Schaffer Applauds Reformed Rules For State Assistance To Buckeye Lake Area Businesses
Announces Application Window for Next Round of Funding
January 26, 2017
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COLUMBUS— State Representative Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) today applauded the Ohio Development Services Agency for reforming rules for area businesses that are looking to qualify for state loans and grants due to distress from construction on the Buckeye Lake Dam. The changes will make it easier for these small businesses to comply with qualifications for the program.

He also announced that the application period for grants begins on January 26 and extends until March 31. Loan applications will continue to be accepted after that date on a rolling basis as long as funds are available.

The $1 million in funding originated from a state budget amendment authored by Schaffer in 2015 designed to stimulate economic activity in the area. Original rules for the first round of funding issued by the Development Services Agency (DSA) made it difficult for some businesses to qualify, most notably a requirement that the business show a 40% revenue loss in 2015 when compared to 2014.

The following changes are designed to make funding available for more businesses:

• Applicants may now use any two years of revenue to show eligibility. For example, 2014-2015, 2015-2016 or 2014 and 2016. Effectively, the loss can now be accounted for over a longer period of time (ex: 30% from 2014-2015 and 10% from 2015 to 2016).
• Businesses no longer in operation may apply if they had been in business for two years prior to the “distressed lake” designation (March 30, 2016) and if they intend to re-open. Previously, only businesses in continuous operation were eligible.
• Campgrounds, hotels, and motels are now eligible.
• To determine eligible expenses, businesses can now look back to the date of the “distressed lake” designation (March 30, 2016), rather than the application date.

“This is a beginning step in the right direction,” said Schaffer. “I am grateful that DSA has listened to the small business community so we can make sure that this funding does what we intended—helping local small businesses.”

Businesses can apply for grants to compensate for up to 50 percent of their loss to a maximum of $10,000.

Additionally, there are two types of loans being offered. “Micro-loans” will provide loans up to $5,000 to cover working capital for day-to-day operation of the business. “Fixed-asset loans” will provide loans to assist in the financing costs of improvements to real property, machinery or equipment for use in the business. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to: building renovations, equipment, furniture or fixtures purchases, dock storage or construction, and signage improvements. Fixed-asset loans may be up to $20,000 each or 90% of the project cost, whichever is less.

Businesses can access more information and the applications by visiting and clicking on “Lakes in Economic Distress Programs”.


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