SMALL BUSINESS

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

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Discover over 25+ funding opportunities that are available for Ohio Small Businesses. Learn more by visiting the links in each description.

SBA LOANS

Loans guaranteed by the SBA range from small to large and can be used for most business purposes, including long-term fixed assets and operating capital.

Some loan programs set restrictions on how you can use the funds, so check with an SBA-approved lender when requesting a loan. Your lender can match you with the right loan for your business needs.

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INVESTMENT CAPITAL

Find an investor for your business through a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) licensed by the SBA. SBIC is a privately owned company that’s licensed and regulated by the SBA. SBICs invest in small businesses in the form of debt and equity.

The SBA doesn’t invest directly into small businesses, but it does provide funding to qualified SBICs with expertise in certain sectors or industries. Those SBICs then use their private funds, along with SBA-guaranteed funding, to invest in small businesses.

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OHIO IMAGE

Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters is a 50% reimbursement program designed to offset Ohio small businesses’ costs associated with international marketing initiatives including trade shows, missions, marketing materials, and more. Activities must be approved in advance.

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DISASTER ASSISTANCE

The Small Business Association provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters.

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SURETY BONDS

Surety Bonds help small businesses win contracts by providing the customer with a guarantee that the work will be completed. Many public and private contracts require surety bonds, which are offered by surety companies.

The SBA guarantees surety bonds for certain surety companies, which allows the companies to offer surety bonds to small businesses that might not meet the criteria for other sureties.

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RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

If your small business is engaged in scientific research and development, you may qualify for federal grants under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

These programs encourage small firms to undertake scientific research that helps meet federal research and development objectives and have high potential for commercialization if successful.

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GRANTS FOR EXPORTING

The Small Business Associations’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) provides financial awards to state and territory governments in order to help small businesses with export development.

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ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMS

The Energy Efficiency Program helps businesses, manufacturers, nonprofits, schools, and local governments reduce energy use and improve energy efficiency – resulting in lower energy costs.

The program consists of four phases; identification of energy use and costs, development of an energy plan, low-interest loan and small grant financing to implement energy efficiency measures, and measurement and verification of energy savings.

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THE ENERGY LOAN FUND

Provides low-cost financing to small businesses and manufacturers for energy improvements that reduce energy usage and associated costs, reduce fossil fuel emissions, and/or create or retain jobs. Funding is provided through the Advanced Energy Fund and federal State Energy Program and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Eligible activities include energy retrofits, energy distribution technologies and renewable energy technologies. Projects must achieve 15 percent reduction in energy usage, demonstrate economic and environmental impacts and be included within a long-term energy strategy of the community served.

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HISTORIC PRESERVATION TAX CREDIT

Provides a 25 percent tax credit for the rehabilitation expenses to owners and lessees of historically significant buildings. A building is eligible if it is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places; contributes to a National Register Historic District, National Park Service Certified Historic District, or Certified Local Government historic district; or is listed as a local landmark by a Certified Local Government.

The program is competitive and receives applications bi-annually in March and September.

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MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT

The Microenterprise Development Initiative is designed to provide access to capital and technical assistance to start-up and existing ventures finding it difficult to obtain traditional financing.

The Port Authority will be the point of access and ECDI the lending partner.

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BETTERBUILDINGS NORTHWEST OHIO

Improving buildings Across Northwest Ohio by Financing Energy Efficiency Technology. Through BetterBuildings, owners of virtually every type of building are eligible for low-cost financing to pay for high-efficiency improvements to their facilities and building systems.

The goal is to make cost-effective energy practices and technology more accessible to individuals, businesses and governmental entities across Northwest Ohio – while also helping transform the way whole communities use energy.

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NORTHWEST OHIO BOND FUND

Provides small and medium-sized companies access to the national capital market as if they were A- Investment Grade companies. It provides; financing for projects from $2 million to $10 million, fixed interest rates for full term of the bonds, typically 90% financing and 10% equity, financing up to 20 years for land and buildings, financing up to 10 years for equipment, tax exempt bonds for manufacturing, non-profit 501(c)3 and governmental operations, and taxable bonds for all other projects.

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INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING

Helps developers, governmental entities and other organizations finance improvements such as streets, curbs, and parking facilities. The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has provided over $100 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and special assessment-backed bonds in tax-exempt, long-term, fixed-rate bond financing.

Other benefits include; possibility of 100% financing, lower cost of construction, fixed interest rate, tax exempt financing, and terms of up to 32 years.

