OTRCC Logo

How can I be sure my business is within the OTR / Pendleton boundary?

Over-the-Rhine
Pendleton

Who decides grant award recipients?

The OTR Chamber of Commerce has a Task Force made up of leaders & small business experts to review and evaluate applications and make a recommendation for grant awards.

If I've received other funding, am I still eligible to apply for a grant?

Yes. You will be asked to provide details on type of funding and how much you have received in the application. This includes federal and local funding.

I own multiple businesses, all within OTR. Can I apply for each of them?

We understand that some of you have multiple locations within OTR/Pendleton. You can apply for multiple businesses, however as funding is limited, your total request for all businesses cannot total more than $20,000. Please note: you will need to submit a separate grant application for each business and note in the application that you submitted an application for another business. For additional information or specific questions for this, please send an email to [email protected]

Do I need to be an OTR Chamber of Commerce member to apply for a grant?

No. While OTR Chamber membership does not preclude you from applying or receiving a grant, Chamber members (with membership in the year 2019 or a current member) will receive additional points in the evaluation by the Task Force. All grant recipients will be required to become an OTR Chamber member in the 2021 year.

If I receive the grant, how soon am I required to re-open my business?

Grantees are required to reopen within 90 days of their specific reopening date designated by the State of Ohio's Responsible Restart Program

Are there any restrictions on how I can use the grant?

Funds may be used for working capital to support the following expenses associated with re-opening and modifying their business, including: rehiring staff, paying rent or mortgage payments, utility expenses, liquor license renewal fees, ordering materials and supplies, property taxes, PPE for employees and inventory debt, and other expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business. Funds cannot be used to pay personal loans or past due taxes.

The requested financial documentation required with the application is extensive and typically of a confidential nature. Who will see these financial statements?

We certainly understand the sensitive nature concerning your small business financials, therefore partnered with OTR's own Cincinnati Development Fund to specifically conduct the financial review. We made the decision to partner with CDF as they have years of experience with high-quality management and high-impact lending. As a part of their core values, they practice strict confidentiality and integrity. Learn more about Cincinnati Development Fund here.

What is a business resumption / continuity plan? Are there any resources to assist in creating & refining one?

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a strategic plan that outlines businesses' prevention and recovery from major disruptions to the business. Typically, businesses establish a continuity plan for natural disasters, such as floods, arson, and terrorism.

However, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak presents businesses with many unforeseen challenges due to its rapid spreading and global reach. Therefore, more and more businesses are looking to improve their continuity plan to better prepare for the impact of COVID-19.

Every business should already have a business continuity plan in place. This plan should be a detailed plan-of-action that defines any and all risks that can affect the businesses' operations, customers, and employees.

A couple helpful resources we've come across:

Ella Frye, of ECDI (see profile below) is available to assist in your creation or strengthening of your business resumption plan.
She can be reached at: #513-608-6107
[email protected]

Who is the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)? How are you partnering with them?

Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit economic development organization headquartered in Columbus, Ohio with offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, and Canton; and field operations in Toledo. ECDI is a certified Community Development Corporation (CDC) and a U.S. Treasury-designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). ECDI's mission is to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change.

Beyond lending, ECDI programs include culturally and linguistically appropriate financial literacy and microenterprise training, one-on-one technical assistance, and access to markets through business incubation.

ECDI is the host of the SBA-funded Women's Business Center of Cincinnati, a space of learning and networking for entrepreneurs, offering coaching, business development classes, and co-working space with professional amenities. To date, the WBC has provided training and one-on-one counseling to more than 400 Cincinnati entrepreneurs. Learn more about ECDI here.

Our partnership means grantees will receive a one year subscription to ECDI's services, to equip each grantee with access to critical services. ECDI operates its Cincinnati office out of OTR's own Union Hall, managed and run by Ella Frye. Ella can be reached at: phone: 513-608-6107 & email: [email protected]

If I miss the deadline to apply for a grant, will there be future opportunities to apply for one?

No. At this time, this is the only round of grants we anticipate providing.

Why was my grant application declined?

While we try to give specific feedback to as many applications as possible, sometimes we are unable to provide a detailed reply. Please read all of the eligibility criteria; an application that has been declined usually fails to meet some of the required aspects.

How can I access my Certificate of Good Standing from the State of Ohio?

You can obtain your Certificate of Good Standing by visiting https://www.sos.state.oh.us/businesses/business-reports/ and going to "obtain certificate of good standing."