Ohio adds supports for businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans
Ohio has a mix of new financial and regulatory tools to help businesses in the state owned by women, minorities and veterans.
The financial assistance is coming in the form of two targeted loan initiatives, both of which were included in the state budget. Under the first program, zero-interest-rate loans (minimum of $10,000 and maximum of $45,000) are available for these businesses to establish permanent working capital, purchase new equipment or build up inventory. A second loan program is for women-owned enterprises only. Ohio already has a program to certify businesses as minority- and women-owned or as “veteran-friendly.” It sets a goal that at least 15 percent of state agencies’ contracts be awarded to certified minority-owned businesses.
Local governments also have their own set-aside goals or programs for minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses. SB 105, signed into law in February, aims to make participation in these programs easier. It does so by providing for “certification reciprocity”: once certified under the state program, business owners are automatically eligible for local initiatives across Ohio.