Small Business Grants In Ohio

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Lori Pace

Are you an entrepreneur in Ohio looking for financial assistance to support your small business? Well, look no further! This article is here to provide you with a comprehensive guide on small business grants in Ohio.

Whether you’re based in Cleveland or any other city in the state, numerous funding opportunities are available to help you grow and succeed.

This article will explore various grants and programs specifically designed for small businesses in Ohio. From the Municipal Small Business Initiative, which aims to stimulate economic growth and create jobs, to the Gardening for Greenbacks Program, which supports urban farming ventures, a wide range of options exist.

We will also discuss eligibility requirements, tips for finding the right grant for your small business, and helpful advice on successfully navigating the grant application process.

So, if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, keep reading to discover the funding opportunities that await you in Ohio

Municipal Small Business Initiative

The Municipal Small Business Initiative is a grant program that allows you to reduce your equity and receive funding from the City of Cleveland to support your project, creating more jobs and boosting the local economy. This grant program aims to provide business grants and access to capital for underserved communities and disadvantaged businesses in Cleveland.

By meeting the eligibility requirements and participating in the grant programs, you can receive financial support and access technical assistance and resources to help with your business expansion and development.

This initiative is designed to foster a thriving business ecosystem in Cleveland and promote economic growth in the region. 

Tech Delta Program

The Tech Delta Program offers small business grants and funding opportunities to support your business goals and help you thrive in the competitive world of technology.

With this program, you can access grant funds of $5 per square footage. The award money can be used for various projects, such as tech buildout, lab space, new construction, and renovation.

Applying for the Tech Delta Program is easy, as it offers an online application process that allows you to submit your proposal conveniently.

The Tech Delta program is supported by the federal government and is a great resource for those looking to grow and expand their tech-focused businesses in Ohio. 

Gardening for Greenbacks Program

Entrepreneurs in Cleveland have the opportunity to cultivate flourishing urban gardens through the Gardening for Greenbacks Program, where they can access funding to support the growth of their fresh, healthy, and affordable food initiatives.

This program offers business grants specifically designed for small businesses in Ohio, providing them with the necessary financial support to develop their urban farming ventures. With grant funds ranging from $3,000 to $5,000, entrepreneurs can utilize the proceeds for various business expenses such as gardening tools, irrigation equipment, construction materials, display tables, soil, signage, and rain barrels.

The program does require a minimum of 20% equity from the applicant, but no collateral is required. Additionally, the urban garden must operate for at least two years.

This program not only promotes economic growth and development in the local community but also supports the overall goal of the Gardening for Greenbacks Program to provide fresh and affordable food options to residents. 

Equipment Loan Program

Take advantage of the opportunity to equip your small business with essential tools and resources through the Gardening for Greenbacks Program’s Equipment Loan Program. As a small business owner in Ohio, this program offers long-term, fixed-rate loan financing to assist with your expenses and provide the necessary capital to grow and expand your small business.

By participating in this program, you can loan funds needed to purchase new furniture, fixtures, machinery, or equipment.

The application process is straightforward, and the program is designed to support job creation and the development of sustainable agriculture in the community. 

Working Capital Loan Program

The Working Capital Loan Program, funded with Federal Economic Development Administration Title IX funds, is specifically designed to assist small to medium-sized businesses in the City of Cleveland. Eligible businesses include manufacturing technology-related commercial, service, green/sustainable industry, or a grocery store.

With a maximum city assistance of $500,000 and 33.3% of the total project cost, this loan can be used for working capital for inventory purchases.  The loan terms include interest-only payments for up to twelve months and a fully amortized loan for up to seven years. Interest rates are 75% of the WSJ Prime Rate, offering favorable terms for your business.

By taking advantage of this program, you can secure the necessary funds to ensure your small business’s smooth operation and growth. 

Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program

The Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program is designed to assist existing and start-up small businesses and entrepreneurs, specifically locally-owned, non-chain restaurants, retail stores, and grocery stores in Cleveland’s neighborhoods.

By participating in this program, you can receive financing to upgrade your storefront, which will not only increase the ‘walkability’ of your neighborhood but also improve the overall quality of life. Additionally, this program aims to create full-time jobs for the city, providing opportunities for employment and economic growth.

As a business owner, you can use the funds from this state-funded small business grant to cover various expenses, including acquiring new machinery and equipment, fixtures and furniture, construction, renovation, and exterior building improvement projects.

Whether you’re looking to open a new coffee shop or expand your existing urban farm, the benefits of this small business grant can greatly contribute to your success. 

Enterprise Zone Tax Abatement Program

The Enterprise Zone Tax Abatement Program, offered by the City of Cleveland, allows business establishments to receive significant tax reductions on their property improvements and investments.

By participating in this program, businesses can enjoy a reduction or even elimination of property taxes for a specified period. These tax abatements are a powerful tool for business growth, as they free up capital for business owners to reinvest in their operations, hire more employees, and expand their businesses.

