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The Small Business Resource Guide


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									The Small Business Resource Guide

                                                                                 John R. Kasich, Governor
                                                                                 James A. Leftwich, Director
                                                                                 Ohio Department of Development

        The State of Ohio is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Provider of ADA Services.
                                       Table of Contents

  This Small Business Resource Guide is designed to assist entrepreneurs interested in starting or expanding a
 business in the State of Ohio. This guide will provide a collection of information and resources necessary for the
                                          success of Ohio’s entrepreneurs.

                            Detailed information is current as of December 31, 2010.

Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS)                                                           Page 1
   - Minority Business Enterprise Certification(MBE)
   - Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity Certification (EDGE)
   - State Architect’s Office
   - Office of Real Estate and Planning
   - Agency Regulatory Ombudsperson
   - Ohio Business Gateway (OBG)

Ohio Department of Agriculture                                                                             Page 3
   - Ohio Proud
   - Ohio Treasure of State Ag-Link
   - Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund

Ohio Department of Aging                                                                                   Page 4
   - Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
   - Golden Buckeye Program

Ohio Attorney General                                                                                      Page 5
   - Employee Background Checks (WebCheck)

Ohio Department of Commerce                                                                                Page 5
   - Division of Real Estate and Professional License

Ohio Department of Development (ODOD)                                                                      Page 6
   - Ohio Energy Resources Division
         o Ohio Small Business Energy Saver

   -    Entrepreneurship & Small Business Division
           o Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
           o 1st Stop Business Connection
           o Small Business Directory
          o   Women’s Business Directory
          o   Small Business Advocate
          o   Small Business Register
          o   Ohio Business Lending Clearinghouse (Ohio BLC)

   -   Minority Business Enterprise Division
          o Jumpstart Launch 100 Initiative
          o Minority Business Assistance Centers (MBAC)
          o Minority Business Development Organizations (MBDO)
          o Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)
          o Office of Minority Business Financial Incentives
                  Ohio Capital Access Program (CAP)
                  Ohio Minority Direct Loan Program
                  Minority Business Bonding Program

   -   Technology and Innovation Division
          o Edison Technology Centers
          o Ohio Third Frontier
          o Ohio Venture Capital
          o Technology Investment Tax Credit
          o Entrepreneur Signature Program

Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC)                              Page 11

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)                         Page 12
   - The Office of Compliance Assistance & Pollution Prevention
   - Permit Assistance

Ohio Department of Insurance                                       Page 13

Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS)                Page 13
   - Office of Workforce Development
         o OhioMeansJobs.com
         o Workplace Safety

Ohio Secretary of State                                            Page 14
   - License & Registration

Ohio Department of Taxation                                        Page 14
   - Vendor Licenses Registration
   - Tax Filing
Ohio Department of Transportation                                                                              Page 15
   - Disadvantage Business Enterprise Program (DBE)

Ohio Treasurer of State                                                                                        Page 16
   - Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund (OEBF)
   - GrowNow

Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation                                                                           Page 17
   - Safety Consulting Services
   - Division of Safety & Hygiene
   - Ohio Safety Councils
   - Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP) grants
   - SafetyGRANT$ for Ohio employers

Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission                                                                         Page 18
   - Ohio Business Enterprise Program (BEPro)
   - Employer Services
   - Ohio Abilities

 Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Ohio SBDC program is also
   funded in part by the Ohio Department of Development. For more information, call 1-800-848-1300 ext. 6-2711 or visit

Minority Business Enterprise Certification (MBE)
 "Minority Business Enterprise" means a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or joint
venture of any kind that is owned and controlled by U. S. Citizens and residents of Ohio, who
are and have held themselves as members of the following socially and economically
disadvantaged groups: Blacks, American Indians, Hispanics and Asians.


Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity Certification (EDGE)
 An Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) participant must be a small socially and
economically disadvantaged business enterprise owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are
Ohio residents. EDGE establishes goals for state agencies, boards and commissions in awarding
contracts to certified EDGE eligible businesses. EDGE applies to procurements of supplies and
services, professional services, information technology services, construction and professional
design services.


