Our social service providers are a critical component of the stabilization and recovery of our community as we manage the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. They are on the ground level, providing our residents with the basic needs, emergency funding and community level responses that are essential to our success. Recognizing the integral role they play, and importance of supporting the organizations as well as ensure that their staff are protected and able to operate safely the City of Columbus announced that $15 Million in CARES Act funding would be made available to our providers.
Additionally, The Franklin County Board of Commissioners is pleased to join forces with the City of Columbus in announcing The Resilience Initiative, funded through the CARES Act. Franklin County will contribute an additional $5 Million, for a total grant fund of $20 Million dollars. The City of Columbus and Franklin County share in the vision of a community in which residents and nonprofit organizations remain resilient in response to the challenges resulting from COVID-19.
Nonprofit organizations have been called upon to serve more people in greater ways than ever before. As local leaders, we recognize that our non-profit community has been hard hit by COVID-19 and needs a “hand up”. This joint initiative will offer a “hand up” with the ultimate goal of providing resources to rebuild, renew, and strengthen Columbus and Franklin County in response to the devastating losses caused by COVID-19.
In keeping with our commitment to responsive government, the City and County have streamlined the application process, making it possible for organizations to access funding quickly through a single electronic application.
Learn more about the Resilience Initiative grant process here
Utility Assistance available for Columbus residents
Mayor Ginther announced the availability of additional cash assistance to the residents of Columbus who are facing utility shutoffs or are unable to secure housing due to overdue utility bills. Funding has been provided to the following organizations to increase capacity – and we encourage
residents to contact them to see if they qualify for assistance:
The Breathing Association:
Central Community House of Columbus Inc.:
Community Refugee & Immigrant Services: https://www.crisohio.org/services/
LifeCare Alliance: https://www.lifecarealliance.org
Columbus Literacy Council:
St. Stephens Community House:
Mid-Ohio Board of Independent Living:
Catholic Social Services:
Gladden Community House:
Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund
On May 28, 2020, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, City Council President Shannon Hardin and JPMorgan Chase announced the Columbus COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund program, created to help small businesses in Columbus through the challenges of COVID-19. The City of Columbus will use $5.5 million received through a Federal CARES Act allocation to support the program, and JPMorgan Chase will contribute $250,000 to assist in providing technical assistance to small businesses in support of the City’s efforts.
The City will also be partnering with Franklin County in this initiative. However, slightly different criteria applies for non-City of Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio applicants.
The City has created three (3) small business recovery programs to assist businesses, with less than twenty-five (25) employees, with an emphasis on microenterprises with fewer than 5 employees, to help them better position themselves to weather this COVID created economic downturn.
The application process opened at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9. Business owners will collaborate with regional Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) and Technical Assistance Providers to complete and submit an application.
Two of the three fund programs require your business site location to be within the City’s Low to Moderate Income Area boundaries. Please verify your business site location
here. Learn more about the application process
The new programs are as follows:
Small Business Recovery Grants
Goal: Financial Relief – To provide financial assistance to existing small businesses including enterprises operating in Low and Moderate Income (LMI) areas of the City of Columbus, in the form of a grant, with the goal of job retention.
Grants up to $10,000 per applicant
Small Business Return Safely (Personal Protective Equipment) Grants
Goal: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Procurement Assistance – To provide financial support to assist existing small businesses throughout the City of Columbus in securing PPEs and/or making necessary COVID-19 health/safety improvements required to re-open their businesses safely for their customers and employees.
Grants up to $5,000, per applicant, with a 1:1 match requirement with the qualifying business
Small Business Pivot Loan Program
Goal: New Market Expansion; Job Retention and Creation – To provide small businesses, in Low and Moderate Income areas of the City of Columbus, access to low interest loan funding if a business has identified new markets for existing products, new services or new products lines that the business can expand into with the goal of maintaining existing business operations, while retaining existing jobs, creating new jobs or making capital investments due to unexpected market growth.
Loan Amount Max 50% of Total Business/Project Expansion/Opportunity Cost up to $20,000 – whichever is less
On March 18, 2020, Mayor Andrew Ginther declared a State of Emergency in the City of Columbus. While basic city services will continue, some services will be limited during the public health emergency. We ask your patience during this time. Thank you.
Immediate COVID-19 Epidemic Assistance from the Federal, State and Local Governments for Businesses in Columbus
COVID-19 Small Business Resource Guide
In response to COVID-19, the City of Columbus Economic Development Division, Office of Small Business and Entrepreneur Development, in a public-private collaboration with Hicks Partners, has amassed a collection of resources called the COVID-19 Small Business Resource Guide. This guide provides employers and employees of these enterprises with a robust listing of resources that are available to help businesses, within the City of Columbus, weather through these challenging times. Please review, act on and share this important resource with as many companies and individuals as possible.
Click here to reach the City of Columbus and Community Resources and Emergency Relief in Response to COVID-19 webpage.
The Department of Development is responsible for code enforcement, economic development, housing, land redevelopment, neighborhood services and planning. Check out the link to a video for more information about the department.
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Our Mission: To improve the quality of life in Columbus neighborhoods through implementation and enforcement of the City's Housing, Zoning, Graphics, Health, Sanitation, and Safety Codes.
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The Economic Development Division assists local businesses and provides information to companies looking to expand or relocate in Columbus.
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The Housing Division serves Columbus by preserving and producing housing that helps build strong, distinct and vibrant neighborhoods. The Housing Division offers programs to assist homeowners, housing developers and rental property owners.
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Land Redevelopment Division and Land Bank Program
The Columbus Land Bank was established in 1994 to improve Columbus neighborhoods by returning vacant, abandoned and underutilized residential and commercial properties into productive community assets.
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The Planning Division is responsible for neighborhood planning, commercial overlays, board and commission (Downtown, University District and East Franklinton), historic preservation, annexation and public art.
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MORPC and City Announce RFP for Regional Housing Strategy
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and the City of Columbus announced that they are seeking proposals for a regional housing strategy as part of an overall strategy to deal with the shortage of affordable housing.
The scope of the Request for Proposals (RFP) will include assessing the state of the housing market and affordability in the region; reviewing and analyzing current availability of public and private dollars to support affordable housing development; identifying data gaps necessary to develop regional recommendations; and identifying structural impediments to housing developments. The study will also include developing a housing strategy for the region that includes investment and policy recommendations for communities to support mixed income neighborhoods and regional growth.
Regional Housing Strategy RFP
New Development planned in Franklinton for at-risk youth
Finance Fund will transform two former motels in Franklinton to homes for at-risk youth.
City of Columbus Incentives Study
The City of Columbus hired consulting firm HR&A to study the city’s use of tax incentives to support and encourage commercial, industrial and residential development. After a series of public meetings and legislative approval by City Council, the final policy documents are listed below. For more information about the policies, contact Hannah Reed at 614-645-8577.
Incentive Study by HR&A
CRA Assessment Report by VSI
Public Meeting Video
CRA_map and overview
Final Policy Legislation
Final Policy Overview
Final Housing Policy Overview
Individual CRA Amendments
Fifth by Northwest
Livingston and James
Residential Tax Incentives