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Business Bonds, Grants, Loans, and Tax Credits

The Ohio Development Services Agency has a variety of bonds, grants, loans and tax credits that can assist Ohio companies as they grow and create jobs in Ohio. More information on the various programs is listed below.

The Alternative Fuel Transportation Program is a state program that improves air quality through financial assistance to businesses, nonprofit organizations, school districts, or local governments for the purchase and installation of alternative fuel refueling, blending, or distribution facilities and terminals.

The Alternative Stormwater Infrastructure Loan Program offers below-market rate loans for the design and construction of green infrastructure as part of economic development projects. Up to $5,000,000 in loan funds per project are available to governmental entities through the program. Development partners are encouraged to partner with the governmental entity for their projects. The funds can pay for design, demolition, construction, materials and administrative costs associated with the green infrastructure project. This program targets a specific challenge of redevelopment projects by reducing the cost to businesses and communities that need to minimize both the financial and environmental impact of their stormwater runoff.

The Business Incentive Grant servicing function of the Ohio Development Services Agency provides assistance to businesses that have been previously awarded a grant by the State of Ohio. These services include: drafting grant agreements and any subsequent amendments, processing grant payment requests, reviewing annual reports, and providing technical support to existing grantees. Any questions with respect to an existing grant agreement should be directed to the Office of Strategic Business Investments, Grants Section, at (614) 466-2317.

The Ohio Career Exploration Internship Program is designed to help Ohio high school students explore potential careers and gain valuable work experience in a professional environment. Through an internship of at least 20 weeks and 200 hours of training, students have the opportunity to explore all aspects of a profession and gain better understanding of the training needed to enter a career field. This internship program is not focused on one task, but is to provide students with a wide range of experiences within a career field.

The Contingency Grant servicing function of the Ohio Development Services Agency provides assistance to businesses that have been previously awarded a grant by the State of Ohio. These services include: drafting grant agreements and any subsequent amendments, processing grant payment requests, reviewing annual reports, and providing technical support to existing grantees. Any questions with respect to an existing grant agreement should be directed to the Office of Strategic Business Investments, Grants Section, at (614) 466-2317.

Administered by the Ohio Department of Taxation, the Conversion Facilities Tax Exemption may provide an exemption for certain property state sales and use taxes for property used in energy conservation, thermal-efficiency improvements and the conversion of solid waste to energy. The Ohio Development Services Agency's Energy Office provides technical review of the energy equipment utilized in the projects to verify it fulfills the intent of the Ohio Revised Code. An opinion is then issued to Ohio Department of Taxation, where the commissioner makes a final determination on certification of the property.

The Collateral Enhancement Program (CEP) uses federal funding to improve access to capital for Ohio’s small businesses. The CEP provides lending institutions with cash collateral deposits to use as additional collateral for loans made to eligible for-profit small businesses. Under the CEP, the Ohio Development Services Agency will open an interest bearing account with a Lender and deposit up to 30 percent of the loan amount where there is a collateral shortfall as determined by the Lender and the Ohio Development Services Agency (up to 50 percent of the loan amount for minority-owned businesses or businesses located in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone).

The Economic Development Grant servicing function of the Ohio Development Services Agency provides assistance to businesses that have been previously awarded a grant by the State of Ohio. These services include: drafting grant agreements and any subsequent amendments, processing grant payment requests, reviewing annual reports, and providing technical support to existing grantees. Any questions with respect to an existing grant agreement should be directed to the Office of Strategic Business Investments, Grants Section, at (614) 466-2317.

The Energy Loan Fund is a program that provides low-cost financing to small businesses and manufacturers for energy improvements that reduce energy usage and associated costs, reduce fossil fuel emissions, and/or create or retain jobs. Funding is provided through the Advanced Energy Fund and federal State Energy Program and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Eligible activities include energy retrofits, energy distribution technologies and renewable energy technologies. Projects must achieve 15 percent reduction in energy usage, demonstrate economic and environmental impacts and be included within a long-term energy strategy of the community served.

The Innovation Ohio Loan Fund servicing function of the Ohio Development Services Agency provides assistance to businesses that have been previously approved for a loan by the State of Ohio Controlling Board.  Any questions with respect to an existing loan agreement should be directed to the the Office of Loan Administration, Finance and Internal Services Division at (614) 466-5420.

InvestOhio is a new tool to infuse much needed capital into Ohio's small businesses, helping them create jobs. The nearly 900,000 small businesses in Ohio are one of the backbones of the state's economy. InvestOhio encourages investors to actively support these small businesses, sparking growth and improving Ohio's competitive position. The program, administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Taxation, is expected to generate at least $1 billion in new private investment in Ohio small businesses by 2013.

The Ohio Brownfield Fund is a collection of funding sources that can be used to help plan, assess, and remediate brownfields throughout the state. A brownfield is a piece of property whose redevelopment is complicated by the potential presence of environmental contaminants such as hazardous substances, asbestos, lead-based paint, and petroleum. Brownfield redevelopment allows a community to reclaim and improve its lands, making property viable for new development.

