Business Support

Business Support

UPDATED 5/25/2021

New Grant Programs Approved to Help Small Businesses

Governor Mike DeWine this week signed two bills from the Ohio General Assembly that include four new grant programs to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs are: 

Food and Beverage Establishment Grant: This program will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other food and drinking businesses. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’ loss of revenue in 2020.

Entertainment Venues Grant: This program will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to theaters, music venues, spectator sports venues, museums, and other entertainment venues. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’ loss of revenue in 2020.

Lodging Grant: This program will provide grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast operations. The amount of individual grants to eligible businesses will be determined by the business’ decline in occupancy rate in 2020.

New Small Business Grant: This program will provide grants of $10,000 to small businesses that were established after Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.

Details about the programs, including when applications will open, will be announced soon. Before the Development Services Agency launches the programs, more details will be posted under Investing in Ohio’s Future at BusinessHelp.Ohio.Gov. Each program will require applicants to have an OH|ID, and businesses that plan to apply can get an OH|ID now, if they don’t already have one. Register in OH|ID ( by creating an account with a username/password. Click on Create OH|ID Account to set up an account in OH|ID. For help with the process, click here.

Successful applicants also must register in the Ohio Supplier Portal in order to receive funds. That process can be completed after applicants are informed that their application has been preliminarily approved.

Here is a link to the second round of PPP

December 16th - 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Learn more about the latest Paycheck Protection Program guidance.

Did you receive PPP, EIDL or Community Grants?

Our experts will help you understand the accounting and recordkeeping impact of these programs. Our experts will dive into the following aspects of the Paycheck Protection Program:
• Forgiveness application options
• Forgiveness planning areas
• Recent developments
• Outstanding questions and gray areas
• How we can help

Please bring any questions you have and our speakers are happy to provide guidance regarding your individual situation. Speaker(s): Corrigan Krause | CPAs & Consultants Co-Sponsor(s): Lorain County Chamber of Commerce and Ohio SBDC at Lorain County Community College. Fee: No Cost


UPDATED 12/1/2020

Avon Lake Puts $100,000 into Small Business Grant Program - PROGRAM CLOSED

City of Avon Lake, in partnership with Lorain County Chamber of Commerce, launches Avon Lake COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant program, with $100,000 in grants available for Avon Lake small businesses. FOR DETAILS

UPDATED 11/1/2020

Grant Relief Application Opens Monday, November 2 at 10:00 AM

The resources and information available below are intended to support small businesses, bars and restaurants, and ease the burdens of Ohio families.

The Small Business Relief Grant is designed to assist Ohio businesses that have been harmed by the effects of COVID-19. The $125 million grant fund will provide relief to Ohio businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Funding for the program is from the CARES Act.

The Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund is designed to assist Ohio’s on-premise liquor permit holders. Governor Mike DeWine has designated $38.7 million of funding received by the State of Ohio from the federal CARES Act to provide $2,500 assistance payments to on-premise liquor permit holders to help them through the financial difficulties experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. These permit holders have not been able to fully use their liquor permit and it’s had an impact on their business.

The Home Relief Grant (working with local Community Action Agencies) will help eligible Ohioans who are behind on rent, mortgage, and water and/or sewer utility bills catch up on past payments back to April 1, 2020 and provide additional assistance through December 30, 2020. For more information click here or go to

UPDATED 10/5/2020

Lorain County Small Business Assistance Grant

The Lorain County Board of Commissioners established the Small Business Assistance Grant. The grant is intended to help small businesses throughout Lorain County who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Applications can be accessed starting on Friday, October 2, on the Lorain County government website: Deadline to apply is October 16, 2020.

UPDATED 6/23/2020 COVID-19 Impact Small Business Survey Results

The impact of COVID-19 on businesses and communities all over the world is significant. This survey was designed to assess the impact on employers in Lorain County. The goal is to provide a clearer picture of the local impact of COVID-19 and inform the rebuilding process in Lorain County. Review the results.

UPDATED 6/22/2020

The SBA Reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and EIDL Advance Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) this week reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts because of COVID-19

SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low-interest assistance for a small business or nonprofit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt, or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

EIDL loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75 percent.

To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.

In addition, small businesses and nonprofits may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000. The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.

