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Grants Incentive

Municipal Small Business Initiative


Partnering with U.S. Small Business Administration and Cuyahoga County, this performance grant allows businesses to reduce their equity in a SBA funded project from the required 25% to 10%. The City provides a grant of 15% (of total project costs less working capital) which is funded half by the City and half by the County. The goal of this grant is to leverage financing to benefit small businesses in the creation of jobs and opportunities in the City of Cleveland.


The Applicant must be able to secure an SBA backed loan through a participating lender. The Applicant must also meet the City of Cleveland’s program requirements. Projects must create at least one permanent full-time job for every $35,000 in City funds.

Max Assistance

The recoverable grant awarded is up to 15% of total project costs but not greater than $50,000. Note: Total project costs must not include working capital expenses (rent/utilities/inventory).

Use of Proceeds

Property acquisition, new construction or renovation, acquisition of equipment, furniture and fixtures.  Working capital (inventory, payroll, utility payments) is not an eligible use.

Equity Requirement

Applicant must provide a minimum of 10% equity. 


City to have a UCC lien on business assets. Other collateral may be deemed necessary. Personal guarantee(s) are usually required.

Interest Rates 


Loan Terms

The City will track annually the job creation progress of the project for a term of up to three years upon project completion.  The Applicant must also execute a City Workforce Development Agreement—The Workforce Development Agreement is a free service provided by Ohio Means Jobs that works to match unemployed skilled workers with available positions.