COLUMBUS — On National Small Business Day, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine spoke to members of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Ohio Wednesday celebrating the accomplishments of Ohio’s small businesses and reminding business owners of the many programs and initiatives offered by the state to support them.
“Ohio’s economy is tied to the success of our small businesses, so it’s in our best interests to go forward together. What is good for Ohio’s 982,000 small businesses is good for Ohio,” said Governor DeWine.
Ohio’s most recent operating budget includes $2 billion in business and personal income tax cuts and supports Governor DeWine’s Investing in Ohio's Future Initiative to help small businesses and accelerate economic growth.
The operating budget doubled the amount of grant funding available to help small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic to $310 million. Funding is still available from the following four grant programs:
Food and Beverage Establishment Grant: This program provides grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other food and beverage businesses.
Entertainment Venue Grant: This program provides grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to theaters, music venues, spectator sports venues, museums, and other entertainment venues.
Lodging Grant: This program provides grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast operations.
New Small Business Grant: This program provides grants of $10,000 to small businesses that were established between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.
For more information and to apply, visit investinginohiosfuture.ohio.gov.
To help ensure all communities can be part of Ohio’s economic recovery and expansion, the budget also invests $250 million to develop and expand broadband throughout Ohio.
The Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program application is open, and the grants will be provided to internet service providers for the construction of broadband projects that improve high-speed internet access in unserved and underserved areas of Ohio.
To further support Ohio’s small businesses, which account for 99.6% of the businesses in the state and employ 2.2 million people, the Ohio Department of Development and TourismOhio this week launched its new Made in Ohio website, which features nearly 800 companies that sell Ohio-made apparel, snack foods, coffee, décor, furniture, and more.
The listings and include businesses that make or manufacture products in the state of Ohio and have a storefront and/or website where their products are sold. Listings link directly to the company website so customers can purchase the products directly from the company. For more information on how to have a company listed on the site, visit Ohio.org/MadeinOhio.
The Ohio Department of Development also offers services to support small businesses and entrepreneurs including:
Ohio Small Business Development Centers provide individualized one-on-one-advising Ohio small businesses at no cost. More than 16,000 businesses have received assistance since March 2020.
The Ohio Export Assistance Network assists small businesses into international markets. During the pandemic, Ohio moved from the ninth-largest exporting state to the seventh-largest exporting state.
Ohio Minority Business Assistance Centers provide one-on-one advising at no cost to minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. It also offers financial assistance.
Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Centers help small and medium-sized businesses secure federal, state, and local government contracts.
By instituting spending freezes and budget cuts during the pandemic, the DeWine administration eliminated $776 million in state spending to balance the budget, putting Ohio in a strong position as we work to emerge from the pandemic.
Although Ohio, like many other states, depleted its unemployment compensation fund and needed a $1.5 billion loan from the federal government to pay claims during the pandemic, Ohio strategically repaid the $1.5 billion loan to prevent businesses from incurring large increases in federal unemployment taxes. Without this added tax burden, Ohio business owners can spend those dollars on more critical priorities such as investing in their workforce.
“Workforce development is, without question, the key to our long-term economic expansion,” said Governor DeWine. “We are focused on creating the most skilled workforce in the Midwest, fit to meet the demands of the 21st-century economy.”
A goal of the DeWine Administration is to champion career, technical, and vocational education training to help tens of thousands more Ohioans a year prepare for quality, higher-paying jobs without creating college debt.
Investments to achieve this goal include:
TechCred, a program that gives employees the ability to earn industry-recognized, technology-focused credentials to prepare them to work in high-tech jobs.
The Industry Sector Partnership grant program, which supports collaborations among businesses, education and training providers, and other community leaders who are invested in improving their region’s workforce.
The Export Internship and Diversity & Inclusion Tech Internship programs provide college students real-world experience at a small to medium-sized business looking to export their products or at a technology-focused company or a company
with a technology need.
For more information on all the services that the Ohio Department of Development provides, visit development.ohio.gov.