Ohio Launches Grant Programs Totaling $155M to Aid Pandemic Recovery

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The state of Ohio has launched four grant programs totaling $155 million to help small- and medium-sized businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Announced by Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted Friday, the funds are available to businesses that opened in 2020, food and beverage establishments, entertainment venues, and lodging venues. All four programs will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency. Applications will open June 29.

Guidelines, conditions and information on required documents are available now at BusinessHelp.ohio.gov. Ohio Small Business Development Centers – available locally at Youngstown State University – and Ohio Minority Business Assistance Centers, available at the Youngstown Business Incubator and Brite Energy Innovators, will be available to help businesses with the application process.

“These four new grant programs will help industries that experienced losses over the last year because of the pandemic,” DeWine said in a statement. “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.”

The Food and Beverage Establishment Grant will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000 to restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other businesses serving food and drinks. The grant amount will be determined by a business’ loss of revenue in 2020.

The Entertainment Venue Grant will provide grants in the same increments to theaters, music venues, spectator sports venues, museums, and other entertainment venues. The grant amount will be determined by a business’ loss of revenue in 2020.

And the Lodging Grant will provide grants in the same increments to hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts. The amount each business is eligible for will be determined by the decline in occupancy rate. 

To ensure equal distribution, each of Ohio’s 88 counties will receive the same amount of funding for each grant – $500,000 for the Food and Beverage Grant, $150,000 for the Entertainment Venue Grant and $100,000 for the Lodging Grant. If a county’s allotment isn’t fully used by July 31, the remaining funds will be available to businesses statewide.

For the New Small Business Grant, the state will provide grants of $10,000 to businesses established between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. $100,000 will be set aside for each county, with remaining funds after July 31 returning to the statewide pool.

All grants will be awarded on a first come-first served basis.

 “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.”

Image via Jeff Kubina / CC BY-SA

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.