Ohio loan and grant programs for minority and women-owned businesses



Women and minority entrepreneurs can take advantage of the loan and grant programs recently announced by the State of Ohio and Franklin County.

The Franklin County Community Equity Fund is supporting small black and brown businesses during the coronavirus pandemic with stabilization grants of up to $ 10,000 each and start-up grants of up to $ 5,000 each.

Applicants who meet the requirements of the program are also eligible for an additional $ 1,000 per W-2 employee (up to $ 5,000 each).

Grant applications are open until November 8 and can be viewed on the Columbus Urban League website, cul.org.

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The fund was created by the Franklin County Business Growth and Equity Alliance, a partnership between the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, One Columbus and the Columbus Urban League. The Council of Commissioners has invested $ 1,000,050 in federal funding for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

“We have already received over 3,500 applications for additional small business grants, in excess of $ 20 million,” said Stephanie Hightower, president and CEO of the Columbus Urban League. “This overwhelming demand is an exciting way to highlight how eager black entrepreneurs are to be part of an inclusive economy, an economy where all businesses thrive and serve all races.”

Stabilization Grants, known as Open Doors Grants, are available to businesses in Franklin County with up to 25 employees, who have started their business on or before October 7, 2019.

Seed Grants, known as New Ventures Grants, are available to Franklin County businesses with up to 25 employees, which began operations between October 8, 2019 and September 7, 2021.

Earlier this month, Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted announced two new loan programs benefiting minority and women-owned businesses in Ohio.

The Women’s Business Loan Program offers loans between $ 45,000 and $ 500,000 each, at or below market rate and currently up to 3%. Eligible businesses must be certified as a Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE).

The Ohio Micro-Business Loan Program offers loans between $ 10,000 and $ 45,000 each at a 0% interest rate. Eligible businesses must be certified as a WBE or Minority Owned Business (MBE).

More information can be found at minority.ohio.gov.

“Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted have made it clear from the start of their administration that everyone must share in Ohio’s success,” Development Director Lydia Mihalik said in a press release. “These loans will provide a gateway to success for our many minority and women-owned businesses across the state.”

The women’s business loan program was listed in the last state budget from $ 74 billion to $ 10 million. The Ohio Women’s Coalition has helped advocate for increased financial support for women-owned businesses in meetings with government officials, including Mihalik.

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“When the budget came in and I saw this $ 10 million loan (fund), I almost fell out of my chair,” said Rachel Winder, founding executive director of the Ohio Women’s Coalition, in a statement. previous interview with the Dispatch. “I had no idea this was going to be included for sure. So we’re super excited.

According to the guidelines, loans will be repaid within 10 years for equipment and machinery and 15 years for owner-occupied real estate.

Ohio’s micro-business loan program was also budgeted for the state at $ 10 million. These loans will be repaid within five years for permanent working capital and seven years for equipment.

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