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Economic Development Division
111 N. Front Street, 8th Floor 
Columbus, Ohio 43215

614-645-8616

Columbus Opportunity Zone Prospectus Information about Columbus' 39 Opportunity Zones.

Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund 

Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery FundOn 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 here.

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

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.

About the City of Columbus The City of Columbus is the 14th largest city in the United States with a population of 892,533 residents. The Columbus economy is balanced with a combination of education, technology, government, research, insurance and health care entities as major employers within the City. Columbus is gaining nationwide recognition for its booming downtown, historic neighborhoods, arts and sporting districts, open attitude and a noticeably affordable quality of life.

Business Assistance

Business Services WE MAKE DOING BUSINESS EASY   Columbus is an excellent place to do business. One of the reasons for that is because we incentivize companies who choose Columbus. We offer a number of services and tax incentives to help your profits grow by keeping your costs down. - learn more

Facts & Figures

Facts & Figures COLUMBUS BY THE NUMBERS When it comes to Columbus, there's a lot to tell.  This section contains all the most telling facts and figures that can make a real impact on your business.  - learn more

Quality of Life

Quality of Life Columbus is the 14th largest city in the United States with a population of 879,170. The city is perfect for active lifestyles, having invested $20 million to develop a growing system of bike and fitness trails that connect the suburbs and river trails to downtown's $44 million riverfront park system restoration.  - learn more

Columbus Maps

Columbus Maps THE LAY OF THE LAND Want to know where key items of interest are located around the city? These maps will help you quickly familiarize yourself with the metro area, sites of importance, types of transportation and much more. - learn more