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CONDUIT BOND STRUCTURE

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority can serve as the Issuer for the purpose of making proceeds available to an entity in furtherance of a public purpose by way of Industrial Revenue Bonds, Hospital Revenue Bonds, Non-Profit Bonds and Housing Bonds. Financial strength based upon credit of the company or non-profit organization. Rated or non-rated bonds sold in capital markets or privately placed with banks. Capacity to issue bank-qualified, tax-exempt debt.

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CAPITAL LEASE TRANSACTION

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority can provide bond financing of large construction projects with a Capital Lease Option that enables borrowers to take advantage of sales tax savings. Deetails; savings of State & Local sales tax on construction materials, lease payments will fully amortize debt, buyout option allows company to buy asset for $1 at the end of lease, assets & liabilities are placed on the company’s balance sheet, No Prevailing Wage Requirement, and Reduces construction costs and improves Loan-to-Value.

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THE REGIONAL 166 DIRECT LOAN

Provides low-interest loans to businesses creating new jobs or retaining existing employment opportunities at the project site in Ohio.

The program promotes economic development, business expansion, job creation and/or job retention by providing low-interest loans to businesses who may have limited access to adequate capital from private sources of financing.

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SBA 504 LOAN

Provides fixed asset financing to for-profit businesses with a net worth not exceeding $15 million and net after-tax profit of not more than $5 million. A typical transaction consists of 50% bank financing; 40% SBA; and only 10% owner equity injection. The SBA 504 takes a second lien position. This program is available to companies throughout Ohio.

Benefits include; maximum loan of $5 million or up to $5.5 million for manufacturers, terms of either 10, 20 or 25 years, and current fixed interest rate of 2.5%.

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CHILD DAYCARE LOAN FUND

Helps new and existing child day care facilities. Funds are designed to help create new daycare programs, expand or improve existing childcare facilities, and enable facilities to become properly equipped and licensed.

Loans are offered in Erie, Hancock, Huron, Lorain, Lucas, Ottawa, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, and Wood County.

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MICROENTERPISE LOAN FUND

Helps new and existing small businesses with five or fewer employees to help business create jobs for low to moderate-income individuals. Loans are offered in Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, and Wood County.

The fund offers up to $10,000 for private for-profit businesses at the prime rate (minimum 7%) at the time of loan approval. The fund supports the purchase of furnishings or fixtures, machinery or equipment, supplies, inventory, vehicles, insurance, minor building improvements, and working capital.

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THE TARGETED BUSINESS LOAN FUND

Supports new and existing businesses with 50 or fewer employees that need small loans. Loans can be used to help businesses comply with environmental regulations through installation of new equipment; fund environmentally sensitive projects involving energy-saving manufacturing processes, use or manufacture of recycled materials, or develop new and emerging environmentally enhancing products; produce agriculturally based products; and help micro-business with potential to provide a new service or product.

Loans are offered in Erie, Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, and Wood County.

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THE GLCAP COMMUNITY LOAN FUND

Provides loans for facility improvements such as the development and rehabilitation of water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure, parks, buildings, and other needs projects that stimulate and sustain community development and increase access to capital for low-income areas.

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COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT AREAS

Are areas of land in which property owners can receive tax incentives for investing in real property improvements. The CRA Program is a direct incentive tax exemption program benefiting property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings.

The local legislative authority with jurisdiction over the designated area determines the size, the number, as well as the term and extent of the real property exemptions. Local municipalities or counties can determine the type of development to be supported by the CRA Program by specifying the eligibility of residential, commercial and/or industrial projects. The CRA Program is available in the City of Fremont and Bellevue.

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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GRANTS

The federal government generally offers grants only to nonprofits, educational institutions, and state and local governments. Sometimes, nonprofits and state or local governments offer economic development grants directly to small businesses. Check with your local and state governments for local grant opportunities.

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CITY OF FREMONT REVOLVING LOAN FUND

Is a gap financing program to supplement small businesses administration loans and private financing. The fund gets its name from the revolving aspect of loan repayment, where the central fund is replenished as individuals project pay back their loans, creating opportunity to issue other loans for new projects.

Fremont’s Revolving Loan Fund was established in 1985 to stimulate economic development by providing financial assistance to businesses. Increase rates are below prime rate and terms vary in accordance with the project and CDBG guidelines must be met.

SANDUSKY COUNTY REVOLVING LOAN FUND

State and federal guidelines require that certain stipulations must be met for revolving loan fund projects to go forward. Please read the list of requirements to ensure that your application is complete and that your project can meet these requirements.

RLF Administrator: Angie McConnell, Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, 419-332-2008 or ammcconnell@glcap.org.