For additional information, visit the SBA disaster assistance website at

Through June 6, 25,378 Ohio businesses have been approved for $1.7 million in loans. Additionally, nearly 73,000 Ohio businesses have received disaster loan advances totaling more than $252 million.

UPDATED 6/2/2020

Temporary Outdoor Dining

On June 1, 2020, the Avon Lake City Council approved an ordinance to allow Avon Lake restaurants and bars to temporarily expand outdoor dining areas. The City of Avon Lake is working in partnership with Ohio's Division of Liquor Control to ensure that the temporary dining areas permitted by the City, are also approved by the state for alcohol use. The permit is effective for a maximum of 180 days. There can be no structural improvements, such as fences, walls, or paving. The business owner is not allowed to install new lighting for the area, except for lighting on tables. Temporary outdoor areas must close by 10:00 p.m. Music - live or recorded - is prohibited in these spaces. The City's permit has language that give the people living closest to these areas recourse if noise becomes a nuisance.

Completed applications should be sent to Economic Development Director Ted Esborn at

Click Here for the 2020 Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit

UPDATED 6/3/2020

The Governor announced three new programs that could benefit SBDC Clients.

1). Minority Micro-enterprise Grant Program: Up to $10,000 for small minority and women owned businesses with 10 or fewer employees. To be eligible, businesses must have been certified as a Minority Business Enterprise or woman-owned EDGE-certified business as of Feb. 29, 2020; have 10 or fewer employees and up to $500,000 in annual revenue; and have not received funding under the federal CARES Act. Businesses Application 

2) Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program: Up to $500,000 for Ohio businesses to retool or reshore PPE Production. 20% of the available $20 million is set aside for manufacturers with less than 25 employees. Business Application

UPDATED 5/20/2020

We have created a way for Avon Lake job seekers to connect to Avon Lake employers. Businesses fill out a form that describes the work available. Available jobs are then sent to job seekers that have signed-up. Fill out this form to have your job opening included in the Jobs Posting Email. Avon Lake Businesses only. To sign-up to receive the emails, visit:

UPDATED 5/11/2020

Advance Ohio:
Since the start of pandemic, Advance Ohio journalists have brought the news and information of the day to our audience at a staggering pace. As they saw record number of readers on and The Plain Dealer, the realization grew of the gravity of this shared experience.

Our community needs our support now, more than ever. In response, Advance Ohio is pledging up to $10 Million in Grants to support the marketing, advertising, and branding needs of Ohio businesses.

The application process can take as little as 2 minutes and is completed by filling out a short survey questionnaire at this link. Once submitted, you’ll hear back in as little as 48 hours.

University Hospitals:
What employers need to know about COVID-19

Ohio Manufacturer’s Retooling and Repurposing:
Share and purchase personal protective equipment created through the ingenuity of Ohio manufactures who have answered the call to help.

UPDATED 5/4/2020

In these unprecedented times, please know that the SBDC team is still here to assist you. We are happy to present webinars and virtual meetings and teleconferences as a few ways to communicate and help you, our clients during this challenging time.

All workshops are FREE unless indicated.

The Freelance Economy: How to Make Money & Grow Your Business From Home - Webinar

Thursday, May 14, 8:00 p.m.

Ready to get control of your work life and increase your income? In this exciting webinar, you'll learn how to start and grow a freelance business using one of the online freelance sites, like Upwork or Fiverr. If you already own a small or mid-sized business, learn how to hire freelancers and use the sites as a lead gen tool to increase sales. Discover the state of freelancing in the US, who is freelancing, what freelancing sites to use, and the best ways to get started. Join the Freelance Economy and change the way you work!  

Webinar Link: TBA You will get a link 24 hours prior to the meeting. Please check SPAM.

Registration & Details

Make Smarter Decisions for Your Business and Avoid Blindspots: An Introduction to GrowthWheel - Webinar

Monday, May 18, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Entrepreneurs and business owners, are you challenged to keep up with the daily routines in your business, knowing you need to do more to focus on growth, but uncertain what to do? Do you need to get a 360° perspective on your business? GrowthWheel is a hands-on, action-oriented program designed to help entrepreneurs at all stages overcome their barriers to growth. Attendees will participate in a hands-on workshop introducing the GrowthWheel toolkit, and will get a sense of how empowering it can be to work with a Certified Growthwheel Advisor.  

