City Opens Loan & Grant Programs to Businesses Citywide with 25 or Fewer Employees

Editor’s Note: As of Friday, August 28, the deadline for applications has been extended to Friday, September 11. According to the fund website, “This is will be the final extension, and thus represents the final closing date for the Fund under its current configuration. Anyone who completes an inquiry by 9/11 will have ample time to collaborate and submit a full application.”

Round one of the Columbus COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund, which was created to provide $5.5 million in loans and grants to small businesses through CARES Act funding, catered to businesses specifically in low- to moderate-income areas. For round two, the City has opened up eligibility to businesses citywide with fewer than 25 employees.

Three funding programs are available – Recovery Grants, Return Safely Grants for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and Pivot Loans.

Recovery Grants provide small businesses with fewer than 25 employees with up to $10,000 in grant money to sustain business operations.

Return Safely Grants for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provide small businesses with financial support to secure PPE and make necessary COVID-related safety improvements to re-open and operate their businesses safely. Grants of up to $5,000 are supported by a 1:1 match requirement.

Pivot Loans of up to $20,000 will provide small businesses with 25 employees or fewer with access to capital to help maintain business operations or create new jobs or make capital investments due to unexpected market growth.

Applications for all three programs are currently available and open through 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 29.

To apply, businesses must fill out a preliminary intake form and be matched with an Entrepreneur Support Organization which will assist in the application process. Businesses must collaborate with their ESO partner for their application to be considered. Businesses can apply for multiple programs.

Additional details on individual loan and grant programs and eligibility requirements can be found here.