Ohio EPA Resource Guide for Businesses and Communities

(Shared by Kelly O’Bryant, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) provides several compliance, technical and financial assistance programs available to help Ohio communities and businesses with their environmental needs.  These services and relevant contact information are summarized in their “Resource Guide” which is available to view and download at:

http://epa.ohio.gov/Portals/29/documents/ocs/ResourceGuide.pdf

For questions about the guide, please contact Pejmaan Fallah at Pejmaan.Fallah@epa.ohio.gov or (614) 644-3666.

International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE)

(Shared by Kelly O’Bryant, Export Assistance Network Director, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

The International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) program helps small businesses increase exports and create jobs in Ohio’s economy. The program reimburses at a 50% rate, capped at $12,500 per eligible approved applicant.  The IMAGE program is funded, in part, through the Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). For more information about the IMAGE program, visit: www.image.development.ohio.gov.

Don’t delay, application deadline is April 1, 2018 and all eligible activities must be completed by September 29, 2018.

2016-2017 OCDC Seed Grants for New and Emerging Cooperatives is now available!

(Shared by Kimberly Roush, Program Assistant, Ohio Cooperative Development Center and Business Development Network, OSU South Centers)

The Ohio Cooperative Development Center (OCDC) at The Ohio State University South Centers is offering reimbursement seed grants to groups interested in exploring or growing a cooperative. Cooperatives are legal businesses that form when members of the group can do something better together than they can individually.

ocdc-seed-grant-pic-front-pgSeed Grants, up to $8,000 each, will be available to support projects for feasibility and formation activities as well as expansion or implementation activities.

Feasibility / Formation projects may include research and early planning, feasibility study, and formation services activities. Examples include legal and/or professional fees, focus groups, development of articles of incorporation, financial projections, and other work directed at exploring the feasibility and/or formation of a cooperative or cooperative-like business.

Implementation projects by existing cooperatives or member-controlled businesses may include projects to expand the cooperative into new markets and/or enterprises. Examples of eligible expenses include marketing and promotions, contract services, training and development, accounting systems, bylaw completion, and contractual document development.

Applicants should read the “Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds” section of this packet prior to completing the application.

The deadline to submit an application is Monday, December 12, 2016 by 4 p.m. All applications submitted prior to this date will be evaluated following the deadline.

Project activities may begin no earlier than Sunday, January 1, 2017, and must be completed prior to Friday, September 1, 2017. Proper documentation (paid receipts, paid invoices, copy of the work product, etc.) must be submitted to OCDC by 4 p.m. Monday, September 18, 2017 in order to receive reimbursement. Awardees must complete the project and provide proper documentation of the work completed and payment for this work in order to receive reimbursement. This is a reimbursement program and the project must be completed and proper documentation provided for reimbursement.

If your existing or emerging cooperative is interested in applying for this program, email Kimberly Roush at roush.143@osu.edu, call 740-289-2071 x232, or go to http://go.osu.edu/ocdcseedgrant_2016 to access the RFP.

The Ohio Cooperative Development Center is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and The Ohio State University South Centers.

State Funds Available to Help Ohio Businesses Market Internationally

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Director, SBDC Export Assistance Network, OSU South Centers)

screenhunter_827-oct-26-11-54The Ohio Development Services Agency’s (DSA) Export Assistance Office is now accepting applications for the Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) program. The grants are funded from a recent $750,000 grant the state received from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade Expansion Program that is to help increase Ohio exports and create jobs by helping Ohio small businesses sell their goods and services overseas.

“This program brings value to businesses in Ohio looking to export their products into international markets,” said David Goodman, DSA director, in a statement. “By offsetting high marketing costs, small businesses can reach international customers and grow their business and create jobs.”

IMAGE is a 50 percent reimbursement program designed to offset the high costs associated with international marketing initiatives, including trade shows and missions, marketing materials, website translation and export education programs.

The 2017 IMAGE program will run through September 29, 2017.

More information as well as applications is available online at http://www.image.development.ohio.gov/.

SOACDF offering opportunity for farmers in Southern Ohio

(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

The Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation (SOACDF) is again offering an opportunity for farmers in Southern Ohio.

The Young Farmer Agricultural Program is designed to facilitate growing an agricultural enterprise to the next level. The intent of the program is to help promote and ensure a strong future in southern Ohio agriculture. Eligible applicants must be ages 20 – 38 as of August 1, 2016 and must reside within the 22 counties the Foundation currently serves.

The Agricultural Development Program is open to any individual who resides within the 22 counties the Foundation currently serves that have either a Farm Service Agency (FSA) number on record or was a tobacco quota owners, quota owner/growers or grower/tenants of FSA records in any single crop year from 1997-2004.

SOACDF will award grants in both of programs of up to $25,000 each. The grants will be 50% cost shares with the awardees.

