Studies show that minorities own an estimated 29 percent of classifiable businesses, which are growing at twice the rate of non-minority businesses. Is yours on track to be on the side of success?
If you’re based in Ohio, minority businesses have multiple state-funded resources to help with critical needs such as business development, training, getting loans, bonds and more. Knowing your options can help you get your fledgling organization off the ground, or your growing business to the next level.
But what is considered a minority-owned business; do you meet that state’s qualifications?
The Ohio Development Services Agency defines a minority-owned business as a company that is owned and controlled at least 51 percent and for more than one year by an Ohio resident and U.S. citizen who belongs to one of the following ethnic groups: African American, Asian, Hispanic or Native American.
If you meet these criteria, read on to learn more about state-funded resources for minority-owned businesses in Ohio that may be beneficial to your operation’s growth.
State Resources For Minority-Owned Small Businesses
There are two main state-funded programs offered to assist minority-owned businesses in Ohio: the EDGE program and the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program.
The State of Ohio’s Encouraging Diversity, Growth, and Equity (EDGE) program is the counterpart to the federal SBA 8(a) loan program. Designed to assist economically and socially disadvantaged business enterprises, EDGE provides mentorship, business education, training, and possible loan opportunities.
Eligible businesses can take part in this program for 10 years, so long as they still meet the eligibility requirements. Businesses receive an EDGE certification once they graduate from the program.
Minority Business Enterprise program:
The MBE program helps minority businesses thrive by assisting in obtaining government contracts. Joining this program benefits companies with contract opportunities and business planning assistance, as well as provides access to special loan and bond programs.
In addition to meeting the criteria of being a minority-owned business as defined above, an MBE-certified business must meet additional qualifications.
Applications for either the EDGE or MBE program certifications can be found online through the Ohio Business Gateway.
Loan Program Resources For Minority-Owned Small Businesses
Additionally, there are four loan programs notably set up to assist minority-owned and economically disadvantaged small businesses gain the financial assistance they need to grow.
Capital Access Program:
The Capital Access Program is a loan portfolio insurance program that helps small businesses secure loans by establishing reserve accounts at lending institutions. It mitigates some of the lending bank’s risk by providing deposit money for the loan.
This program can pay out up to $350,000 for fixed-asset loans and up to $250,000 for working capital loans.
Collateral Enhancement Program (CEP):
The CEP helps facilitate financing by banks to small and minority-owned businesses that don’t have the necessary collateral to secure a traditional loan, also reducing the risk to bank providers through supplied deposit collateral.
CEP can payout loans up to $5 million.
Minority Business Bonding Program:
Businesses must be MBE certified to qualify for the Minority Business Bonding Program, which assists with bid, performance, and payment surety bonds for those businesses unable to obtain bonds through standard surety companies.
The maximum bonding line prequalification is $1 million per business.
Minority Business Direct Loan Program
The Minority Business Direct Loan Program provides fixed, low-interest-rate loans for MBE-certified businesses that are purchasing or improving fixed assets resulting in creating new jobs for Ohioans. The State’s financing is take-out financing—meaning the business will need to complete its project utilizing interim financing from a conventional lender, and its equity, with program funds released upon project completion.
With a minimum direct loan amount set at $45,000, the maximum participation by the program is based on financing needs, not to exceed 75 percent of eligible project costs.
Federal Resource For Minority-Owned Small Businesses
At the federal level, minority-owned businesses have access to Section 8(a) Business Development program. Similar to the EDGE program, this federally-run program assists disadvantaged businesses, not just minority-owned, through mentorship, educational training, and possible funding.
It awards 5 percent of all funds to disadvantaged small businesses and offers certification for its participants.
Additional Resources For Minority-Owned Small Businesses
With various state and federal programs available to assist your minority small business, you can more easily get a new business idea up and running or grow an existing company to the next level.
If you’re still unsure where to start, or which program is right for your needs, the Minority Business Assistance Centers (MBAC) and Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are additional excellent resources available within Ohio to guide your business to success. Both can provide counseling, training, and assistance around a variety of needs, including referrals to financial assistance programs.
Is your minority-owned business in Ohio in need of loan assistance? Discover the best options available for your business today through SBA-certified, not-for-profit loan provider Growth Capital. For more information, contact one of our loan experts at (216) 592-2332 or visit us online.
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