The Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund

The Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund offers grants for small businesses specifically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

$8 MM Fund to Support Columbus and Franklin County Small Businesses

The Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund will offer
$8 million dollars in grants to small businesses specifically impacted by COVID-19. These grants are intended to help those in underserved communities, minority-owned businesses, disadvantaged businesses, and veteran-owned businesses. The program’s purpose is to protect our small business economy and also ensure entrepreneurship can flourish and grow in our region.

This program seeks to provide relief to small businesses to help them:

  • Maintain operations as well as employees.
  • Maintain safe operating procedures.
  • Mitigate financial hardship due to loss of sales.
  • Seek out and also take advantage of business growth opportunities.
  • Provide funding to small businesses in order to hire and train new employees.
  • Provide funding in order to re-hire previously lost positions.
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The Columbus Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund will provide three types of grants to small businesses:

$5,000 Grant

Recovery Grants will be offered for self-employed, single entity, sole proprietors, or sole member limited liability companies with no W2 employees.

$10,000 Grant

Recovery Grants will be offered for small business owners who currently employ at least 1 full-time W2 employee, or full-time equivalent, in addition to the owner. Businesses that qualify for this $10,000 grant may also be eligible for the + Plus $10,000 Grant.

+ Plus $10,000 Grant

Business owners who qualify for the $10,000 Grant and can show employee loss due to the pandemic, may also qualify for the +Plus $10,000 Grant. This Job Restoration Grant will offer an additional $10,000 for re-hiring 1 full-time W2 employee.

Grant Eligibility

Required Documents

Application Process

01

First, review grant eligibility guidelines to see if your business qualifies. Businesses must meet all eligibility guidelines in order to qualify. From there, gather your required documents. Not all documents are required to apply.

02

Next, click the red “Apply Now” button in order to begin your grant application. Answer all required questions, upload your documents, and then click “Submit”

03

After submission, we will assign your application to an Entrepreneur Support Organization (ESO) who will assist you with the completion of your application. The ESO will also answer any eligibility, documentation or process questions.

04

Finally, once your application is complete, the Grant Review Committee will evaluate it. You will receive email notifications of application status as it proceeds through the funding process. Approved funds will be direct deposited.

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The Application has closed.

until the application OPENS.

Current Grant Application

Application Opens:    May 23, 2022, 9:00AM

Application Closes:   June 6, 2022, 11:59PM**

**Note – the application portal will close early if maximum capacity of 500 applications are received prior to closing date. Applications will reopen on date listed below.

Next Grant Application

Application Opens:   July 5, 2022, 9:00AM

Application Closes:  July 19, 2022, 11:59PM**

Ready to Apply?

Thank you for your interest in the Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund.

We have reached the maximum number of applications for Wave Two and have closed the application portal.  

The application portal will reopen for Wave Three on May 23rd at 9:00 am.  

It is encouraged that those interested in submitting applications in Wave Three please do so early.

Ready to Apply?

Click the button below to be redirected to the application

Translations of Grant Information

Managing Partners

Entrepreneur Support Organizations
(Application Partners)

Community Outreach Partners

Ready to Apply?

Thank you for your interest in the Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund.

We have reached the maximum number of applications for Wave Two and have closed the application portal.  

The application portal will reopen for Wave Three on May 23rd at 9:00 am.  

It is encouraged that those interested in submitting applications in Wave Three please do so early.

Ready to Apply?

Click the button below to be redirected to the application

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to apply for a grant, visit The Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund website, and review grant eligibility guidelines to see if you qualify. From there, click the red “APPLY NOW” button to begin your application. Next, answer all required questions in the application and then click “SUBMIT.” After submission, we will assign your application to an Entrepreneur Support Organization (ESO). The ESO will help you identify/upload the required documentation and also answer any questions you may have.

Complete all required questions (marked with an “*”) to the best of your ability, select one of the options indicating you need assistance, and then click “SUBMIT.” After submission, we will assign your application to an Entrepreneur Support Organization (ESO). The ESO will review your application and also contact you to provide assistance.
No, if you need assistance, complete all required questions to the best of your ability, select one of the options indicating you need assistance, and then click “SUBMIT.” After submission, we will assign your application to an Entrepreneur Support Organization (ESO). The ESO will review your application and also contact you to provide assistance.

No, in order to qualify, a 25% loss only needs to be identified in either 2020 or 2021. The loss is determined by comparing 2019 taxes to 2020 taxes OR 2020 taxes to 2021 taxes.

Preferred document file formats include .PDF, .DOC, .DOCX, .JPG, .PNG, & .GIF.

Limit 1GB per file.

