Financial Resources For Northwest & West Central Ohio Entrepreneurs
Some counties, municipalities, non-profit organizations, and businesses provide loans to businesses. Goals for such programs include increasing employment, increasing the tax base, helping existing businesses to overcome challenges that impair continuation, and promoting community economic development and quality of life. They typically focus on specific types of businesses and specific types of needs within a well defined geographic area. They usually have a very limited amount of money available to loan and thus restrict how much can be loaned to any business and focus on applicants who can have the most positive impact on achieving community goals. Usually it is required that borrowers also obtain capital (debt and equity) from private sector sources. The source of money used in a loan program can influence how loans are to be used and make the recipient of such loans adhere to government regulations or other rules (e.g. prevailing wage, environmental, new hire income requirements, etc.). Loan repayment terms are usually flexible, interest rates are relatively low, and loan collateral requirements are usually flexible and subordinate to participating commercial lenders.
Each program has a different process for obtaining loan approval. Some require an application fee to make sure applicants are serious about completing the loan process. Some require a comprehensive business plan, some conduct strong due diligence to verify that they are likely be repaid, and some make loans primarily based on "gut feel" and do not have stringent information requirements. Some make loans that, if the borrower is successful, can be exceptionally beneficial to community economic development, but also have an exceptionally high possibility for failure. Most have a local group of people that must approve a loan. Programs vary by how much information provided by the applicant is shared with the group. In some programs applicant information is reviewed by a loan analyst or third party and only summary information along with recommendations is shared with the group to make sure confidential information does not become public. Sometimes loans must also be approved by the provider of money to the loan program. The decision process typically ranges from two to four weeks, but can take several months if approvals are also required from state or federal government officials.
Please click on the county name on the map at the home page to view sources of community assistance.