State Architect’s Office
The State Architect’s Office (SAO) oversees the design and construction of facilities for state
agencies, boards, commissions and institutions of higher education.


Office of Real Estate and Planning
The Office of Real Estate and Planning serves as a full-service real estate office. The office
assists state agencies and universities with their real estate-related needs and audits the use of
state land and space. Its Planning and Design Unit offers space planning and interior design

Agency Regulatory Ombudsperson
The agency Regulatory Ombudsperson is a designated staff member who responds to concerns
raised by a business, entity or person regarding the implementation of a proposed rule. The
Ombudsperson is to act as a problem-solving liaison between the agency and those affected by
the rule. For the Department of Administrative Services, this may take the form of several
areas of policy: human resources for state employees, procurement, information technology,
collective bargaining or equal opportunity.

Ohio Business Gateway (OBG)
OBG Electronic Filing offers Ohio's businesses a time-and money-saving online filing and
payment system that helps simplify business' relationship with government agencies. We now
offer 51 services and transactions from 8 state agencies and more than 500 municipalities.
The Ohio Business Gateway is about making government accessible to you and your business by
helping you find the information and services you need to keep your business thriving in Ohio.

OBG’s goal is to help business owners complete transaction or find needed information as
efficiently as possible, so you can focus on what matters most: running and growing your

                         OHIO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Ohio Proud
Ohio Proud is the Ohio Department of Agriculture's marketing program that identifies and
promotes food and agricultural products that are made in Ohio and grown in Ohio. Agriculture
is Ohio's number one industry, contributing more than $98 billion to the state's economy. If you
are a consumer looking for products or a company who needs marketing assistance, Ohio Proud
can help!


Ohio Treasurer of State Ag-Link
The Department of Economic Development within the Ohio Treasury administers Ag-LINK. This
annual program provides an interest rate reduction on operating loans and lines of credit to
Ohio's farming community. Every year before the planting season, many farmers finance their
operating costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, and fuel. Much like the GrowNOW program for small
businesses, the Ohio Treasury places deposits with Ohio banks at below market rates when the
bank agrees to reduce the interest rate on a farmer's loan. By law, $125 million is allocated for
Ag-LINK annually.


Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund
The Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund provides loans to all eligible applicants statewide to assist
with the creation or expansion of agriculture ventures that focus on aquaculture, food
processing and bioenergy.

                               OHIO DEPARTMENT OF AGING

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a paid job training and work
experience program for low-income adults age 55 and older. Training is available in positions
such as receptionists, typists, secretarial assistants, nutrition aides, security guards,
maintenance workers, teachers' aides and more. Custom training programs and positions are
developed to meet the needs of participants and employers. SCSEP also allows eligible seniors
to contribute to their communities by performing valuable community service.
Participants train in nonprofit organizations, hospitals, schools, police stations, senior centers,
food banks, museums, nutrition programs and various governmental agencies. Participants
train 20 hours per week and are paid at least state or federal minimum wage. Schedules are
determined by the needs of the training site, but are typically four hours a day, five days a

Benefits vary, but may include job training, personal leave, physical exams, job-related
counseling, workers' compensation and job referral and placement


Golden Buckeye Program
Merchants of all types (e.g., restaurants, retail, auto care, medical and more) voluntarily offer
special savings or deals for older Ohioans who carry the Golden Buckeye card. Most
participating merchants display the Golden Buckeye logo on their door, in their window or at
the checkout. Businesses that honor the Golden Buckeye card receive no compensation from
the State of Ohio for their participation, and the savings they offer will vary. Some offer a
percentage off a total purchase, others offer special deals on certain products or services.
Please repay their kindness with your patronage (and save some money in the process).

