Access to Capital — The Columbus Minority Business Assistance Center

Many small business owners indicate that one major obstacle to entry or expansion of their small business is the availability of sufficient intermediate and long-term capital to support their working capital, and fixed assets requirements.

The Ohio Development Services Agency is an important partner in providing Minority Business Bonding and Direct Loan Guarantee Programs needed to provide our clients with the appropriate intermediate and long-term capital for their businesses.

The Minority Business Bonding Program provides bid, performance, and payment surety bonds to state certified minority-owned businesses that are unable to obtain bonding through standard surety companies.  To be eligible for this program, the project must be economically feasible; and the minority business must not have defaulted on a previous bond issued by the Ohio Development Services Agency.

The Ohio Minority Business Direct Loan Program provides fixed, low-interest rate loans to certified minority-owned businesses that are purchasing or improving fixed assets resulting in creating new jobs for Ohioans.

The Ohio Capital Access Program encourages financial institutions to lend to small businesses and nonprofits that may not meet conventional underwriting standards by establish a loan “guarantee” reserve account to recover losses from loans enrolled in the program.  Loan proceeds may be used for working capital lines of credit or the purchase or contribution of fixed assets such as non-residential buildings and equipment.

The Collateral Enhancement Program encourages private lenders to help finance creditworthy business that are having difficulty getting the money to expand and create jobs.  The program provides lending institutions with cash collateral deposits or fund allocations to back loans made to eligible small businesses.

In addition to these state resources, there are several other alternative funding sources worth exploring:

  • Kickstarter helps artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality.

  • ECDI, a statewide SBA lender, started in Columbus in 2004 before expanding to Cleveland in July 2012, and Akron in November 2014. ECDI also has Field Offices in Toledo.

  • GoFundMe is the world’s largest social fundraising platform, with over $3 billion raised since launching in 2010. With a community of more than 25 million donors, GoFundMe is changing the way the world gives.

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.

  • Kiva, an international non-profit, serves borrowers in more than 80 countries on five continents, with office around the world supplying loans for entrepreneurs.

  • Accion helps entrepreneurs with both capital and additional personalized services. They believe capital is just one tool you need to reach your goals, and strive to partner with clients every step of the way.

  • The Community Capital Development Corporation (CCDC) is one of Ohio’s most active certified development companies. Certified by the Small Business Administration, CCDC links borrowers with the best lending resources.

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