S.B. 213 to create new loan program

S.B. 213 to create new loan program

S.B. 213 calls for the creation of a Small Business Microloan Revolving program which would give small businesses up to $2 million per fiscal year with interest rates at or below current market rates. This program would make it easier for businesses to fulfill capitalization requirements and could be used to invest in a larger workforce and improved goods and services.

Minority-Owned businesses have long played an instrumental role in the development of both state and national workforces and economies. In 2016, the top 50 minority businesses in Ohio earned $1.88 billion and employed roughly 2,000 individuals from across the region.  Despite the significant contributions made by hard-working business owners, minority entrepreneurs are still subject to disparities. While African Americans own 9.5% of small businesses in America, they account for only 1.3% of sales and 1.7% of employment.

S.B. 213 may help address this disparity by easing financial stress and increasing business opportunities for both aspiring and current business owners. The bill is sponsored by state Senator Joseph Schiavoni and supported by multiple members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, including Senators Charleta Tavares, Sandra Williams, Emilia Sykes, Edna Brown, and Cecil Thomas.

Additionally, S.B. 213 would allow small businesses to enter into or bid for a contract with the state, political subdivisions, or instrumentalities of either without a bonding requirement. The value of the first contract may not exceed $25,000 and the contractor must participate in and complete a contractor assistance program. This stipulation is especially beneficial for new and young companies that may be deterred from government contracts by the cost of performance bonds.

Current Ohio Law allows businesses to be given tax credits if it meets payroll, FTE, and expenditure minimums. These minimum requirements are unrealistic for average small business in Ohio to obtain. S.B. 213 seeks to expand these tax credits to smaller business by eliminating employee, expenditure, and payroll minimums. Tax credits of up to $2,500 will also credited to companies that choose to employ unemployed and disabled veterans. Provisions such as these continue to ease financial difficulties for Ohio businesses while expanding Ohio’s workforce, ultimately leading to increased efficiency and profitability for one’s company.

Currently, S.B. 213 is being reviewed by the Senate Finance Committee. The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus encourages you to call members of this committee to stress how this bill is important to you and why these provisions are necessary to help grow small business in Ohio. Your input is necessary if minority-business owners are to be addressed, heard, and served at the Statehouse.

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus seeks to promote, foster, and sponsor education, civic, and political activities that enrich and improve African American communities across the state of Ohio through the efforts of its members. To find out more about the caucus and its members, visit ohiolegislativeblackcaucus.org.

Published in OhioMBE – August 1, 2018 – pdf