Webinar Link: TBA You will get a link 24 hours prior to the meeting. Please check SPAM.

Registration & Details

Startup Academy - Webinar

Wednesday, May 20, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

We will be offering Startup Academy with a 3- week workshop taught by the SBDC advisors.Week 1: Business Planning - Week 2: Business Financials - Week 3: Marketing. The first workshop takes place May 20th, 27th & June 3rd from 10:00a-11:00a Virtually. There will be 2 tracks: Basics: classes, coaching, tools/resources - $49.00. Plus: classes, coaching, tools/resources & website = $49.00 + $399.00 for website and any other additional fees. Speak with an SBDC Advisor to sign up for the class most appropriate.

Webinar Link: TBA You will get a link 24 hours prior to the meeting. Please check SPAM.

Registration & Details

UPDATED 4/22/2020

SharedWork is a state program that allows employers to retain employees at reduced wages. For More Information

UPDATED 4/17/2020

The SBDC has three Zoom webinars coming up:

April 20th: Ready to Launch

April 24th: Increase Sales by Increasing Website Traffic

April 30th: Business Model Canvas

For Details

UPDATED 4/16/2020

New GRANT Just Announced! The Lorain County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program The Lorain County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program (the “Program”) is a grant fund that has been created in order to assist small businesses throughout Lorain County with the financial hardship imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally, the amount of the grant per business will range from $1,000 to a maximum of $2,500. Application will go live on Friday, 4-17-2020 at 8:00 a.m. Grants are limited so apply ASAP. Click this link to learn more.  Read CAREFULLY!

UPDATED 4/14/2020

There is a lot of information out there about the resources available to you during this crisis. Last week, Ohio opened its Office of Small Business Relief, it's website is simple and user-friendly.

UPDATED 4/3/2020

Paycheck Protection Program


UPDATED 4/2/2020

News Release from the SBA: With $349 Billion in Emergency Small Business Capital Cleared, SBA and Treasury Begin Unprecedented Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute Funds

WASHINGTON – Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin today announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need.

The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed.

“This unprecedented public-private partnership is going to assist small businesses with accessing capital quickly. Our goal is to position lenders as the single point-of-contact for small businesses – the application, loan processing, and disbursement of funds will all be administered at the community level,” said Administrator Carranza.

“Speed is the operative word; applications for the emergency capital can begin as early as this week, with lenders using their own systems and processes to make these loans. We remain committed to supporting our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses and their employees, so that they can continue to be the fuel for our nation’s economic engine.”

“This legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3rd so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day. The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses.”

The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.

The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Click here for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program.

  • The new loan program will be available retroactive from Feb. 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.

Loan Terms & Conditions

  • Eligible businesses: All businesses, including non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors, with 500 or fewer employees, or no greater than the number of employees set by the SBA as the size standard for certain industries
  • Maximum loan amount up to $10 million
  • Loan forgiveness if proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated business operating expenses in the 8 weeks following the date of loan origination (due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs)
  • All loans under this program will have the following identical features:

      Interest rate of 0.5%

      Maturity of 2 years

      First payment deferred for six months

      100% guarantee by SBA

      No collateral

      No personal guarantees

      No borrower or lender fees payable to SBA

SBA’s announcement comes on the heels of a series of steps taken by the Agency since the President’s Emergency Declaration to expeditiously provide capital to financially distressed businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since March 17, SBA has taken the following steps:

For more information go to the SBA's assistance to small businesses page.

UPDATED 4/1/2020 

$10,000 In Forgivable Loan Advance is Part of the SBA Program

Letter from the SBA: We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven. If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application. Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.

UPDATED 3/21/2020

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

UPDATED 3/21/2020

March 23, 2020, Monday 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Understanding the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program - THIS PROGRAM IS FULL - REPLAY is available on Facebook

March 19, 2020, News Release

SBA Disaster Assistance to Ohio - English   |    SBA Disaster Assistance to Ohio - Spanis

Fact Sheets

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Nine Resources to Help Businesses with COVID-19

Odds & Ends

A list of needed supplies that local manufacturers might be able to produce to help with the Covid-19 crisis.

Morning Mingle networking event has been cancelled.