Ohio offers $155M to small, medium businesses affected by COVID

FILE PHOTO Kathy McGillivray, an employee of Stella Bleu Bistro, takes an order from guests dining on the bistro's patio on Aug. 24, 2020. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
FILE PHOTO Kathy McGillivray, an employee of Stella Bleu Bistro, takes an order from guests dining on the bistro's patio on Aug. 24, 2020. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Applications are now open for four new grant programs offering $155 million in funding to help small and medium Ohio businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Funds will be available to businesses that opened in 2020, food and beverage establishments, entertainment venues and lodging venues.

For information on guidelines, terms and conditions and required documentation, visit https://businesshelp.ohio.gov/.

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Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced the programs Friday.

“These four new grant programs will help industries that experienced losses over the last year because of the pandemic,” DeWine said. “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 programs include a food and beverage establishment grant, entertainment venue grant, lodging grant and new small business grant.

Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first serve basis. To make sure that funds are spread out properly throughout the state, a set amount will be put aside for each county for each grant. Once a county’s allocation is depleted, businesses in that county will be eligible for grants using the remaining funds. If a county does not use all of the funds set aside by July 31, the remaining amount will be available statewide.

“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,” said Husted. “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.”

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The new small business fund will award grants of $10,000. It will have $10 million total in funding.

The other three programs will offer $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 grants. The food and establishment grant will receive $100 million in funding, the lodging grant will receive $25 million and the entertainment venue grant will receive $20 million.