                                OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL

Employee Background Checks
Many Ohio employers, both public and private, are required to perform background checks on
new hires and individuals obtaining professional licenses. The Attorney General's Office's
Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) completes such background checks by
comparing fingerprints received against a database of criminal fingerprints to determine if
there is a criminal record. All fingerprints must be submitted to BCI through WebCheck or card
scan unless exemption reasons are met.

To get a background check, contact a provider from this listing.

If you have questions, you may call BCI at (877) 224-0043.


                           OHIO DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Division of Real Estate & Professional License
The Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing is part of the Department of Commerce.
The Division is responsible for licensing Ohio's real estate brokers and salespeople, real estate
appraisers, and foreign real estate dealers and salespeople. The Division is also responsible for
the registration of cemeteries located in Ohio and the registration of real estate developments
located in other states but marketed in Ohio.


Ohio Energy Resources Division
   - Ohio Small Business Energy Saver
             Ohio Small Business Energy Saver is a free and easy tool for businesses spending
             less than $150,000 annually on energy to find ways to reduce energy waste.

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Division
   - Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
             The SBDCs are staffed with highly trained & certified business advisors who offer
             No-cost counseling to help with your specific business needs. The 41 centers
             across Ohio are in your local communities to guide you to the right resources and
             services to help your business grow and succeed. The SBDC business advisors are
             the experts to assist pre-venture, start-up, and existing businesses.


   -   1st Stop Business Connection
               The 1st Stop Business Connection, a program sponsored Ohio SBDC to provide
               FREE business start-up kits to guide you in registering your business in Ohio.


   -   Small Business Directory
              This directory is designed to provide business contact information, industry type
              and other links to websites that may benefit business owners. The directory is
              also designed to assist purchasing agents to identify potential vendors.


   -   Women’s Business Directory
            The Women’s Business directory is s key element of the women business
            resource programs. This online tool will help identify and locate women-owned
            firms throughout the State of Ohio. Once you are registered in the Directory of
            Ohio Women-Owned Businesses, you will also be automatically added to the
            Small Business Directory.

   -   Small Business Advocate
              The Small Business Advocate’s primary mission is to assist small businesses when
              they experience unreasonable or unfair state regulatory actions, such as
              investigations, excessive fines, penalties, threats, or other enforcement action by
              a state agency. The advocate will investigate the issue and work toward a
              mutually acceptable resolution, after all means of direct resolution by the small
              business owner have been attempted.


   -   Small Business Register
              The Small Business Register is a weekly online publication that informs the public
              of proposed changes in state agency rules and regulations that could affect the
              way Ohio's small business owners operate.

              Ohio's regulatory process should be built on the foundations of transparency,
              accountability and performance. Agencies should develop regulations in the full
              light of public scrutiny, and the public should have an opportunity to shape those
              regulations and to challenge any that are unfair, overly burdensome and
              ineffective. The Small Business Register lists the state agency proposing the rule,
              the rule number and the rule name.


   -   Ohio Business Lending Clearinghouse (OBLC)
              The Ohio Business Lending Clearinghouse is a free service for Ohio small
              businesses, designed to improve communication and access between Ohio’s
              businesses and Ohio’s lending community. Ohio business loan prospects will be
              able to easily invite no-obligation bank reviews of their profile from multiple
              banks who participate in the Ohio Business Lending Clearinghouse.


Minority Business Enterprise Division
   - Jumpstart Launch100 Initiative
              The JumpStart Launch100 Initiative is a collaborative statewide initiative to
              create a pipeline of 100 high potential minority and inner-city based businesses
              in Ohio over the next five years.

-   Minority Business Assistance Centers (MBAC)
           The Minority Business Assistance Centers provide a variety of business
           development services to new and existing business owners. Each MBAC is staffed
           with certified business counselors that assist minority entrepreneurs with loan
           and bond packaging services, management, technical, financial and contract
           procurement assistance. There are seven MBAC offices located throughout the
           state in the following cities: Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton,
           Portsmouth and Toledo.


