How to Apply for Small Business Grants in Ohio

Ohio is a fantastic location for business owners. The cost of living in Ohio is among the lowest in the nation, and you can easily obtain money and services like small business grants.  Applying for small business grants in Ohio may take a few hours out of your week, but it will be well worth it. After all, there’s a possibility of winning free money! Grants can support your business expansion activities, including employing staff, upgrading your storefront, and general scaling. This article will cover the top 5 business grants in Ohio and how to apply for them. Let’s dig in!

Top 5 small business grants in Ohio

Cleveland Municipal Small Business Initiative

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) and Cuyahoga County provide the Cleveland Municipal Small Business Initiative. The grant will pay 15% of the expenditures if you already have a loan with the SBA (or are preparing to apply for one). For every $35,000 the city of Cleveland contributes to the project, at least one full-time, permanent employment must be created.

Cleveland Tech Delta Program

This grant is majorly for IT and medical companies. Businesses that are moving to or expanding in the city and launching at least five new full-time jobs will get funding from the Cleveland Tech Delta Program. You can receive good funding from this grant for tech buildouts, lab space, building, and remodeling.

Cleveland Job Creation Incentive Program

The Cleveland Job Creation Incentive small business grants in Ohio is intended for companies who are explicitly adding new jobs. You qualify if you’re a new company opening in Cleveland or growing there and planning to hire at least five full-time W2 employees. Businesses that qualify can get up to 0.5% of their new payroll for a maximum of three years, plus relocation expenses.

Toledo Emergency Microenterprise Recovery Grant

Toledo’s Emergency Microenterprise Recovery Award is created to provide funds to cover expenses connected to COVID to Toledo small enterprises with fewer than five employees. The costs must have been incurred between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020, and your business must have been open for business as of January 1, 2020, to qualify.

Great Streets Akron Grants

Are your businesses in need of an upgrade? Great Streets Grants cover the cost of your business site upgrades including signage, lighting, restorations, security cameras, and parking lots.

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How to apply for business grants in Ohio

Let’s now discuss ways to streamline your small company grant application and search processes. It’s difficult to find grants you truly qualify for and then apply for them. However, in this section, we’ll outline some doable steps to make the process less overwhelming.

Sacrifice your time into applying for the grant

It is worthwhile to invest time in grant applications so that you can not only identify excellent prospects. Devoting your time also makes sure that your applications are thorough and accurate enough to boost your chances of receiving a grant.

You can make a spreadsheet or other document to keep track of the grants you’re applying for, their requirements, application costs, and deadlines as time management advice. For grant research and applications, set up a manageable and realistic timeline. For instance, you might decide to devote three hours every Monday morning to applying for grants instead of spending an hour each day before logging out. Finally, be prepared to write a bit because a grant proposal and supporting documentation are required!

Consider your eligibility

Please carefully review the eligibility requirements on the official grant application page before applying for funding. You don’t want to waste your time applying for a grant that is either not a suitable fit or for which you are not even eligible. Additionally, keep track of deadlines! Nothing is more frustrating than creating a lovely, polished grant application only to miss the deadline by a few minutes. Also, since most grants come with detailed guidelines on what you can and cannot do with the funding, you should have a plan for how you want to use the grant money.

Consider the grant application fee

When there is an application cost for a grant, it’s critical to assess the benefits and drawbacks of applying, especially if the charge is high. 

Let’s revisit the tracking sheet that was discussed earlier. You can weigh the benefits and drawbacks of applying for a grant by noting the application fees associated with each program. It might not be worth applying to in the end if the cost is extremely high and the application process takes a lot of your time (or if the competition is severe). Do what seems right for you and follow your gut instinct.

Complete every necessary paperwork

After applying for the grants, you should complete every paperwork required to push your application forward. Sometimes this paperwork is the major determinant in granting your application. Make sure you keep track of the process after completing the paperwork and awaiting approval.

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Consider other funding options

Unfortunately, applying for small business grants in Ohio doesn’t guarantee that you’ll receive them, so it’s critical to consider all available financial options. You can also try the following additional fundraising options such as taking a loan at a bank (in Ohio), seeking Investors and crowdfunding among others.

The bottom line

Getting the correct small business grants for your business, at the right moment, may be exhausting. It can even be downright paralyzing if you don’t know where or how to begin. You can start applying now that you have a comprehensive list of Ohio small business grants and tips on how to apply. Remember to pay special attention to the application deadlines and qualifying conditions. Despite the process’s intimidating appearance, it only requires that you:

  • look into grants.
  • list the grants you’re eligible for
  • compose grant applications and compile the necessary supporting documentation
  • Apply!

About the author

Zainab Olatunji

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