State Loan Programs Help Minority, Women-Owned Businesses

COLUMBUS, Ohio — New loan programs through the Ohio Department of Development’s Minority Business Development Division aim to help minority- and women-owned businesses grow.

On Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced the new Women’s Business Enterprise Loan Program and the Ohio Micro-Enterprise Loan Program. Both were priority initiatives of the administration’s 2022-23 operating budget passed in June, according to a release.

“Helping our minority-owned and women-owned businesses thrive helps Ohio’s economy,” DeWine said. “These businesses are vitally important to our success, and these new loan programs will provide capital infusion to help them get on their feet and build for the future.”

The Women’s Business Enterprise Loan Program offers loans of $45,000 to $500,000 at or below market rate and currently up to 3%. Loans are to be repaid within 10 years for equipment and machinery, and 15 years for owner-occupied real estate. Businesses must be 51% owned and controlled by women or be certified as a Women-owned Business Enterprise.

Ohio Micro-Enterprise Loans are offered at a 0% interest rate for amounts of $10,000 to $45,000. They must be repaid in five years for permanent working capital, and seven years for equipment. Businesses must be certified as a Minority Business Enterprise or a Women-owned Business Enterprise.

“Ohio’s economy supports a broad landscape of opportunity in a variety of industry sectors,” Husted said. “The loan programs announced today will give a boost to minority- and women-owned businesses, providing them resources to invest in their companies so they can grow and create jobs.”

The programs join four other capital programs offered by the Ohio Department of Development: the Ohio Minority Business Bonding Program, the Ohio Minority Business Direct Loan Program, the Collateral Enhancement Program and the Ohio Capital Access Program.

“Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted have made clear since the start of their administration that everyone needs to share in Ohio’s success,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of development. “These loans will provide a bridge to success for our many minority- and women-owned businesses across the state.”

For more information on the loans, visit and click on Access to Capital on the left side of the webpage. To apply, contact MinorityBizFinance@Development.Ohio.Gov.

To find a Minority Business Assistance Center near you, visit

Photo by Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.