10 Best Grants for Small Businesses in Ohio | 2023

The business sector is a primary contributor to the economic growth of Ohio. And according to the Ohio Department of Development, business owners will receive up to $182 million in grants for small businesses in Ohio. 

Small business grants are relief funds for individuals struggling to raise capital for their businesses. This non-refundable business funding is awarded as part of the Ohio federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to support businesses in tech, small-scale businesses, and socially and economically disabled individuals. Small business grants help you with your expenses or projects if you own a business.

Though starting and managing a small business in Ohio is challenging; still, it is achievable. Small businesses in Ohio owners usually receive grants to start and grow their businesses, and recipients of such government grants do not have to pay back. 

Therefore, looking into small business grants as one of your significant sources to fund your business is a great step in the right direction.

In this article, you will learn the tips for obtaining grants for small businesses in Ohio. Finding the funding opportunity for your small business at the right time can be tiring, so we’ll suitable grants you can apply for as soon as now. 

How to Select the Best Grants for Small Businesses, Ohio

Although there are many grants for small businesses in Ohio, expect to find one or two suspicious grants sites meant to extort you or steal your data. Thus, it’s advisable to apply through Grant.gov, a comprehensive state site where you can find the database of all approved grants in the US.

You can begin your search for grants in Ohio for small businesses by visiting the website at Grants.gov. You’ll find thousands of grants and programs for small business owners.

However, note that not all the assistance on the site is government-sponsored. Foundations, not-for-profit organizations, agencies, or local governments also manage some grants. 

Alternatively, you can narrow your search by visiting the Ohio state government website for a guide list of grants in Ohio for small businesses.

Nevertheless, finding the best grants for your small business means you must keep alert for information. So you want to visit the grant site to get updates frequently.

How to Apply for Grants for Small Businesses in Ohio

Visit the Grant.gov website to create a workspace account. With a registered Workspace account, you can apply for as many grants and help as possible.

But before applying for a grant opportunity, confirm your eligibility and application requirements. After which, you can head to apply and track your application. Your workspace account helps you do the tracking. 

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Grants in Ohio for all Small businesses

Regardless of the rigid rules guiding some grants for small businesses in Ohio, you will always find nonprofits or corporate organizations with easy-to-access funding or programs for qualified small business owners. Some such entities include: 

The Barstool Fund: This funding opportunity is for small businesses in Ohio and beyond that scaled through the Covid-19 pandemic without relieving employees of their jobs. 

500 Global Flagship Accelerator Program: This program offers a 4-month accelerator program and $150,000 seed investment to startups and small businesses in Ohio.

Visit website.

Fast Break for Small Businesses: This is a grant for small businesses in Ohio. Recipients of this grant get $10,000 in funding help sponsored by NBA, WNBA, NBA G League, and LegalZoom.   

Fresh Start Business Grant: Mainly for intending business owners and potential entrepreneurs, the FSBG grants for small business owners in Ohio and other US states offer $2,500 to business owners as funding help to help start or grow their businesses.

Hello Alice Small Business Growth Fund (Round 4): The HASBG Program provides small businesses with a $25,000 grant to assist business owners. 

GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund: This is a business relief program for businesses that survived the Covid-19 pandemic. Survivors are encouraged to create a GoFundMe account with the support of significant entities such as Yelp, GoDaddy, Intuit, and Bill.com.  

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10 Best Grants for Small Businesses in Ohio

Below are some of the current grants for small businesses in Ohio. Some are location and industry-specific, so read the eligibility requirements before applying. 

  • Cleveland’s Urban League
  • The Huntington Lift Local Small Business Grant
  • First Financial Bancorp
  • Toledo and Lucas County small business grant Ohio
  • FundNoire
  • JumpStart
  • J.The Phillip Holloman Endowment Fund 
  • Women’s Business Centers of Ohio
  • Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative
  • Great Streets Akron Grants

#1. Cleveland’s Urban League

SBDC and the UBIZ Center are in charge of this grant for small businesses in Ohio.

The Cleveland Urban League assists minority-owned companies and businesses in Ohio with loans and financial help.

Not just that, there’s also an option for free technical consulting services and contract sales opportunities where you can learn about additional small business funding and other support services. 

Apply Here

#2. The Huntington Lift Local Small Business Grant Ohio

An Ohio-based lender funds the Huntington Lift Local grant for small businesses in Ohio. Millions of dollars are set aside to assist minority-owned businesses, veterans, and females.