-   Minority Business Development Organizations (MBDO)
           The objective of the Minority Business Development Organizations is to provide
           outreach and advocacy for the minority business community. In partnership
           with the Minority Business Enterprise Division and local chamber affiliates, the
           Minority Business Development Organizations identify and support eligible
           companies to accelerate Ohio’s long-term prosperity by focusing and leveraging
           resources to promote innovation, competitiveness, and self-sufficiency.

           The Minority Business Development Organizations strengthen the state’s
           minority business community and contribute to the economic viability of the
           State of Ohio by providing a Mentor- Protégé Program, management and
           technical assistance services, business development counseling, and access to
           financial and other resources to minority and disadvantaged business
           owners. These are just a few of the resources available to minority business
           owners through the Minority Business Development Organizations.


-   Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)
           The Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) helps Ohio's businesses
           sell goods and services to local, state and federal governments. The program is
           part of a nationwide network of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
           created and monitored by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

           The Procurement Technical Assistance Centers provide a variety of services that
           include marketing, one-on-one training, bid-matching services, product and
           procurement histories, military specifications, bid preparation assistance, help
           with information resources, and trade events where Ohio firms can meet
           government buyers. These services are provided at no cost to Ohio businesses.

   -   Office of Minority Financial Incentives
               Ohio Capital Access Program (CAP)
                   The Capital Access Program encourages state chartered financial
                      institutions to make loans to for profit or non-profit small businesses that
                      are having difficulty obtaining business loans through conventional
                      underwriting standards.


              Ohio Minority Direct Loan Program
                  The Ohio Minority Direct Loan Program provides direct loans for
                    businesses locating or expanding in Ohio that demonstrate they will
                    create new jobs for Ohio citizens.


              Minority Business Bonding Program
                  The Minority Business Bonding Program provides bid, performance and
                     payment bonds to state-certified minority businesses.


Technology and Innovation Division
   - Edison Technology Centers
             Ohio’s Edison Technology Centers foster the advancement of applied research
             and development with the long-term objective of increasing the competitiveness
             of existing companies within Ohio’s key industry sectors. The Edison Technology
             Centers provide a variety of product and process innovation and
             commercialization services that result in new product designs, enhanced
             productivity, and cost reduction measures for established and early-stage
             businesses. Ohio is home to research laboratories that find new, innovative ways
             for businesses to thrive, including TechSolve, the largest independent machining
             laboratory in the nation.

-   Ohio Third Frontier
          In targeted areas of technology, the Ohio Third Frontier is bringing about the
          growth of existing and emerging industry clusters by:
               Increasing the quantity of high-quality research that has commercial
                  relevance to Ohio companies
               Expanding access and availability of investment capital to create, grow,
                  and attract technology-based enterprises
               Growing and nurturing an increasingly experienced pool of
                  entrepreneurial management talent
               Addressing the technical needs of existing companies pursuing new
                  products and production processes
               Contributing to the expansion of a technologically proficient workforce


-   Ohio Venture Capital Authority
           The purpose of the Ohio Venture Capital Authority is to increase the amount of
           private investment capital for Ohio companies in the seed or early stage of
           business development. The Program seeks to drive entrepreneurial growth, job
           creation and economic prosperity in Ohio by creating a "fund of funds" portfolio
           of seed and early stage capital investments. The Program is overseen by the Ohio
           Venture Capital Authority (OVCA). The fund of funds, called The Ohio Capital
           Fund, is managed by Buckeye Venture Partners, LLC.


-   Technology Investment Tax Program
          The Technology Investment Tax Credit program offers a variety of benefits to
          Ohio taxpayers who invest in small, research and development, and technology-
          oriented firms. Through this innovative program, Ohio investors may reduce
          their state taxes by 25 percent of the amount they invest in qualified,
          technology-based Ohio companies. Both the companies and their investor's
          must meet several requirements specified by Ohio law in order to be considered
          for the Technology Investment Tax Credit program.