Business owners must familiarize themselves with this program’s specific business tax rules and regulations to leverage its benefits fully.

Economic development agencies facilitate the Enterprise Zone Tax Abatement Program, which can be combined with other government grants and business loans to further the growth and success of small businesses in Ohio.

Whether you’re a start-up or an existing business, the Enterprise Zone Tax Abatement Program can provide the necessary financial incentives to drive your business forward and contribute to the economic development of Cleveland. 

Eligibility Requirements for Small Business Grants in Ohio

To determine your eligibility, consider factors such as your business type, location, and specific industry needs. Some grants, like those focused on agriculture or natural resources, may be industry-specific, while others may target underrepresented groups.

Additionally, the eligibility requirements may vary depending on the grant program, so it is important to carefully review the guidelines before applying. Once you have identified the grants that align with your business profile and goals, you can begin the application process.

Remember that competition for grants can be fierce, so it is crucial to present a strong business case and demonstrate how the grant will help address a specific need or business disruption.  

How to Find the Right Grant for Your Small Business

With so many small business grants available in Ohio, finding the right one that fits your needs is important.

Start by researching different grants and programs offered by organizations such as the Ohio Small Business Development Center (OSBDC) and the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA). Consider the eligibility requirements, funding amounts, and the focus of each grant program.

Look for relevant grants to your industry or business model, and carefully review the application process and deadlines. Additionally, contact your local business organizations and networking groups for guidance and recommendations.

By taking the time to research and find the right grant for your small business in Ohio, you can unlock the funding and support needed to propel your venture to new heights. 

Helpful Tips for Successful Grant Application

Applying for a grant can be a competitive process, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of securing funding. Here are three key tips to make your application stand out:

1. Clearly articulate your business plan: When applying for a grant, it’s crucial to clearly communicate your business plan and how the grant funds will be used. Make sure to highlight the unique aspects of your business, such as its mission, target market, and value proposition. Demonstrating a well-thought-out and strategic plan will show the grant provider you have a clear vision for your business.

2. Highlight your impact on the community: Grant providers often look for businesses that’ll positively impact the community. If your business has the potential to create jobs, support local suppliers, or contribute to the local economy, be sure to emphasize these aspects in your application. Additionally, if your business is women-owned or black and minority-owned, highlight this, as it may increase your chances of securing funding from specific grant programs.

3. Seek professional assistance: Applying for a grant can be complex, and seeking professional assistance can greatly improve your chances of success. Consider reaching out to organizations or individuals who specialize in helping businesses with grant applications. They can provide valuable guidance, review your application, and offer feedback to ensure it’s well-prepared and compelling.

These tips can make your grant application more competitive and increase your chances of securing funding. Grants can significantly boost your small business journey, helping lift families and create growth opportunities. So don’t hesitate to leverage these resources and make your business link to success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum grant amount available through the Gardening for Greenbacks Program?

The maximum grant amount available through the Gardening for Greenbacks Program is $5,000. This grant can be used for various purposes, such as gardening tools, irrigation equipment, construction materials, etc.

What is the purpose of the Municipal Small Business Initiative in Cleveland?

The purpose of the Municipal Small Business Initiative in Cleveland is to provide performance grants to small businesses, reducing their equity in an SBA-funded project and leveraging financing to create jobs in the city.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Working Capital Loan Program?

To be eligible for the Working Capital Loan Program in Cleveland, you must be a small-medium business in the city. Eligible businesses include manufacturing technology-related commercial, service, green/sustainable industry, or grocery stores. You must provide a minimum of 10% equity and meet other requirements outlined in the program.

What types of businesses are eligible for the Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program in Cleveland?

To be eligible for the Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program in Cleveland, your business must be locally owned and fall under retail, restaurants, or grocery stores. Additionally, you must create at least one full-time job for the City. 


In conclusion, if you’re a small business owner in Ohio, you have access to a wide range of grant programs that can provide the financial assistance you need to grow and succeed.

The Municipal Small Business Initiative, Tech Delta Program, Gardening for Greenbacks Program, Equipment Loan Program, and Working Capital Loan Program are just a few opportunities available. These programs are designed to support job creation, economic growth, and the development of local industries.

By taking advantage of these grants, you can receive funding and benefit from counseling, training, and resources to help you thrive in the competitive business landscape.

To ensure that you find the right grant for your small business, it’s important to review the eligibility requirements and guidelines for each program carefully. This will help you determine if your business qualifies and if the grant aligns with your specific needs and goals.

Additionally, seeking assistance from organizations like the Ohio Small Business Development Center and the Ohio Development Services Agency can provide you with valuable guidance throughout the grant application process.

When applying for grants, submitting a well-prepared and persuasive application is crucial. Pay attention to the details, provide clear and concise information, and highlight the positive impact your business can have on the local community and economy.

By following these tips and utilizing the available resources, you can increase your chances of obtaining the funding you need to take your small business to new heights. Remember, these grant programs are here to support you and your entrepreneurial journey, so seize the opportunity and make the most of the available resources.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!