Where Do I Start to Get an Ohio Business Loan?

 SBA 7(a) loan options in Ohio

If you own a small business in Ohio, you’re in good company. According to OhioChamber.com, there are close to 186,000 small businesses in the Buckeye State. They account for the vast majority of businesses in the state (98 percent) and employ nearly 2.1 million people. Most small businesses employ fewer than 20 people.

To keep that economic activity going, you’re going to need funding to start or expand your business. If you’re wondering where to start to get an Ohio business loan, here are some suggestions to help you.

Ohio Capital Access Program (OCAP)

The Ohio Capital Access Program was established in 2002 to help small business owners with fixed asset and working capital financing. This program works like a loan guarantee: when a new loan is approved under the program, the borrower and the lender contribute a certain percentage of the loan into a reserve fund. This money (three-six percent of the amount borrowed) is held in trust by the lender in case of default.

Once approved, you can use the loan proceeds for the following purposes:

  • Buying new or used equipment

  • Purchasing commercial real estate

  • Expanding or renovating commercial property

  • Working capital, inventory purchases or rolling stock

  • Refinancing another debt, franchise fees or start-up costs

Under OCAP, you would be able to borrow up to $250,000.00 for working capital financing and $350,000.00 for fixed asset financing. You don’t have to borrow a minimum amount under this program.

Economic & Community Development Institute

The Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI) focuses on investing in people. If you need funds to start or expand your business and want to borrow $500.00 to $350,000.00, this could be the right financing option for you.

The maximum term for ECDI loans is five years, and closing fees are five percent of the amount borrowed. If you’re interested in pursuing this option, you’ll need to attend required training and develop a business plan.

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US Small Business Administration MicroLoan Program

If you are looking to borrow a relatively small amount of money for your start-up or growing small business, consider applying for financing from the MicroLoan Program. You don’t apply to the Small Business Administration (SBA) directly for financing; instead, the SBA makes funds available to non-profit lenders at the community level.

These Microlender intermediaries lend the money to business owners in amounts up to $50,000.00, with the average amount being about $13,000.00. Decisions about eligibility are made at the local level, with each lender approving applicants’ credit and amount of collateral independently.

Ohio SBA Business Loan

Or, if you're looking for a slightly larger loan, you might want to consider the SBA 7(a) loan program. SBA 7(a) loans and other loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) don't provide funds to business owners directly. Instead, the SBA guarantees the funds in case of default, up to a certain limit. With this guarantee in place, an entrepreneur gets theses benefits:

  • Approved for requested funding

  • Lower down payment

  • Competitive interest rates and fees (similar to non-guaranteed loans)

Learn more: SBA 7(a) Loan Fact Sheet

Ohio SBA business loans are a good option for your business if you have tried to find loan funding and have exhausted other means of finding the money you need. When you aren’t able to put together a deal for conventional financing, an SBA 7(a) loan could still be a viable option.


To learn more about SBA loans in Ohio or to get a free quote, simply click the button below to get in touch with our partners at lendio!