However, the lender collaborates with the SBA to help disadvantaged enterprises to get funding. This means entrepreneurs with low credit scores can benefit from the loans and grants.

 Apply here 

#3. First Financial Bancorp

First Financial Bancorp provides grants for small business owners in Ohio and Columbus. Businesses in these regions can apply for the First Financial Bancorp grant offer.

This bank provides grants of up to $2500 to small enterprises mostly owned and run by Latino, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). The Small Business Resiliency Program handles these grants. 

Apply Here 

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#4. Toledo and Lucas County small business grant Ohio

Toledo and Lucas County provide grants to assist nonprofits and individuals with small businesses in Ohio.

Most of the funds go to the veteran, minority, and women-owned businesses. Such funds can cover expenses such as electricity bills, lodging, and other small business expenses.

They prioritize Latino, black, female, LGBTQ, and other underserved businesses. 

 Apply Here 

#5. J.The Phillip Holloman Endowment Fund 

The state’s chamber of commerce handles this grant for small businesses in Ohio. Minority-owned businesses in Cincinnati may apply too.

It is a fast-track program. Equity investments, loans, free money, and free advice and business help are available. For more information:

 Apply Here 

#6. Workforce Development

Small businesses in Ohio can also get help in hiring personnel, handling future force reductions, and preparing for the coming weeks. They will follow up on ongoing programs and assist companies that may be eligible for small business grants from Ohio.

Though the workforce development building is no longer accessible to the public, employees can still get support from workers by phone, email, or online. Individuals can also get help from OhioMeansJobs workers on the phone or online.

 Apply Here 

#7. Women’s Business Centers of Ohio

WBC of Ohio provides free services to female entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses in Ohio. WBCs of Ohio has many locations in the state to distribute grants, including Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus.

There is also free mentoring and coaching from volunteer female business owners, loan information, computer labs, training programs, and networking programs. Learn more about their support services. 

Apply Here 

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#8. JumpStart

Jumpstart established this program to assist entrepreneurs in launching and expanding companies ranging from conventional small businesses to venture-backed startups.

However, JumpStart is a venture development company that incorporates the concepts of private venture capital and nonprofit economic development. They also provide free webinars for small business owners. 

Apply Here 

#9. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative

Goldman Sachs works in collaboration with the City of Columbus to bring the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative to Columbus.

This initiative provides a fantastic opportunity for business owners in Columbus to gain access to grants, tools, and knowledge that will help them grow their companies in Ohio and also allow them to build a robust professional network at no cost to them.

Eligible businesses must have at least $150,000 in revenue, four employees, and operate for at least two years. 

Apply Here 

#10. Cleveland Job Creation Incentive Program

The Cleveland Job Creation Incentive Program is specifically for businesses creating new jobs within Cleveland. You must be a new business moving to or expanding in Cleveland that will hire at least five full-time W2 employees.

And eligible companies can receive up to 0.5% of the new payroll for up to three years, plus $5,000 for relocation costs. Small business owners in Ohio can equally benefit from this grant.

Apply Here 

Do you operate from Wales? Apply for the New Business Grants in Wales

Other similarly beneficial grants in Ohio for small businesses are:


FundNoire is a Cincinnati-based grant for Black small business owners in Ohio. Launched in 2022, FundNoire plans to grant 24 non-tech-related black-owned small businesses up to $50,000 over two years. 

Apply Here

Great Streets Akron Grants

For business owners in Akron who need a makeover, the following grant for small businesses in Ohio is for you.

Great Streets Aaron Grant matches up to $30,000 for site improvements, like lighting, parking lots, signage, security cameras, and renovations. 

Apply Here

Starting and running a business in Ohio takes work. You may also experience some financial challenges which can affect your personal finance. But with the grants in Ohio for small businesses, you can always start or expand your business.


Must You Repay a grant?

No. The Ohio grants are non-refundable, so you don’t have to pay back, especially if you used the funding in line with the grant program. 

Is Ohio small business grant taxable?

Yes, the grants for small businesses in Ohio are counted as business income therefore it is taxed on your federal tax return.

Is government grants application free?

Yes, It is always free to apply for government grants. However, the process may be very complex depending on the funding opportunity you are applying for.

What are the small business grants in Ohio used for?

The grants for small businesses in Ohio cover expenses for which no other government support is available.


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