The Ohio Capital Access Program encourages lending to businesses creating or retaining jobs by establishing a unique credit enhancement reserve account at participating Capital Access Program lenders. The state, the lender, and the business each make a small contribution to the account. The reserve account is available to the lender for recovery of losses associated with any loan the lender has enrolled in the program.

The Ohio Coal Research and Development Program is administered by the Ohio Coal Development Office (OCDO) and provides funding for (i) research and development at educational and scientific institutions, and for (ii) demonstration projects. The program seeks projects that result in the maximum conversion or use of Ohio coal as a fuel or chemical feedstock in a cost-effective and environmentally acceptable manner. The aggregate principal amount of money borrowed, bonds and other obligations issued by the state for this program is not to exceed one hundred million dollars. Eligible applicants includes: municipal, rural, investor-owned utilities, non-profit, and for-profit entities doing business in Ohio or an education or scientific institution located in Ohio.

The Community Reinvestment Area program provides local real property tax incentives for residents and business that invest in designated areas of Ohio. The designated areas are created and administered by the municipality or county in which it is located, and the area must be formally confirmed by the director of Development Services Agency. Real property investors meeting the local criteria thresholds must apply to the municipality or county for the real property tax exemption.

This program is administred locally by a Community Reinvestment Area housing officer.

The Ohio Incumbent Workforce Voucher Program will reimburse employers for up to 50 percent of the eligible employee training costs, up to $4,000 per employee, after the employer pays the full cost of the training, and the employee successfully completes the training. The Program is designed to allow employers to retain and grow their existing Ohio workforce and create a statewide workforce that can meet the present and future demands in an ever changing economy.

The Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit Servicing site provides assistance to businesses that have previously been approved for a tax credit by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority.  This site provides information for companies on the (1) agreement process, (2) amendment process, and (3) annual report requirements and filings.

The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Incentive provides a refundable credit against the corporation franchise or income tax for motion pictures produced in Ohio. The term "motion picture" for purposes of the tax credit, is defined as entertainment content created in whole or in part within the State of Ohio for distribution or exhibition to the general public. Eligible productions must spend a minimum of $300,000 in the State of Ohio to qualify for the tax credit. The tax credit is equal to 25 percent of nonresident wage cast and crew and eligible production expenditures and 35 percent of Ohio resident cast and crew wage production expenditures.

The Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund servicing function of the Ohio Development Services Agency provides assistance to businesses that have been previously approved for a loan by the State of Ohio Controlling Board. Any questions with respect to an existing loan agreement should be directed to the Office of Loan Administration, Finance and Internal Services Division at (614) 466-5420.

The Ohio Enterprise Zone Program provides real property tax incentives for businesses that expand or locate in Ohio (and may provide personal property tax incentives for those qualifying businesses that continue to pay personal property tax). Municipalities or counties must apply to the director of Development Services Agency to have a zone certified in their jurisdiction. To secure tax incentives for qualified new real and/or personal property investment, non-retail business must apply to the local community prior to making the investment.

This program is administered at the local level by an Enterprise Zone manager.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Programprovides a 25 percent tax credit for the rehabilitation expenses to owners and lessees of historically significant buildings. A building is eligible if it is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places; contributes to a National Register Historic District, National Park Service Certified Historic District, or Certified Local Government historic district; or is listed as a local landmark by a Certified Local Government. The program is competitive and receives applications bi-annually in March and September.

The Ohio Minority Business Bonding Program provides bid, performance, and payment surety bonds to state certified minority-owned businesses that are unable to obtain bonding through standard surety companies.

The Ohio Minority Business Direct Loan Program provides fixed, low-interest rate loans to certified minority-owned businesses that are purchasing or improving fixed assets and creating or retaining jobs. The loans can be used to finance up to 40 percent of the project value and require participation by another lender.

The Ohio New Markets Tax Credit Program helps to finance business investments in low-income communities by providing investors with state tax credits in exchange for delivering below-market-rate investment options to Ohio businesses. Investors receive a 39% tax credit spread over seven years if they make an investment in a qualified low-income community business. Community Development Entities (CDEs) apply to the program for allocation authority, and work with investors to make qualified low-income community investments. The attractiveness of the tax credit helps to spark revitalization in communities of all types and sizes.

The Ohio Training Grant servicing function of the Ohio Development Services Agency provides assistance to businesses that have been previously awarded a grant by the State of Ohio. These services include: drafting grant agreements and any subsequent amendments, processing grant payment requests, reviewing annual reports, and providing technical support to existing grantees. Any questions with respect to an existing grant agreement should be directed to the Office of Strategic Business Investments, Grants Section, at (614) 466-2317.

