Revolving Loan Fund Programs–Low Interest GAP Financing

(Submitted by Brad Bapst, Director, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Need GAP funding? The Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) offers low interest GAP Financing through the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program.

For assistance with business planning in Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto, and Vinton counties, contact the Small Business Development Center at 740-289-2071.

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Resource: Small Business Start-Up Guide

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

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Market Assessment
Business Planning
Financing Your Business
Business Entities
Sole Proprietorship
S-Corporation and Sub-Corporation Taxes
Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
Name Registration
Name Availability
Choosing Professional Advisors
Health Department
Sales Tax Issues
Regular Vendor’s License
Transient Vendor’s License
Delivery Vendor’s License
Service Vendor’s License
Certificate of Exemption
Commercial Activity Tax
Employer’s Tax Responsibilities
Real Property Tax
Employee vs. Independent Contractor
Social Media
Incorporating Social Media into Your Small Business
Sources for Start-Up Business Assistance

SOACDF Grant Dollars Available

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

farmland-820038_1920 (2)It’s hard to believe it is the end of July already. July brings the return of the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation (SOACDF) funding programs. These programs are unique to Southern Ohio and bring a chance to diversify, expand and educate our individuals and operations.

The four programs, Agricultural Development, Young Farmer, Educational Assistance and Economic Development, each have different eligibility requirements and deadlines. The Agricultural Development, Young Farmer and Economic Development applications all require a business plan, which is where the OSU South Centers Business Development Network can help.

Our business counselors are available to meet with businesses and individuals to assist in the completion or review of the applications.

For more information about each of these programs, please log onto the SOACDF website:

To make an appointment, please call Joy at 740-289-2071 Ext. 111.

Energy Loan Fund Application Update

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

Ohio Development Services Agency pic for Energy loan post

The Ohio Development Services Agency will open a new round of funding for the Energy Loan Fund on July 15, 2015. The Fund provides financing for energy efficiency and advanced energy projects to Ohio businesses, manufacturers, non-profits, schools, colleges and universities, and public entities. A total of $11.25 million in funding is available for Fiscal Year 2016.

The Energy Loan Fund guidelines and application process have been updated for the new round of funding. Applicants are encouraged to thoroughly read the program guidelines before starting the application process. A few important updates:

• All applicants must submit a Letter of Intent. A prospective applicant cannot submit a formal application without having first submitted a Letter of Intent. Letters of Intent will be accepted only from July 15 – August 12, 2015 for this round of funding.
• Loan amounts will range between a minimum of $250,000 to a maximum of $1,250,000 for all applicants.
• All applicants must attend the Bidder’s Conference on August 26, 2015.

All applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent to the Ohio Development Services Agency by Wednesday, August 12, 2015. Once an applicant has submitted a Letter of Intent, they will receive instruction on how to complete a formal application.

A copy of the updated guidelines and information on the application process can be found here. Questions specific to applying for current round of funding should be sent to

Thank you for your interest in the Energy Loan Fund.

The State of Ohio is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Provider of ADA Services.

Business Plan Overview

(Submitted by Chris Smalley, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

2015 4-2 Business Plan Overview - C Smalley

A business plan is a roadmap to how your business operates; or if you are a start-up, how you envision it to operate. If you are seeking financing, it is generally required that you develop a business plan to some degree. To what extent your plan is developed is typically driven by the amount of financing you are requesting, coupled with your financial history and how the funds will be used.

A business plan usually consists of an Executive Summary, a Business Description, and the 3 M’s – Money, Marketing, and Management.

The Executive Summary is just that a brief overview summarizing the entire plan including the compelling reason the business will succeed. If you are seeking financing, the summary also includes how much is needed for what and from where.

The Business Description describes why the company exists and its relevance in the industry. It also discusses the products or services you will offer and what sector of the industry you will serve (are you in wholesale, retail, etc.).

The 3 M’s – the Money Section (or Financial Section) is typically coupled with a financial projections model showing the cash flow projections, profit and loss statement and descriptions of how each is achieved. It is best to not only show these numbers but also discuss how you arrived at them. To demonstrate your accuracy, utilize figures from industry standards or factual numbers from your current business or a like business. This Section is also where you will discuss details about the break-even and ratio analysis as well as where needed funds will be obtained. You will also need to include your personal financial statement; since in most cases, the business is not the only thing lenders look at and a personal guarantee is required for financing.

The 3 M’s – the Marketing Section can be a plan all on its own as the information supplied in this section is possibly the most important. You may have the best product or service in town but if not marketed properly that product or service doesn’t matter. You will want to answer questions like: Who is your target customer? What is your competitive advantage? What is your strategy on positioning your product or service? What marketing mediums will serve your business best? What kind of marketing budget are you planning? How will you gauge if the type of marketing you are doing is working? All of these are some very in depth questions that call for some detailed and well thought out answers.

The 3 M’s – the Management Section is also very important; however, it may come a little easier to most as this is the area that most business owners already have intact. Although, there still needs to be some leg work done in developing resumes that show the experience of owners and managers. This section should also include an organizational chart showing who is responsible for what and how the decision making process flows: How many employees are needed? What skills do they need to possess? How is risk managed? What professional support is needed?

A well put-together business plan can better your chances of securing funding at a financial institution as well as lead your business to success.

Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for more in depth assistance on developing a Business Plan.

Balancing Cash Flow

(Submitted by Brad Bapst, Director, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)


Maintaining a positive cash flow is critical to the daily operations of any small business. Many small businesses suffer from seasonal highs and lows in sales, thus leaving a void in their available cash assets. Many expenses still occur monthly, regardless of the volume of sales that generate revenue. The financial gap created by these low periods of sales is troubling for the business and its management.

A possible solution to solving this problem is securing a line of credit. A line of credit can be thought of as an open loan from which the business can draw funds as needed, and repay, with interest, as cash comes in. A line of credit can be in the form of a credit card which many financial institutions offer. It may also be in the form of a more formal loan from a local lending institution. Both of these forms may be quite functional depending on the business’ needs. Credit lines that are secured, or collateral based, usually have lower interest rates than those from credit cards. A line of credit is a type of loan that doesn’t give you one giant injection of funds the way a traditional loan does. Like a credit card, you draw on the credit when you need to pay for something that is financially out of reach. Unlike most credit cards, the interest rates on lines of credit are generally low, and the limits tend to be high.

Another difference from a traditional loan, a line of credit does not have a structured repayment schedule. In most cases, a monthly payment is required, typically the interest which has accrued on the outstanding balance for the month. The financial flexibility the line of credit offers makes it a very useful tool for business owners with good credit and assets in their business.