There are almost 28 million small businesses in the U.S. and over 22 million are microbusinesses with no additional payroll or employees. These businesses are sources of local and personal pride in their communities. The U.S. Small Business Administration found that since 1995, 2 out of every 3 new jobs created have come from small businesses. They are indeed the backbone of the economy, but many microentrepreneurs lack access to traditional banking resources.
In 2013, OCDCA began administration of the Ohio Microbusiness Development Grant Program (OMBDP) via the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA). The OMBDP currently provides funding support on a competitive basis to 13 community development organizations to foster microbusiness development for low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs in the form of training, technical assistance, and loan fund development. Through this program, community development organizations strengthen the economic health of their communities by investing time and resources into these microbusinesses, which become community assets.
In 2015 alone, the OMBDP:
- Provided over 2,100 technical assistance consultations to microbusinesses
- Educated over 1,000 aspiring entrepreneurs
- Started or expanded over 200 businesses
- Created or retained almost 300 jobs in low-to-moderate income communities
OCDCA created the Ohio Microbusiness Recoverable Grant Fund to provide a sustainable pool of funding to these community development organizations, who can then use the funds to make loans to local microentrepreneurs in their community.
The Ohio Microbusiness Recoverable Grant Fund (RGF) is a statewide fund, from which OCDCA makes recoverable grants to sub-sites of OCDCA’s Microbusiness Development Grant Program, in order for the sub-site to then make loans to their low-to-moderate income microentrepreneur clients. Loan repayments are paid back to the subsite who repays OCDCA to replenish the grant fund, so that more grants for loans to microentrepreneurs can be made in the future.
We at Ohio CDC Association are eager to announce that the OMBDP Recoverable Grant Fund received a significant gift from Fifth Third Bank. As this program gets rolling, we are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Fifth Third Bank to bolster Ohio microbusiness development programs and low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs throughout the state.
Thank you, Fifth Third Bank!