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A women checks in a businessman at a hotel. Hotels can apply for a Lodging Grant in Ohio if they meet other criteria.
Ohio established four grant programs and allocated $155 million to help businesses that opened in 2020 that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bulk of the funds — $100 million — has been set aside for food and beverage businesses, while specific grants also exist for entertainment venues, lodging and new small businesses.

The programs, which began accepting applications June 29, 2021, is administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency and will award all grants on a first-come, first-served basis.

The state has indicated that funds are aimed at helping Ohio-owned small businesses, and three of four grants will determine amounts to recipients based on revenue losses in 2020. The fourth grant — the New Small Business Grant — requires that a business must have opened between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020 to be eligible.

Similar to the Paycheck Protection Program and state grant programs such as the one in New York, the funds are meant to help businesses cover the costs of hiring new people, retaining their employees. improving facilities and purchasing equipment.

The following is a summary of available grants:

Food and Beverage Establishment Grant

Food and drink operations such as bars, restaurants and even food trucks have an opportunity to get grants in three increments — $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 — based on loss of revenue in 2020. More than $100 million has been allocated to the program.

Entertainment Venue Grant

Venues for sports and music, as well as museums, theaters and any facility that provides entertainment will be eligible to apply for grants of $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000, with amounts based on revenue losses from 2020. A total of $20 million has been allocated to the program.

Lodging Grant

Similar to the Food and Beverage Grant, as well as the Entertainment Venue Grant, funding amounts for businesses that provide lodging such as hotels, motels and even bed and breakfast establishments will be determined by 2020 revenue losses. These operations can get grants for $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000. Total funding for the grant program is $25 million.

New Small Business Grant

Among the main qualifications for this grant, businesses must have opened between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020. The state set aside $10 million, and each grant will be $10,000.

What Businesses Need to Know

Each of the grants has its own requirements, such as documentation needed when applying, terms and conditions, and guidelines. For more information, as well as FAQs and to apply for a specific grant, check out the website

Although the funds are considered grants, businesses are required to keep records of all related expenses for which the funds are used for five years. Failure to do so may result in the businesses having to repay the grant.

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