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Grants & Financing

  • State of Ohio
  • Ohio State Treasurer
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • Small Business Administration
  • Other Local and Regional

Rapid Outreach Grant

These grant funds are for on- or off- site infrastructure improvements, including water, sewer, road and rail improvements. This fund is for companies primarily engaged in manufacturing, R&D, high technology, corporate headquarters, and distribution. Given the demand for limited grant funds, qualified projects must involve substantial job creation or retention, and all other public and private sources of financing must be considered before the availability of Rapid Outreach funding is determined.

166 Direct Loan
Direct loan fi nancing is available to help fi nance manufacturing and other eligible facilities, with eligible uses for funding including new building construction, building acquisition, and acquisition of machinery and equipment. Amounts of fi nancing are usually set at 30 percent of the project cost to a maximum of $1 million, subject to an increase by the Director of Development, with a minimum loan amount of $350,000. The rate is fi xed (currently at 3 percent), with terms similar to those of commercial bank fi nancing. Eligible projects must involve signifi cant job creation or retention.

Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund
Revenue bond fi nancing is available through this S&P AA- (double A-minus) rated fund, whereby proceeds from the sale of bonds is loaned to companies for fi xed rate, long-term capital asset financing. Rates are fi xed depend on the type of bond issued, while terms are between 7 to 10 years for equipment and 15 to 20 years for real estate. Up to $10 million in fi nancing is available through this program.

Research & Development Investment Loan Fund
Direct loan fi nancing of between $1 million and $25 million is available for projects primarily engaging in research and development activity. Rates are fi xed (currently at 3
percent), with terms similar to those of commercial bank fi nancing. Companies receive a dollar-for-dollar, nonrefundable Ohio commercial activity tax credit for all principal and interest payments during the year.

The Ohio Treasurer's GrowNOW interest rate reduction program is designed to help small businesses grow by providing them with critical cash flow. When a business is approved for a loan from one of the hundreds of eligible banks in the state, GrowNOW provides an additional three percent discount on the loan's already-negotiated interest rate, when the loan is linked to creating or saving jobs in Ohio.

The purpose of the AgLink Program was to provide reduced-rate financing to Ohio farmers to help offset the high cost of borrowing operating funds.  Annually the Ohio General Assemby allocates $125 million for the Treasury to secure reduced-rate certificates of deposit from eligible lending institutions, which utilize those dollars to provide operating loans to farmers at below-market rates.  More than 28,000 Ag-Link applications have been approved, totaling $1.9 billion, since 1985. 

Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans
The purpose of the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program is to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. This purpose is achieved by bolstering the existing private credit structure through the guarantee of quality loans which will provide lasting community benefits. It is not intended that the guarantee authority will be used for marginal or substandard loans or for relief of lenders having such loans.

Rural Energy For America Program Grants (REAP Grants)

The REAP Grant Program will provide grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance. It also provides funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.

Rural Energy For America Program Loan (REAP Loans)
The REAP Guaranteed Loan Program encourages the commercial financing of renewable energy (bioenergy, geothermal, hydrogen, solar, and wind) and energy efficiency projects. Under the program, project developers will work with local lenders, who in turn can apply to USDA Rural Development for a loan guarantee up to 85 percent of the loan amount.


Basic 7(a) Loan Guaranty
Serves as the SBA’s primary business loan program to help qualified small businesses obtain financing when they might not be eligible for business loans through normal lending channels. It is also the agency’s most flexible business loan program, since financing under this program can be guaranteed for a variety of general business purposes. 

Loan proceeds can be used for most sound business purposes including working capital, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, land and building (including purchase, renovation and new construction), leasehold improvements, and debt refinancing (under special conditions). Loan maturity is up to 10 years for working capital and generally up to 25 years for fixed assets.

Certified Development Company (CDC), a 504 Loan Program
Provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to small businesses to acquire real estate or machinery or equipment for expansion or modernization. Typically a 504 project includes a loan secured from a private-sector lender with a senior lien, a loan secured from a CDC (funded by a 100 percent SBA-guaranteed debenture) with a junior lien covering up to 40 percent of the total cost, and a contribution of at least 10 percent equity from the borrower. 

Microloan, a 7(m) Loan Program
Provides short-term loans of up to $35,000 to small businesses and not-for-profit child-care centers for working capital or the purchase of inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and/or equipment. Proceeds cannot be used to pay existing debts or to purchase real estate. The SBA makes or guarantees a loan to an intermediary, who in turn, makes the microloan to the applicant. These organizations also provide management and technical assistance. The loans are not guaranteed by the SBA. The microloan program is available in selected locations in most states. 

Loan Prequalification
Allows business applicants to have their loan applications for $250,000 or less analyzed and potentially sanctioned by the SBA before they are taken to lenders for consideration. The program focuses on the applicant’s character, credit, experience and reliability rather than assets. An SBA-designated intermediary works with the business owner to review and strengthen the loan application. The review is based on key financial ratios, credit and business history, and the loan-request terms. The program is administered by the SBA’s Office of Field Operations and SBA district offices.


Revolving Loan Funds
The intended purpose and use of Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) is to fill existing financial gaps for small growing businesses when conventional lending will not meet the breadth of their funding needs.  In many cases, an RLF provides loans to entrepreneurs who wish to start or improve ventures but who have an insufficient credit history, limited equity, etc.  The ultimate goal of most RLFs is for these entrepreneurs to become financially independent and eligible for loans from commercial banks. Payments are generally returned directly to the fund and used to make new loans  hence, the term revolving loan fund.  *** Multiple agencies locally and regionally administer revolving loan programs.