Small Business Hearing - June 4 2020

Columbus Small Business Agenda Rollout
Columbus Small Business Agenda Rollout

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther Small Business Assessment Announcement
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther
Small Business Assessment Announcement

City Chat

Accelerate Columbus Scale up and Grow Graduation Ceremony

Reimagining Small Business Initiative
Reimagining Small Business Initiative

Five ID Studio Titan Mixer Bottle 
Five Id Studio - Titan Mixer Bottle

Ohio Small Business Development Centers

Rev1 Ventures

Columbus Urban League

YMT Consultants

Contact us with your questions. 
We are ready to assist you.

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



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.

Welcome to the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneur Development. 

The Office of Small Business and Entrepreneur Development serves as a catalyst for inclusive neighborhood-based economic development by providing concierge-style resource navigation services to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The mission of the Office is to provide facilitated assistance aimed at assisting aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to start, grow, and expand viable businesses through the use of economic development tools such as grants, loans, and specialized technical assistance while aiding in the stabilization and revitalization of our traditional urban neighborhoods and corridors.

Small Business Ecosystem Assessment The City of Columbus partnered with Next Street and Development Strategies to assess the small business ecosystem in Columbus in order to identify gaps and opportunities for supporting a thriving and inclusive ecosystem.  Click here to download the summary

Access our City Chat  video to learn more about the Small Business Ecosystem Assessment.

Advisory Committee members and public and private sector leaders across the small business and entrepreneurial ecosystem came together with the City of Columbus and Next Street to analyze the findings and ultimately prioritize four strategies that will guide the transformation of the Columbus small business ecosystem into a primary driver of economic inclusion.

The Columbus Small Business Agenda is a city-sponsored strategic and collaborative multi-agency effort to prioritize inclusive entrepreneurship and small business development as a viable and sustainable method of achieving economic empowerment and mobility.

Accelerate Columbus In 2018 the Economic Development Division of the Department of Development launched a supportive network of entrepreneur support organizations as an outcome of its Reimagining Small Business Initiatives.  The network delivers structured programs under Accelerate Columbus branding through a cadre of partnering organizations.  To learn more, please visit one of our partners by clicking below:

Ohio Small Business Development Centers at Columbus State Community College
YMT Consultants
R. L. Underwood & Associates
Ohio Minority Business Assistance Center hosted by Columbus Urban League 

GOLDMAN SACHS 10,000 SMALL BUSINESSES INITIATIVE The City of Columbus is happy to partner with Goldman Sachs and Columbus State Community College in bringing the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative to the city. This initiative will provide a great opportunity for business owners to gain access to tools and knowledge to grow their business while building a powerful professional network- all at no cost to the business owners.

Eligible businesses have at least $150,000 in revenues, at least four employees and have been in business at least two years. Business owners can visit

Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization Program The Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization (NCR) program offers Technical Assistance, Capital Improvements, Financial Incentives as well as Planning and Design within seven designated business districts. The NCR Program is an innovative and exciting approach for stimulating investment in these districts. It builds upon the economic base of these areas to create an environment conducive to business growth and expansion.

Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization Program Map
Exterior Storefront Renovation Grant
Interior Renovation Grant

Small Business Concierge If you would like to know more about our services, projects, and current programs, please click here to view our most current brochure.

To learn more about Mr. Henry Golatt, Development Program Coordinator, or if you have specific questions about our comprehensive work in support of the local small business ecosystem, please click here to view his bio.