   -   Entrepreneur Signature Program
              The goal of the Entrepreneurial Signature Program (ESP) is to significantly
              increase the technology-based entrepreneurial commercialization outcomes
              throughout a defined geographical region and to focus the effort on strategic
              technology-based sectors that offer exceptional economic development
              prospects for the region. Each ESP represents a comprehensive, coordinated
              network of high-value services and assistance providers that is visible and easily
              accessible to technology-based entrepreneurs and small tech-based companies
              throughout its region. Each ESP provides an approach that tightly integrates
              sources of deal flow, entrepreneurial support, and capital to effectively grow the
              technology-based entrepreneurial commercialization outcomes throughout its



The Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC), a non-profit outreach center of Kent State
University, supports the development of businesses across Ohio and around the world by its
efforts that are proven to save jobs, create wealth, and grow the economy. The OEOC's work
rests on a simple philosophy: broader ownership of productive assets is a good thing for
employees, communities, and our country.
The OEOC provides technical assistance, training, & outreach to the business community in 4
major areas:

   -   To business owners looking to exit their business
   -   To owners interested in selling their business to their employees
   -   To employee groups, local governments, and community groups seeking to avoid
       business shutdowns and job loss in their communities; and
   -   To existing employee-owned companies, designed to help them be better employee-
       owned companies.


Office of Compliance Assistance & Pollution Prevention (OCAPP)
The Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention is a non-regulatory program that
provides information and resources to help small businesses comply with environmental
regulations. OCAPP also helps customers identify and implement pollution prevention
measures that can save money, increase business performance and benefit the environment.
Services of the office include a toll-free hotline, on-site compliance and P2 assessments (A P2
Assessment is an on-site survey of a company's operations to identify and evaluate
opportunities to reduce wastes and pollution), workshops/training, plain-English publications
library and assistance in completing permit application forms.


Permit Assistance
Ohio EPA’s mission is to protect the environment. However, we also recognize the challenges
we face as a state in attracting and retaining businesses to maintain a strong economy for
Ohio. To help meet both of these goals we strive for timely permit application reviews that
meet business timeframes whenever possible, while continuing our main mission of
protecting the environment.

                          OHIO DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
                                     614-644- 2658

The mission of the Ohio Department of Insurance is to provide consumer protection through
education and fair but vigilant regulation while promoting a stable and competitive
environment for insurers.

   -   Licenses



Office of Workforce Development (OWD)
    - OhioMeansJobs.com
              OhioMeansJobs.com is a window for employers to look for Ohio-based talent,
              post job opportunities, and integrate employment events into a single, cost free
              point of contact.


   -   Workplace Safety
             Staff conducts routine inspections of workplaces throughout the state. They
             provide information, ensure compliance with the labor laws, investigate
             complaints and consult with both employers and employees. The Bureau
             assists the public in understanding their rights and responsibilities under the
             wage and hour law, and pursues reported violations of the law. They also
             coordinate the activities of the field staff, standardize enforcement procedures
             and interpret the rules and regulations.

                                OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE

Business Services Division
   - License & Registrations
              The Business Services Division receives and approves articles of incorporation for
              Ohio corporations and grants licenses to in & out-of-state corporations seeking
              to do business in Ohio. Limited partnerships and limited liability companies also
              file with the secretary of state's office.

               The Corporations Section of the Business Services Division also approves
               amendments to filed documents, mergers; consolidations and dissolutions, and
               registers trademarks, trade names, service marks and fictitious names.


                            OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION

Vendor License Registration
Ohio law requires any person or business making retail sales of tangible personal property or
taxable services to register for the sales tax by obtaining a vendor’s license. The state offers
several different types of vendor's licenses, depending on the kind of business, and at least
three ways to obtain a license.


Online Tax Filing
The Ohio Department of Taxation offers resources for filing and paying business taxes online.


Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)
The Ohio Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Unified Certification Program (UCP) has
been developed in cooperation with the Federal Department of Transportation and municipal,
county, and state organizations to provide a centralized point of access for the distribution and
management of DBE related information. This Web site has been developed in cooperation
with the Federal Department of Transportation and municipal, county, and state organizations
to provide a centralized point of access for the distribution and management of DBE related

The intended audiences include, but are not limited, to the following.
   - Prospective Disadvantaged Businesses
   - Current Disadvantaged Businesses
   - Municipal, County, and State Government
   - General Contractors

                                OHIO TREASURER OF STATE

Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund (OEBF)
The Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund (OEBF) was created in 1988 in conjunction with the Ohio
Department of Development (ODOD) to provide a source of low-cost borrowing for Ohio
businesses. Since that time, OEBF has issued project bonds totaling over $500 million. These
funds can purchase land, buildings and equipment that will create and retain jobs and further
promote economic development throughout Ohio.


GrowNOW makes borrowing affordable for Ohio’s small businesses. GrowNOW enables
businesses to remain financially stable, hire additional employees or retain their workforce, and
become more productive.

In partnership with Ohio's state depository banks, The Ohio Treasury offers small business
owners a 3% interest rate reduction when they link their loans to creating or retaining jobs in
Ohio. Here’s how it works. When a business takes out a loan with an eligible bank, GrowNOW
can provide a 3% interest rate reduction on the loan. Essentially, the Treasury places a deposit
at the business' bank at a 3% interest rate reduction on the loan.


Safety Consulting Services
BWC maintains local customer service offices throughout the state to make it easier for Ohio
employers to take advantage of injury-prevention services. Specializing in safety, industrial
hygiene and ergonomics, our consultants will provide on-site services for your organization.


Division of Safety & Hygiene
The most valuable asset your organization has is its employees. By improving safety and
preventing incidents, you can protect your work force while reducing your workers'
compensation costs. If you are an employer participating in Ohio's exclusive workers'
compensation system, BWC's Division of Safety & Hygiene (DSH) can meet all your needs and at
no direct cost to you.


Ohio Safety Council List
   - Ohio Safety Council locations listed by regions.


Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP) grants
DFSP grants are available to assist employers who are implementing the DFSP at the Basic or
Advanced level. However, employers operating a comparable program are not eligible for DFSP
grant funding.


SafetyGRANT$ for Ohio employers
The purpose of the Safety Intervention Grant$ Program is to gather information about the
effectiveness of safety interventions so that BWC may share the results with Ohio employers.
The program is available to any Ohio state-fund or public employer who wishes to purchase
equipment to substantially reduce or eliminate injuries and illnesses associated with a
particular task or operation. The program is designed to work and partner with Ohio employers
to establish safety intervention best practices for accident and injury prevention.


Ohio Business Enterprise Program (BEPro)
The Ohio Business Enterprise Program (BEPro) enables Ohioans with disabilities to have careers
in food service management. Today, BEPro has more than 120 food service and vending
enterprises in Ohio. People who are legally blind manage cafeterias, convenient stores, snack
bars and vending machines in state, federal and county buildings. State universities, colleges
and interstate highway rest areas also boast BEPro businesses. As a BEPro manager you will be
the sole proprietor of a business. Your income will come from profits, not from wages or
payments by a state, federal or county government. The average yearly personal income of a
BEPro manager is $37,000. In Ohio, BEPro entrepreneurs employ more than 200 people; many
are people with disabilities. As a BEPro manager, you hire and supervise employees.


Employer Services & Support
RSC can develop the best candidates for your specific positions. RSC will provide qualified job
applicants, and evaluate and train prospective employees. Hiring through Employer Services is
good for Ohio - and good for your business.


Ohio Abilities
Ohio Abilities provides enhanced opportunities for Ohioans with most significant disabilities to
explore self-employment and microenterprise. Through the agreement, the Ohio Department
of Development’s (ODOD) Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) will provide funding
grants, self-employment and business counseling, marketing training and technical assistance
to Ohioans who receive services through RSC.


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