funding for a variety of businesses and industries, depending on the eligibility requirements for the grant type.
Can rural businesses in Ohio qualify for small business grants?
Yes, Ohio small business grants are also available for rural businesses that fulfil all the eligibility criteria required.
Is the small business grant process in Ohio open all year round or with specific periods?
The process of grant applications for Ohio varies widely in terms of timing. Interested parties might check for specific deadlines within the grant announcements.
Are there limitations on how using Ohio small business grants?
Yes, grants have restrictions on their use. However, the extent of limitations can depend on the type of Ohio small business grant allocated.
What do you mean by “matching funds” for OH small business grants?
Matching Funds is when small business owners request for grants where they also make a contribution or counterparty with their fund shares to show their investment.
Is a small organization that has limited cash flow eligible to apply for Ohio small business grants?
To apply for Ohio small business grants, your business may need to fit specific investment criteria set by the Ohio state agencies.
What kind of documentation is needed to apply for Ohio small business grants?
The purpose of paperwork can be different, depending on the type of the OH small business grant, but it generally focuses on business operations and finances.
Is it mandatory to make an in-person networking or pitch presentation for Ohio small business grants?
For particular grant types if it’s necessary to take an in-person presentation or consultation for Ohio small business grants’ final selection.
How does Ohio business owners award the small business grants?
The selection of OH small business grants will always depend on the compliance with the specific eligibility stakes.
What is the difference between Ohio small business grants and federal small business grants?
Small businesses in Ohio may apply to state, local, and federal grants. However, maintaining differences strictly depends grants that funds small businesses vary in terms of amounts and eligibility criteria largely.
How can small businesses get advice on which Ohio small business grants that are suitable for their companies?
Eligible Ohio small business grants riders can get advice from the State Ohio Cooperative Development Center to get detailed information and know which grants are suitable for them.
Do small businesses that get Ohio business grants need Indiana state tax obligations?
To apply for this Ohio OH small business grant or get approval for received it, may not require Indiana’s financial obligations, however, taxation policies may apply.
Can small businesses use OH small business grants for personal investing?
Officially prompted small businesses apply Ohio OH small business grant funds strictly their business use; these cannot result in personal wealth expenditure.
What happens if small businesses that receive Ohio grants have project problems?
In case of problems reaching a business gain towards purported goals and values, state auditors may step-in right hastened out the root of projects if seeking the story gets lost in distraction or obfuscation.

Also Read

Conclusion

Small business grants can provide valuable funding and support for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses in Ohio. By understanding the types of grants available, conducting thorough research, and following best practices for grant applications, you can increase your chances of securing the funding you need to achieve your business goals. Stay encouraged by the competitive nature of grant programs; with persistence and dedication, you can find the right grant opportunity for your Ohio small business.

Leave a Comment