The Ohio Vacant Facilities Fund provides grants to assist businesses in creating new jobs in vacant and underutilized commercial buildings and business parks. For-profit employers can receive a $500 grant for every new full-time position created in the vacant facility and lasting one year. Employers must occupy a building or business park that has been at least 75% vacant for at least twelve (12) months and increase employment at the facility. The new employees must increase the employer's base payroll at the time the vacant facility is occupied. Employers must employ at least fifty (50) employees or half of its Ohio employees at the facility.

The Ohio Workforce Guarantee Grant servicing function of the Ohio Development Services Agency provides assistance to businesses that have been previously awarded a grant by the State of Ohio. These services include: drafting grant agreements and any subsequent amendments, processing grant payment requests, reviewing annual reports, and providing technical support to existing grantees. Any questions with respect to an existing grant agreement should be directed to the Office of Strategic Business Investments, Grants Section, at (614) 466-2317.

New applications for this program are not being accepted.

The Regional 166 Direct Loan provides low interest loans for land and building acquisition, construction, expansion or renovation, and equipment purchases for eligible businesses. The program is administered by local economic development agencies. Eligible projects include those related to industry, commerce, and distribution or research activities.

The 166 Direct Loan servicing function of the Ohio Development Services Agency provides assistance to businesses that have been previously approved for a loan by the State of Ohio Controlling Board. Any questions with respect to an existing loan agreement should be directed to the Office of Loan Administration, Finance and Internal Services Division at (614) 466-5420.

Roadwork Development (629) funds are available for public roadway improvements, including engineering and design costs. Funds are available for projects primarily involving manufacturing, research and development, high technology, corporate headquarters, and distribution activity. Projects must typically create or retain jobs. Grants are usually provided to a local jurisdiction and require local participation.

The Research and Development Investment Loan Fund servicing function of the Ohio Development Services Agency provides assistance to businesses that have been previously approved for a loan by the State of Ohio Controlling Board. Any questions with respect to an existing loan agreement should be directed to the Office of Loan Administration, Finance and Internal Services Division at (614) 466-5420.

The Research and Development Investment Tax Credit provides a nonrefundable tax credit against the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) and is designed to encourage Ohio's corporations to invest in increased research and development activities.

The Research and Development Sales Tax Exemption provides an exemption from the usual state and county sales tax for companies that purchase equipment for research and development activities.

The Ohio Development Services Agency received more than $55 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury for the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to encourage lending to small businesses. The Ohio Development Services Agency administers the following state-run financing programs utilizing SSBCI funds to help finance small businesses and manufacturers that are creditworthy, but are not receiving the financing they need from the private sector to expand and create jobs.

The Ohio Development Services Agency is the recipient of federal funding through the annual State Energy Program(SEP) , which is formula-based funding provided by the United States Department of Energy. Each state is allocated grant funding to address energy priorities such as adopting emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. For more information on this federal program, please click here.

The Ohio Development Services Agency issues competitive solicitations that direct grant funding to education, outreach, technical assistance, and other services. The goals are to increase jobs, reduce energy use, and/or reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the increased adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies across Ohio.

When new bid opportunities are available, they will be posted here. Please check back often for updates on available State Energy Program opportunities.

The Targeted Investment Program (TIP) supports the growth and expansion of targeted small businesses within Ohio's manufacturing, technology, and logistics industries. TIP targets small businesses that have received first or second round equity funding and offers debt financing tailored to the specific needs of the company at or below market interest rates.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is an economic development mechanism available to local governments in Ohio to finance public infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation.  A TIF works by locking in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation was approved.  Payments derived from the increased assessed value of any improvement to real property beyond that amount are directed towards a separate fund to finance the construction of public infrastructure defined within the TIF legislation.

A TIF is created administered by the county, municipality or township where it is located.

The Technology Investment Tax Credit Program offers a variety of benefits to Ohio taxpayers who invest in small, research and development, and technology-oriented firms. Through this innovative program, Ohio investors may reduce their state taxes by 25 percent (or 30 percent- see FAQ) on the amount they invest in qualified, technology-based Ohio companies. Both the companies and their investor's must meet several requirements specified by Ohio law in order to be considered for the Technology Investment Tax Credit program.

Volume Cap is federally authorized and refers to the maximum amount of tax-exempt private activity bonds that can be issued annually in each state. Annually, each state receives an allocation of Volume Cap that is referred to as the state ceiling. This ceiling is based upon an IRS Inflation Adjustment and IRS Calendar Year Resident Population Estimates.

The Qualified Energy Project Tax Exemption promotes the deployment of alternative energy sources in Ohio by exempting the public utility tangible personal property tax and the real property tax for "energy facilities" in favor of an affordable, fixed annual payment in lieu of taxes for the life of the facility. Owners of large "energy facilities" must repair roadways damaged in the construction of the facility, train and equip emergency personnel, develop relationships with members of the university system of Ohio to promote education in alternative energy, and remain in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations.