City Announces Grant Program to Support Small Businesses in Downtown & Short North

Photo by Susan Post

The Capital Crossroads and Discovery Special Improvement Districts and Short North Alliance will manage and distribute $2 million in CARES Grant funding to support small businesses in their respective neighborhoods.

The funding will be split evenly between the two neighborhoods and distributed in $10,000 grants awarded on a rolling basis as applications are submitted.

“We have heard from small business owners in the Downtown and Short North areas who have shared the critical need they have for the survival of their businesses,” said Columbus City Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy. “With these grants, we have the opportunity to protect jobs and the success of small businesses in the core of our city.”

To be eligible businesses must:

  • Be located in either the Downtown District or Short North area as indicated on the map below
  • Have 25 employees or fewer
  • Claim a loss of 25% or more due to COVID-19
  • Be locally owned, headquartered or franchised or Ohio-based
  • Intend to continue operating as permitted

Non-profits and business that have already received funding from the City of Columbus Small Business Financial Assistance Program and/or the Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund are not eligible.

The funding comes as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the state, creating new guidance. Ohio is currently under a 21-day statewide curfew from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. and Columbus and Franklin county under a stay at home advisory through at least December 18.

“This funding could not be more needed by our small business community in the Short North Arts District,” said Betsy Pandora, executive director of the Short North Alliance. “With COVID-19 restrictions tightening again as we approach the holiday season, which is typically the busiest time of year for our businesses, it is essential that we find ways to support our local establishments to see them through these unrelenting and continuously challenging times.”

Applications open on Tuesday, December 1 at 10 a.m. and will remain open through Thursday, December 3 at 5 p.m. It is recommended that businesses apply as early as possible. Businesses can access the application link via or

For additional information on eligibility requirements and application prompts, visit or