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Sykes Approves Additional Funding for Minority- and Women-Owned Business Loans

February 1, 2024
Vernon Sykes News

This week, as a member of the Ohio Controlling Board, state Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) approved an additional $4 million for the Women’s Business Enterprise Loan Program and an additional $2.5 million for the Ohio Micro-Loan Program for certified minority- and women-owned business at the Ohio Department of Development.

"Minority- and women-owned businesses contribute immensely to our state’s economy and are vital pieces in the fabric of our communities," Sykes said. “I am heartened to see the Department of Development has responded to high levels of demand by making more funding available. This, like my legislation to strengthen loans to minority-owned businesses, will help ensure Ohio’s pro-business nature best supports all types of businesses.”

Last month, Senator Sykes and Senator Michele Reynolds (R-Canal Winchester) introduced Senate Bill 166 to allow the Department of Development’s Minority Business Direct Loan program to finance working capital expenses. This would resolve a long-standing obstacle limiting the growth of minority business enterprises (MBEs) across Ohio. 

The Women’s Business Enterprise Loan program provides loans (at or below-market rate) for up to $500,000 for certified women business enterprises (WBEs) across Ohio. Loaned funds can be used to finance permanent capital expenses, including real estate and equipment.

The Ohio Micro-Loan Program provides 0% interest loans to certified MBEs and WBEs who may have difficulties obtaining funding through other sources. Eligible businesses may receive up to $45,000 to finance permanent capital improvements.

Those interested in learning about these loan programs may contact Margaret Tabor at Margaret.Tabor@development.ohio.gov. For more information about the MBE and WBE certification process, click here.