New this year is an Environmental/Water Quality Grant Program, which is open only to tobacco quota owners, quota owner/growers or grower/tenants of FSA records in any single crop year from 1997-2004. The maximum reimbursement is $10,000 and focuses on improvements made on farming operations such as stream crossings, containment systems, and manure storage facilities.

Applications, including a business plan, will be accepted for the programs throughout August. Applications are available at the SOACDF office in Hillsboro, the local Farm Service Agency or online at www.soacdf.net.

The Business Development Network is available to meet with applicants to review components of their applications and business plan. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Joy Bauman at 740-289-2071 Ext. 111. Please call to schedule an appointment before August 12.

ScreenHunter_781 Jul. 13 10.11

Export Assistance

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Director, SBDC Export Assistance Network, OSU South Centers)

top-export-2Companies today compete in a global market that is significantly larger than the United States market. With 95 percent of the world’s population living outside the United States, it is time for small companies to explore these potential customers and benefit from these lucrative global markets.

The Ohio Small Business Development Centers Export Assistance Network located at the OSU South Centers in Piketon, serves as southern Ohio’s first point of contact for export assistance to expand businesses, by connecting Ohio entrepreneurs and small businesses with new buyers and new international markets.

The Export Assistance Network staff will assist companies by providing no-cost, in-depth and confidential counseling, including:
• assessment of your company’s global readiness
• securing international market research and regulatory information
• development of an international business plan
• international transaction assistance
• networking with service providers
• introduction to federal and state government agencies that provide services, programs, and financial resources to companies seeking to export
• training events
• financial assistance (IMAGE/AEG grants)
• Export Internship Program

For more information regarding no-cost confidential export assistance from the Ohio State University South Centers Ohio Small Business Development Centers Export Assistance Network, contact: Kelly O’Bryant, Export Assistance Director, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, OH 45661, Phone: 740-289-2071 ext 235, Fax: 740-289-4591, or Email: obryant.6@osu.edu

Source: Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network

4-12-2016 Value-Added Grant Application Workshop

(Submitted by Christie Welch, Program Specialist, Direct Agricultural Marketing, OSU South Centers)

The Value Added Grant Application window will be announced soon. In anticipation of your Value Added Grant Application submission, workshops have been schedule to assist you. The final workshop is scheduled for:

April 12 at 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
USDA Rural Development Office
7868 C. R. 140, Suite D
Findlay, Ohio

You can find more information about the program here. Or email Debbie Rausch, Business Program Specialist, USDA Rural Development at Deborah.Rausch@oh.usda.gov to make sure there are enough materials for all who plan to participate.

3-29-2016 USDA VAPG Workshop

(Submitted by Hannah Scott, Manager, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

USDA Rural Development will be sharing information about the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program at the OSU South Centers on March 29th from 1-3p.m. The workshop will be in the Endeavor Center, Room 165 located at 1862 Shyville Rd., Piketon, Ohio 45661.

VAPG “helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products.” You can find more information about the program here.

Please share this information with producers who may want to learn more about VAPG!

ScreenHunter_687 Mar. 24 16.28
(Screenshot of USDA Programs website above.)

Upcoming Trade missions qualify for reimbursable IMAGE grant

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Director, International Trade Assistance Center, OSU South Centers)

The Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporter (IMAGE) has been renewed for 2015-2016. This program allows exhibition at a trade show or matchmaking and market visit at a 50% reimbursement. Below are applicable opportunities.

The Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) promotes export-focused trade missions for the purpose of growing Ohio exports and creating jobs.

earth-634815_1920 (2)Participating in a trade mission provides companies with an opportunity to travel overseas to meet with prospective international business partners face-to-face, greatly enhancing the potential for business success. Trade mission services typically include: business matchmaking, customized market research, in-country business briefings, networking opportunities, in-country support and follow-up assistance. IMAGE grants will help Ohio companies fund these trade efforts. Call Kelly O’Bryant at 740-289-2071 x235 or email obryant.6@osu.edu for more information.

Trade Mission to Germany and United Kingdom

The Council of Great Lakes Governors (CGLG) in partnership with the ODSA is leading a multi-sector Trade Mission to Germany and the United Kingdom. The goal of this mission is to assist small to medium-sized companies from the Great Lakes region to export products and services. Registration deadline: December 9, 2015. for more information on this mission, visit Germany and United Kingdom.

Trade Mission to China

The CGLG in partnership with the ODSA is leading a multi-sector Trade Mission to China This mission will be held May 7-14, 2016. For additional information, visit China.

If you apply for the IMAGE grant, these trade missions will qualify at reimbursable events. Call the International Trade Assistance Center, Kelly O’Bryant, at 740-289-2071 x235 or email obryant.6@osu.edu for more information on how IMAGE grants can be used.