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Resources for Small Businesses

This listing highlights select state, federal and local resources that offer business assistance programming.

State of Ohio Programs

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Division of Opportunity, Diversity & Inclusion (ODI)

ODI works to increase diversity and inclusion opportunities for all stakeholders, including those seeking to do business with, and those who seek employment with ODOT. ODI’s Office of Outreach initiates and coordinates outreach efforts including promoting certification and prequalification of Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (S&DBE) firms; contact with certified and prospective S&DBE firms to promote available services (e.g. technical training, tuition reimbursement programs, formal education courses); and discuss eligibility for prequalification to bid on highway construction and local public agency projects.

To contact the Office of Outreach, click here.

Small Business Development Centers of Ohio (SBDC)

The SBDCs provide a high-impact, front-line program designed to facilitate small business growth, job creation and access to capital. Professional staff members provide confidential business counseling; management training and education programs; technical assistance; loan packaging guidance; and information on federal, state, and local regulations and programs for small business owners. The SBDC Network also includes specialty programs such as Export Assistance.

To contact the SBDC center nearest you, click here.

Minority Business Assistance Centers (MBAC)

The ODSA Minority Business Development Division (MBDD) supports the growth and sustainability of minority-owned, small and disadvantaged businesses in Ohio through the MBAC program. MBAC professional staff members provide confidential business counseling; technical and professional assistance; access to capital and bonding; Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) certification assistance, and connection to business opportunities. The MBDD provides access to capital programs including: Ohio Minority Business Bonding Program; Ohio Minority Business Direct Loan Program; The Collateral Enhancement Program and the Ohio Capital Access Program.

To contact the MBAC center nearest you, click here.

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)

The PTACs help Ohio's businesses seeking to compete for federal, state, and local government contracts. The program is part of a nationwide network of PTACs created by the U.S. Department of Defense. Professional staff members provide business services including contract opportunities, research past contracts, help clients prepare bids and navigate requirements and assist clients after winning contracts.

To contact the PTAC center nearest you, click here.

Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

Ohio MEP helps Ohio's small and medium-sized manufacturers to increase sales, create jobs and generate cost savings through technological innovation, workforce training and improved management practices.

To contact the MEP center nearest you, click here.

Entrepreneurial Services Provider (ESP)

The ESP Program offers a coordinated network of high-value services and assistance providers that are visible and easily accessible to technology-based entrepreneurs and small tech-based companies. Each ESP provides an approach that tightly integrates sources of deal flow, entrepreneurial support, and capital to effectively grow the technology-based entrepreneurial commercialization outcomes.

To contact the ESP program nearest you, click here.

Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), Equal Opportunity Division (EOD)

It is the mission of the EOD to serve, support, and find solutions for Ohioans by ensuring equal opportunity to, and fair treatment in government contracting and state employment. The Division strives to achieve its mission by implementing and enforcing the state’s affirmative action and equal employment opportunity policies, and implementing and monitoring the state’s procurement preference programs for minority-owned, women-owned, and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. EOD includes the Business Certification and Compliance Unit which has the responsibility for implementing the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) programs.

To contact EOD, click here.

Federal Programs

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA offers small business loan and loan guarantee programs; counseling sessions; contracting and assistance programs; and special outreach efforts to aid and inform small businesses.

To contact the Ohio SBA center nearest you, click here.

SCORE

SCORE is the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters. As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 10 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964.

To contact the Ohio SCORE center nearest you, click here.

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Small Business Transportation Resource Centers (SBTRC)

SBTRCs provides an array of technical assistance to build the capacity of small and disadvantaged businesses to increase the number of small businesses that are prepared to compete for, and enter into, transportation-related prime and subcontract opportunities. Utilizing partnerships and industry expertise, SBTRCs provide one-one counseling in the areas of marketing, planning, financial, procurement and operational assistance.

To contact the Great Lakes Region SBTRC, click here.

Other

Local Programs Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI)

Since 2004, ECDI has assisted over 10,000 individuals through their comprehensive suite of entrepreneurial programs and services. The organization supports loans for new and established businesses. Loans range from $500 to $350,000 and shows a large variety in their clients and the uses for the loans. ECDI provides the tools, technical assistance and support for businesses to succeed.

To contact the ECDI center nearest you, click here.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a program for small businesses that links learning to action. Through the program, participants will gain practical skills in topics such as negotiation, marketing, and employee management that can immediately be put into action. In addition, they will receive the tools and professional support to develop a strategic and customized growth plan that will take their business to the next level.

To contact the local program, click here.

Disclaimer

This listing is not inclusive. Many Ohio colleges and universities provide support services for entrepreneurial growth. Organizations such as the Urban League offer business development services and more. Many city, county and local economic development agencies are interested in and provide business development support services.