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Cincinnati small business resources like tax credits, job training reimbursement, grants, and more are available today for your business.


Running a small business takes work. Thankfully, there are a variety of resources, reimbursements, and tax credits to help make growing and maintaining your business a little easier. Below are a few business-savvy resources and programs to take advantage of if you are a small business owner.

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Cincinnati Small Business Resources and Programs


Recruiting, screening, hiring, and training employees can be daunting for small businesses, especially those with limited resources. Fortunately, there are several programs and resources available to assist small businesses with these tasks:


OhioMeansJobs Job Posting Services

Employers can post positions, search resumes and find labor market information. Job postings can be made through a business services representative.
For more information: Fill out this form.


OhioMeansJobs Recruiting Services

The Employer Services Team will screen, assess and recruit candidates to meet your hiring needs. Employers are encouraged to use facilities to conduct on-site interviews of pre-screened candidates.
For more information: Call 513-946-7242


OhioMeansJobs On-the-Job Training Services

Employers will be reimbursed for training new employees. Employers will be reimbursed 50% of the trainee’s regular wages during the training period, not to exceed $5,000
Eligibility: The minimum wage and work schedule are $13 per hour, 32 hours per week
For more information: Contact Chuck Walters, Employer Services Manager, at 513-946-7242 or [email protected]


Tech Cred

Employers will be reimbursed to upskill current and future employees in today’s tech-infused economy. Employers who submit successful applications will be reimbursed up to $2,000 per credential when present or prospective employees complete eligible technology-focused credentials.
Eligibility: Any Ohio registered employer that employs Ohio resident W-2 employees is eligible to apply. Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to apply. View the credential list.
For more information: Check out the program guidelines.


SharedWork Ohio

This voluntary layoff aversion program allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during reduced business activity. The participating employee works reduced hours each week. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.
Eligibility: Be a for-profit business with less than $1M in 2022 gross annual revenue.
For more information: Check out the frequently asked questions.


Workplace Wellness Grant Program

Provides monetary assistance to employers wanting to start a wellness program to limit the cost of workers’ compensation claims by addressing health risk factors and improving the workforce’s health.
Eligibility: Employer cannot currently have a wellness plan or now owe money to the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation
For more information: View the program overview.



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Tax Credits for Job Creation


The City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio have several tax credit programs that aim to incentivize businesses to create jobs in the area and employ individuals who have faced significant barriers to employment.


Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

Provides a federal tax benefit for employers who hire workers of classified target groups, including veterans, vocational rehab participants, supplemental security income, food stamps, or individuals convicted of a felony.
Eligibility: View the complete list of targeted groups.
For more information: Email [email protected] with your company’s name, address, Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), and the names and email addresses of those employees authorized to enter information on your behalf. Once your request is processed, you will receive an email with your username and a link to create your password. Applications must be submitted to the online Ohio WOTC portal within 28 days of the start-to-work date to meet the timely filing criteria.


Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC)

A job creation tax credit for companies considering expanding or moving to Cincinnati increases their yearly profits by reducing tax obligations to the City.
Eligibility: The median wage for all a company’s employees must be above 200% of the minimum wage. A company must create at least 25 new permanent jobs or, in some cases, at least ten high-paying jobs.
For more information: Complete the application and submit it to the Department of Community & Economic Development with the required supporting documentation.



Related Article: Are you a prospective employee looking for resources? Check out these job assistance and workforce development programs.



Tax Credits and Funding for Buildings and Infrastructure


The state of Ohio and other organizations provide various tax credits and funding options to incentivize businesses to invest in historical buildings and become more energy efficient.


Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program

Provides a tax credit to leverage the private redevelopment of historic buildings.
Eligibility: Owners and long-term lessees of historically designated buildings who undertake a rehabilitation project may apply. Properties used as single-family residences or multi-family residential condominiums are not eligible.
For more information: Applications are received bi-annually in March and September. Applicants apply with Development and applicable historic rehabilitation documentation with the State Historic Preservation Office. All applicants must schedule a pre-application meeting with the State Historic Preservation Office before submission.


Ohio PACE Financing

Enables commercial property owners to finance up to 100% of energy efficiency improvements. Private capital providers provide financing at competitive rates with some repayment terms of up to 30 years.
Eligibility: PACE can pay for qualifying improvements for almost any type of property, including commercial, retail, industrial, nonprofit, and multi-family
For more information: Fill out the initial eligibility form.



Related Article: Submit your Black-owned small business to our database to increase your reach



Small and Minority Business Grants and Loan Programs


The state of Ohio recognizes the importance of minority-owned businesses and has established several grant and loan programs to support their growth and development.


Women’s Business Enterprise Loan Program

Stimulates the growth of existing women-owned businesses by providing loans at market rate or below market rate interest (currently up to 3%). The minimum loan amount is $45,000 up to a maximum of $500,000. The business must be located in Ohio.
Eligibility: Applicants must be WBE certified with MBDD as an Ohio Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE). Customers must demonstrate they have at least 51% women ownership or collective women’s ownership and women’s or women’s control of the business. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certification also is accepted.
For more information: Complete the preliminary eligibility information form. After submitting that, you will be contacted for an eligibility interview or referred to your area Minority Business Assistance Center for help with state certification.


Ohio Micro-Enterprise Loan Program

Provides fixed, low-interest rate loans to certified minority-owned businesses purchasing or improving fixed assets, creating new jobs for Ohioans.
Eligibility: Factors include the number of jobs created or retained, the participation of the business and a conventional lender in the project, and the demonstration that the state’s assistance is necessary for the project to go forward. The office also evaluates the company’s management capacity, the availability of working capital, and the overall ability of the company to repay its debt.
For more information: The first step is to complete the preliminary eligibility information form. After submitting that, you will be contacted for an eligibility interview or referred to your area Minority Business Assistance Center for help with state certification.


Small Business Administration (SBA) Backed Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps small businesses get funding by setting loan guidelines and reducing lender risk. These SBA-backed loans make it easier for small businesses to get their needed funding.
Eligibility: Lenders and loan programs have unique eligibility requirements. In general, eligibility is based on what a business does to receive its income, the character of its ownership, and where the business operates.
For more information: Use the Lender Match Tool.


Related Article: Get inspiration from the largest Black-owned businesses in Cincinnati


By taking advantage of these resources, small business owners can access the support and guidance they need for business growth. No matter your business needs, the resources in this article provide a valuable starting point for any small business owner looking to succeed with entrepreneurship in Cincinnati.


See if you qualify for these small business development programs today! Please let us know at The Voice of Black Cincinnati if we missed any Cincinnati small business resources.


Written by: Crystal Kendrick


The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.


Cincinnati small business resources photos provided by Adobe Stock

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Written by Crystal Kendrick

Crystal Kendrick is the publisher of The Voice of Black Cincinnati. With a vision to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans in the region, Crystal oversees all content creation and publication, ensuring each piece aligns with the outlet's mission to inform, engage, and inspire. A lifelong advocate for community engagement and empowerment, Crystal's leadership steers The Voice of Black Cincinnati toward being a pivotal platform to find community resources, local Black-owned businesses, culturally relevant events, jobs with equal opportunity employers and scholarship for higher education. Connect with Crystal on LinkedIn to explore her experiences and contributions to Cincinnati's media landscape.