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Ohio grant programs aim to help small businesses recover from pandemic | How to apply

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Friday the launch of four grant programs for small businesses recovering from the pandemic.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — EDITOR'S NOTE: The attached video originally aired on May 27, 2021.

Small businesses in Ohio will soon get financial relief as they work to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Friday the launch of four grant programs for small to medium-sized businesses that experienced loss over the last year. 

“Ohio’s economy is moving forward, and with new grant programs like the ones we are announcing today, we are optimistic that our economy will only continue to grow stronger from here," DeWine said in a press release.

The programs will provide $155 million to businesses that opened in 2020, food and beverage establishments, as well as entertainment and lodging venues. 

The funds were made available by the Ohio General Assembly as part of Senate Bill 108 and Senate Bill 109, both of which DeWine signed into law back in May. 

Appolications for the programs open on Tuesday, June 29. Guidelines, terms and conditions, and required documentation can be found online here.

“The focus of this funding is primarily on Ohio-owned, small businesses that are important contributors to their local economy and the quality of life for the people who live there,” Husted said. “The grants will help these businesses buy equipment, hire more employees and make needed updates to their facilities, so they, and the communities they serve, can recover faster.”

Ohio Small Business Development Centers and Ohio Minority Business Assistance Centers have advisors available who can help businesses with the application process.

“The investments we make through these programs will ensure the survival and stability of our small businesses,” Director of Development Lydia Mihalik said. “Our small business owners and entrepreneurs are the heart of our economy, and we’re optimistic about the future.”

As businesses in each county are approved for funding, the grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. When a county’s allocation is depleted, businesses in that county will be eligible to receive grants from the remaining funds in the overall grant program. 

If businesses in a county don’t use up the county’s allocation by July 31, the remaining funds will become available to businesses statewide.

AVAILABLE GRANTS

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Food and Beverage Establishment Grant will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other similar businesses. The number of individual grants given to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’s loss of revenue in 2020. The total funding available for this program is $100 million.

To make sure grants are spread throughout the state, $500,000 will be set aside for businesses in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. 

ENTERTAINMENT VENUE GRANT

The Entertainment Venue Grant will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 theaters, music venues, spectator sports venues, museums, and other entertainment venues. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’s loss of revenue in 2020. The total funding available for this program is $20 million.

To make sure the grants are spread throughout the state, $150,000 will be set aside for businesses in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. 

LODGING GRANT

The Lodging Grant will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast operations. The number of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’s decline in occupancy rate in 2020. The total funding available for this program is $25 million.

To ensure the grants are spread throughout the state, $100,000 will be set aside for businesses in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. 

NEW SMALL BUSINESS GRANT

The New Small Business Grant will provide grants of $10,000 to small businesses that were established between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. The total funding available is $10 million.

To ensure the grants are spread throughout the state, $100,000 will be set aside for businesses in each of Ohio’s 88 counties.

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