Ohio Covid-19 Relief Grants for Small Businesses

Governor Mike DeWine, under the administration of the Ohio Development Services Agency, has designated $125 million of grant funding to be used to provide relief for small business which have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each eligible business will be awarded a $10,000 grant. Applications begin November 2, 2020, which are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Below are the eligibility requirements to qualify for the grant:


Part 1: Eligible Businesses

A business as defined in these Terms and Conditions that meets all of the following criteria may receive funding from the SBRG:

  • The applicant business is a for-profit entity (corporation, LLC, partnership, joint venture, sole proprietor).
  • The applicant business is an employer firm with at least 1 and no more than 25 Ohio employees paid via W2 wages as of 1/1/2020, determined either by a headcount or full-time equivalent employee calculation.
    • NOTE: A headcount calculation should include both part-time and full-time employees. A full-time equivalent calculation equals the total hours compensated for all W2 employees in calendar year 2019 divided by 2,080.
  • The applicant business has a physical location in Ohio and earns at least 90% of annual revenue from activities based in Ohio.
  • The applicant business has been in continuous operation since January 1, 2020, except for interruptions required by COVID-19 public health orders, and has the ability to continue operations as a going concern, taking into account a potential program grant;
  • The applicant business has experienced revenue loss or incurred unplanned costs substantially caused by COVID-19 and a grant is necessary to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19.
  • The applicant business is in good standing with the Ohio Secretary of State, the Ohio Department of Taxation, and any other governmental entity charged with regulating the business.
  • If applicable, the applicant business has fully utilized any other government support received (including both grants and loans) by the applicant business for business expenses incurred due to COVID-19 or that can be utilized for business expenses incurred due to COVID-19.

Part 2: Ineligible Businesses

A business as defined in these Terms and Conditions that falls within one or more of the following categories is ineligible to receive funding from the SBRG:

  • The applicant business is a non-profit entity;
  • The applicant business is publicly traded;
  • The applicant business is operated by a governmental agency or entity;
  • The applicant business is a club, as defined in section 4301.01 of the Revised Code;
  • The applicant business is primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities or political issue advocacy;
  • The applicant business operates as a sexually oriented business as that term is defined in Section 2907.40 of the Ohio Revised Code;
  • The applicant business engages in conduct regulated by the state casino control commission or operates Video Lottery Terminals as that term is defined in Section 3770.21 of the Revised Code;
  • A majority legal interest in the applicant business is owned by individuals who are under the age of eighteen.
  • The applicant business is a hospital, ambulatory surgical center, private school or long-term care center;
  • The applicant business is primarily engaged in the sale, cultivation or distribution of cannabis products;
  • The applicant business is primarily engaged in the sale or distribution of liquor, not including restaurants or bars;
  • The applicant business primarily sells tobacco products, cigarettes, electronic smoking devices, or vapor products as those terms are defined in Section 2927.02 of the Revised Code;
  • The applicant business is a utility provider;
  • The applicant business is a financial institution that makes loans or issues credit to the public, including, but not limited to, banks, credit unions, payday lenders, or any other similar business;
  • The applicant business has not and will not, during the period beginning October 26, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, receive another grant under the SBRG.


Part 1: Eligible Costs

SBRG funds can be used to reimburse eligible businesses for the following COVID-related expenses incurred between March 22, 2020 and the date the application was submitted relating to their Ohio business location(s) as long as the costs do not violate State or Federal law and are not otherwise specified as “ineligible costs”:

  • Personal protective equipment to protect employees, customers, or clients from COVID-19.
  • Measures taken to protect employees, customers, or clients from COVID-19.
  • Mortgage or rent payments for business premises (personal residences explicitly excluded).
  • Utility payments (excludes utilities for personal residences and cellular phones not used primarily for business purposes).
  • Salaries, wages, or compensation paid to contractors or employees, including an employer’s share of health insurance costs.
  • Business supplies or equipment.

Part 2: Ineligible Costs

SBRG funds may not be used for the following expenses:

  • Costs for non-COVID related expenses.
  • Costs incurred for federal, state, or local tax obligations.
  • Costs incurred for non-business purposes.
  • Costs incurred for political purposes.
  • Costs incurred for which the business has or will receive reimbursement from another source, including any other government loan or grant program and insurance proceeds.


Businesses who receive funds from the SBRG shall keep records of all specific expenses for which the funds were used for a period of five (5) years from the final expenditure of received funds. These records shall include but not be limited to paid invoices, cancelled checks, payroll records and other documentation acquired when the permissible expense occurred.

Upon request, the business shall provide access to these records to the State of Ohio, its agencies, agents, directors, and/or any party who has contracted with the State for the exclusive purposes of evaluating or ensuring compliance with CARES Act or SBRG requirements.

At their own expense, the business shall prepare photocopies of all of requested records to the State or any of the aforementioned parties upon written request of the State within a reasonable time of the request.

Failure to abide by the requirement may result in a demand for the business to repay SBRG funds to the State of Ohio within thirty days of a written request for repayment.