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


Up to $9600 in tax credits for hiring hard-to-employ persons

50% reimbursement for wages of employees for on-the-job training programs

Training dollars for current employees

Funds and resources to retain workers during your slow season

Scholarships for PMP, Six Sigma and programming certifications


Cincinnati Employer Resources

Running a small business is not easy, but OhioMeansJobs, State of Ohio and Department of Labor offer a variety of resources, reimbursements and tax credits to help make growing 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 looking to hire employees.


Related to Cincinnati Small Business Resources: Add your business to The Voice of Black Cincinnati Database of Black-owned Businesses 


Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC):

WOTC offers 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. Some tax credits can save employers up to $9600. View the full list of targeted groups and maximum credits awarded based on the target group.

Several simple steps are required to apply. It is also recommended that you contact your accountant and payroll provider for additional information, but don’t wait. Applications must be submitted within 28 days of the start-to-work date to be considered timely!

For more information, contact the Office of Workforce Development via telephone at 614-644-0966 or via email at [email protected].


OhioMeansJobs On-the-Job Training Program:

Employers can take advantage of employee services, including pre-screening, training and development, recruitment, human resource planning, and management support.

The On-the-Job Training Program helps employers hire and train job seekers for long-term employment. The OhioMeansJobs Center/Cincinnati-Hamilton County helps with recruitment and provides a 50% Reimbursement of a trainee’s gross wages up to $5,000. The minimum hourly rate of pay of $13 per hour, 32 hours per week, and the maximum length of training is 1,040 hours.

The job seeker must be assessed and found eligible and suitable by OhioMeansJobs before being hired. Typical qualifications include unemployed or underemployed adults with an identified barrier to employment including veterans, vocational rehab participants, supplemental security income, food stamps or returning formerly incarcerated individuals or those convicted of a felony.

For more information, employers in Cincinnati and Hamilton County should contact Richelle Richardson at 513-946-7217. Ohio employers outside of Hamilton County must visit OhioMeansJobs Center to identify the appropriate center for assistance.

SWORWIB and New Horizon Scholarship Partnership:

Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board (SWORWIB) in partnership with New Horizons Computer Learning Center offers scholarships to individuals interested in completing the following certifications or training:

For introductory workers:

  • Business Administration Associate Program
  • Medical Office Administration Program
  • Security IT Associate program

These programs are designed for inexperienced workers or recent adult graduate diploma individuals, Veterans, recent high school graduates, or college students who may or may not have graduated and need full employment.

For experienced workers:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification
  • Six Sigma Certification
  • Certified Information System Security Professional

These programs are specialty skills for more experienced workers with a technical application on the job and who need a “freshening up” in their skillset. Anyone can enroll in the program or apply for a scholarship. Grantors are looking at a variety of individuals who do not qualify for public resources or already have a source for which they could cover the costs themselves or be determined eligible for public funding. Be sure to contact New Horizons once your application has been submitted and register to complete the Wonderlic assessment.

For more information and to apply, click on the program overview and scholarship application.


Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program:

This employer-driven program provides direct financial assistance to train workers and improve the economic competitiveness of Ohio’s employers. The program is designed to offset a portion of the employer’s costs to upgrade the skills of its incumbent workforce and will provide reimbursement to eligible employers for specific training costs accrued during training.

Eligible employers must demonstrate that, by receiving funding assistance through the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program, their business will not only obtain a skilled workforce but will improve their company processes and competitiveness.

For more information or to be added to the notification list when the new program year applications are available, contact Shannon Vanderpool, Ohio Development Services Agency – Office of Strategic Business Investments, at 614-644-8560 or [email protected].  


OhioMeansJobs Employer Services:

Cincinnati-Hamilton County OhioMeansJobs and Ohio Dept. of Jobs & Family Services customize employment services plans for local employers at no cost. The following services are always available:

Post your open positions via and their distribution list of over 200 recipient organizations as well as host, advertise and staff hiring events at OhioMeansJobs/Cincinnati-Hamilton County or the employer for full-time employment opportunities paying at least $13 per hour. For more information, contact Rosemary Peterson at 513-946-7252 or [email protected]

Provides customized resume matches and phone screening of candidates who have been laid off due to no fault of their own. For more information, contact Leah Winkler at 513-312-2584 or [email protected]

Note: OhioMeansJobs is more likely to invest funds in full-time employment opportunities with wages above $13 per hour that is also supported by City, County, or State economic development efforts.


Ohio Apprenticeship Program:

Businesses that want to more formalize and standardize their on-the-job training initiatives may want to consider the Ohio Registered Apprenticeship Program. Employers can combine on-the-job training (OJT) and related instruction (RI) under program standards that are provided in part with an institution of higher learning, approved by the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council staff office (OSAC) and complies with the requirements of the Ohio Administrative Code.

Resources, funding and certifications are available for this type of endeavor. For more information, contact Darryl Gaither, ApprenticeOhio-Office of Workforce Development, at 513-946-7213 or [email protected]v.


SharedWork Ohio:

This voluntary layoff aversion program allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, the participating employer reduces affected employees’ hours uniformly. The participating employee works the reduced hours each week, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.  

The SharedWork Ohio program eliminates expenses associated with recruiting and training, allows employees to retain any existing benefits and prevents employees from being permanently laid off. To qualify, Ohio must have at least two affected employees that do not work on a seasonal, temporary or intermittent basis.

For more information or to apply for a SharedWork Ohio plan, complete the following steps:

  • Go to
  • Log in to your OJI Employer benefits account
  • From the Main Menu, under SharedWork Ohio (SWO), select View/Manage SWO Plans


Related to Cincinnati Small Business Resources: Check our more than 30 resources for small businesses in the Cincinnati Area



Cincinnati Employer Resources

No matter how many years you’ve been in business, saving as well as business operations are essential. The cost-effective measures that you choose to take now will help your bottom line later. If we missed any programs, please let us know at The Voice of Black Cincinnati.



Cincinnati small business resources photos provided by Adobe Stock

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans in the region. Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Facebook or text VOBC to 513-270-3880 for local news, events, job postings, scholarships and a database of local Black-owned businesses.

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Written by Crystal Kendrick

President of The Voice of Your Customer and founder of The Voice of Black Cincinnati.

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