As you progress through the application there will be areas where you can indicate you need assistance. Complete all required questions to the best of your ability, select one of the boxes that indicate you need assistance and then click “SUBMIT.” After submission, we will assign your application to an Entrepreneur Support Organization (ESO). The ESO will review your application and also contact you to provide assistance.
Approved applications will be awarded approximately six weeks after submission.
The combined pool of money available for this fund specifically is $8 million dollars, shared across all three grant options.
The fund will disperse grants in waves. The first wave will open Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Applications will be accepted, processed, and awarded within an approximate six week window. We anticipate conducting five waves ending September 30, 2022. However, the fund will only be available until all monies are expended.
Depending on the size of your business, you may qualify for either the $5000 grant OR $10,000 grant OR the $10,000 grant with an option to apply for an additional $10,000 for hiring one full-time employee and also maintaining them on payroll for four months. (Four-month employment period must be completed within 6 months of grant award in order to qualify for additional $10,000.)
The grant award is considered taxable income to you personally or to your business, specifically depending on your IRS tax filing status. You will receive a 1099 statement for the 2022 tax year. Please seek advice from your accountant in order to learn how to best declare this additional income.
In order to qualify for this grant, you must meet grant eligibility guidelines listed on The Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund website and below:
  • The business must be located within the City of Columbus or Franklin County
  • It cannot be identified as an ineligible business*
  • The business can have up to 25 full-time employees
  • The business must show at least a 25% loss in sales due to COVID-19
  • Business must have started on or before March 17, 2020
  • Business must be currently open and operating
  • For-profit businesses only
  • Owner must be at least 18 years old

To be eligible for this grant, you will need to show that your business experienced a 25% loss in sales/revenue due to Covid-19.
Chose ONE of the following ways to show your loss:
• 2020 taxes showing revenue 25% lower than your 2019 taxes
• 2021 taxes showing revenue 25% lower than 2020 taxes
• April 2020 bank statement shows 25% lower deposits from revenue than April 2019 bank statement*
• April 2021 bank statement** shows 25% lower deposits from revenue than April 2020 bank statement*
(* If there are deposits that are not sales revenue, your Application Partner will help you document this)
(** If you have not filed your 2021 taxes yet, a P&L statement can be substituted for the 2021 tax return only)

In order to qualify for this grant fund, you must have opened your business on or before March 17, 2020.

Businesses that are NOT eligible include:

  • Any business that does not meet the definition of a small business, based on SBA size standards. Visit https://www.sba.gov/document/support–table-size-standards to check your business. You can also check it with NACIS Code https://www.sba.gov/size-standards Verify if business exceeds $1 million in sales. *
  • Is based in a foreign country; with the exception of US affiliates or subdivisions of foreign companies, which can receive services as long as the combined company is still considered “small” under the size standards.
  • Is engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state, or local law or that can reasonably be determined to support or facilitate any activity that is illegal under federal, state, or local law.
  • Derives more than one-third of its gross annual revenue from legal gambling activities.
  • A sexually oriented business.
  • Is engaged in the sale, cultivation, or distribution of cannabis products excluding CBD.
  • Publicly traded businesses.
  • A governmental agency.
  • A club with exclusive membership.
  • Organizations engaged in political or lobbying activities.
  • A State liquor agency.
  • A financial institution that makes loans or issues credit to the public.
No, the grant fund is exclusively intended to support for-profit businesses.
For-profit businesses owned by non-profit organizations are eligible, as long as they meet all other requirements. However, you must make the application through the for-profit business and not the non-profit parent company.

If each business has been operating under separate EIN numbers and also meets grant eligibility guidelines, you may apply for a grant for each business.

Yes, business owners who received a grant from the Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund during the previous program may also apply if they meet the current fund’s eligibility guidelines.
Yes, grant options in this fund are available to business owners that have also previously received federal assistance.
No – the fund will only provide grants to businesses with no outstanding financial obligations with the City of Columbus.
Yes, businesses in a payment plan are eligible, as long as they are current on payments due. Additionally, proof of status will be required if approved. Businesses must also be current on debts owed to Franklin County.
Unpaid debt to Columbus is the only disqualifier for the City. The City of Columbus will not consider debts owed to the County, State or Federal government. Businesses must also be current on debt owed to Franklin County.
Businesses that have an open code violation will not be eligible. Additionally, businesses that have been referred to the city attorney’s office for non-compliance with the COVID-19 public health orders will not be eligible.
Our intention is to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 crisis. So if a business does not qualify for a grant from the fund, the business will be referred to the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Columbus State Community College for assistance (SBDCColumbus.com)
Yes, you can download PDF materials describing the fund as well as a copy of the application at The Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund website (here).
The Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund website is the central point of contact for all questions related to the fund. Review the website as well as this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list for answers to common questions. If you still have questions after review, you can email us columbusrecoverygrant@cscc.edu.
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Once your application has been completed and determined to be eligible, it is submitted to the Review Committee for consideration of funding, as funding is limited. This is not a guarantee of funds of any kind.

Please be advised: No applications are guaranteed funds of any kind. Not all eligible applications will be funded as there are limited funds available for each wave.

The +Plus $10,000 Job Restoration Grant is for businesses who qualify according to the grant guidelines for the $10,000 Grant, are approved for funding, and can also document a loss of employee positions due to Covid 19. After receiving the $10,000 Grant, the business must prove they hired one additional W2 Full-Time employee within two-months of receiving the initial award AND can provide documentation that they are still on the payroll as a FT employee, four months after hire date. The +Plus $10,000 Grant is not paid until after the employee has been hired and employed for the entire four-month period, all payroll documents are collected and employment status confirmed.
After the $10,000 Grant is distributed, applicants indicating interest in the +Plus $10,000 Job Recovery Grant will be contacted with further instructions

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Still have Questions?

Disclaimer: The Small Business Development Center of Ohio (SBDC) program is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC program is also funded in part by the Ohio Development of Development. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the Ohio SBDC at (614) 287-5294 or via email at sbdc@cscc.edu.