Best Small Business Resource of 2021

ECDI's Inna Kinney and Steve Fireman at the wall breaking ceremony for their office renovations - Photo via ECDI's Facebook page

There’s a reason ECDI is consistently voted one of the Best Small Business Resources in Central Ohio.

A wide range of services support small business owners from varied backgrounds and industries. As a one-stop shop, ECDI provides training, expert advisors, networking, ongoing support, access to funding and more to emerging and established businesses.

ECDI also has targeted resources for entrepreneurs, supporting women-led businesses through its Women’s Business Center of Central Ohio and food-based enterprises through the Food For and Food Fort 2.0. (Shout out #9!)

During the pandemic, ECDI has been instrumental in helping local businesses through the PPP loan process.

In its 2020 Impact Report, ECDI shared its lending programs:

  • Distributed 709 loans totaling $18.7 million
  • Created or retained 2,234 jobs
  • Assisted 2,749 individuals

Through assistance and training resources, in the 2020 calendar Year ECDI provided 2,749 entrepreneurs with 19,050 hours of assistance.

ECDI’s COVID response impact from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 included distributing $16.9 million in loans and $1.6 million in grant funds to 644 small businesses and 2,863 entrepreneurs. Of those loan clients, 73% represented minority-owned businesses, with half being woman-owned.

The 2020 stats are just the tip of the iceberg for an organization that has been supporting under-served and small business owners since 2004.

For more information, visit

2. SocialVentures
3. Rev1 Ventures
4. Columbus Chamber of Commerce
5. 1400 FoodLab
6. Small Business Administration
7. Small Business Development Center
8. Columbus Idea Foundry
9. The Food Fort

Note: Our “Best of 2021″ lists are published as the results of our annual Reader Survey Poll.