Business Financial Incentives

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Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit

  • Must apply for this tax credit through JobsOhio.
  • Provides a refundable tax credit against a taxpayer's Commercial Activity Tax, insurance premium tax, Ohio corporate franchise tax or an individual's Ohio personal income tax obligations. The tax credit is based on the state income tax withheld by the taxpayer for new jobs created as result of new business investment in Ohio. The credit is given annually for the term of the credit.
  • For businesses creating at least 10 new jobs (within three years) with minimum annual payroll of $66,000 that pay at least 150 percent of federal minimum wage.

Enterprise Zones and Community Reinvestment Areas

  • Local communities (counties, municipalities and/or townships) administer these tax incentive programs, working directly with businesses on proposed projects to enter into agreements prior to construction.
  • Both EZs and CRAs allow local governments to exempt the new real property taxes (and, in limited cases, personal property taxes) generated from a proposed investment project in exchange for a job creation commitment. The zones and areas are defined geographical areas within which local communities can offer these tax exemptions.

166 Direct Loan (Development Services Agency)

  • The Direct 166 Loan provides loans for land and building acquisition, construction, expansion or renovation and equipment purchases for eligible businesses.
  • Priority may be given to eligible projects based on job creation and payroll commitments, fixed asset investment commitment, project return on investment, project location and other project factors.

Basic 7(a) Loan Guarantee (Small Business Administration)

  • Eligible for startups and existing small businesses.
  • This program helps qualified small businesses find financing when they are not eligible for normal lending.
  • Loan maturity is up to 10 years on working capital, and can be up to 25 years for fixed assets.

Certified Development Company, a 504 loan program (SBA)

  • Those eligible are small business needing "basic needs" financing.
  • This program provides long term, fixed rate financing to small businesses to purchase real estate or machinery and equipment for expansion or modernization.
  • Businesses must create or retain 1 job per $50,000 loaned by the SBA. Small manufacturers must create or retain 1 job per $100,000 or improve the economy of the area or achieve one or more public goal

Microloan, a 7(m) Loan Program (SBA)

  • Small businesses and non-profit child care centers needing small scale financing and technical assistance for startup or expansion are eligible for this program.
  • Provides short term loans up to $350,000 for working capital or the purchase of inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery, and/or equipment.
  • Loans cannot be used to pay existing debt or to purchase real estate.

Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans (USDA)

  • This program bolsters the existing private credit structure through the guaranteeing of loans for rural businesses, allowing private lenders to extend more credit than they would typically be able to.
  • This program aims to improve the economic and environmental climate by increasing access to business capital through loan guarantees that enable commercial lenders to provide more affordable financing for businesses in eligible rural areas.
  • Applicants are Lenders with legal authority, sufficient experience, and financial strength to operate a successful lending program like:  Federal or State Chartered Banks; Savings and Loans; Farm Credit Banks; Credit Unions.  Applications are accepted from lenders through USDA local offices year round.
  • The total amount of the loan is not to exceed $10 million. Maximum repayment time is not to exceed 30 years for real estate and 15 years for machinery and equipment.

Rural Business Development and Opportunity Grants (USDA)

  • This program is for rural public entities including, but not limited to Towns, Communities, State Agencies, Authorities, Nonprofit Corporations, Institutions of Higher Education, Federally Recognized Tribes, Rural Cooperatives.
  • Projects benefitting rural areas outside the urbanized periphery of any city with a population of 50,000 or more
  • To support activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging business in rural areas (less than 50 employees), help fund distance learning networks, and help fund employment related adult education programs, etc.  To assist with business development, RBDGs may fund a broad array of activities.
  • Applications are accepted through USDA Rural Development’s local or State offices one per year.

Community Connect Grants (USDA)

  • Available to most State and Local Governments, rural non-profit corporations, rural Indian tribes, and for-profit corporations.
  • This program helps rural communities extend access where broadband service is least likely to be commercially available, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for people and businesses.  The projects funded by these grants help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet for jobs, education, healthcare, public safety and community development.
  • Contact the Loan Origination and Approval Division, Telecommunications Program at (202) 720-0800 or email

Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant (USDA)

  • Eligible borrowers are Public bodies, Community-based non-profit corporations, and federally recognized Tribes.
  • This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas.  An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings.
  • Low interest direct loans and Grants are combined, as well as the USDA Loan Guarantee Program.

Community Development Program (Ohio Development Services Agency)

  • The Community Development Program provides communities with a flexible housing and community development resource that can be used to address locally identified needs.
  • The program includes competitive set-aside funding for Neighborhood Revitalization, Downtown Revitalization and Critical Infrastructure. Neighborhood Revitalization and Critical Infrastructure projects are designed to serve primarily residential populations. Funds cannot be used to support public improvements for future or speculative developments.
  • Community Allocation
  • Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Downtown Revitalization
  • Critical Infrastructure

Below are websites to visit for additional information regarding Financial Incentives:

— U.S. Small Business Administration:

— United States Department of Agriculture:

— Ohio Development Services Agency:

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