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Lakes in Economic Distress Grant Program


Contact information

Jenny Spohr
Program Manager
Office of Strategic Business Investments

The Lakes in Economic Distress Grant Program was established to provide financial assistance to businesses or other entities that have been adversely impacted as a result of their economic dependence upon a lake that has been declared an area “under economic distress”.  The declaration of a lake as an area under economic distress is made by the Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The Buckeye Lake area became eligible on March 30, 2016.

This program is available to businesses and other entities that have limited access to capital and funding from conventional, private sources of funding.

For Whom

For businesses and other entities located in counties that encompass all or part of the declared lake’s area. The business or other entity must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to apply for the program:

  • Have been in continual operation for at least 24 months prior to the ODNR declaration date of a Distressed Lake and currently in operations or with firm plans to reopen in 2017;
  • Experience at least a 40 percent year-to-year reduction in gross revenue for a defined period; and
  • Evidence a direct link between the lake’s designation and their economic condition (i.e. their revenue is dependent on lake traffic/tourism).

In addition, the businesses and other entities must be in good standing with the Ohio Secretary of State and cannot be delinquent on any tax liabilities or in violation with any environmental laws and/or regulations to the state of Ohio.

Real estate and property rental companies are not eligible businesses under the program. Real estate and property rental companies include, but are not limited to, home property rentals and apartment complexes.

Eligible project costs include:

  • Working Capital
  • Marketing/Advertising
  • Market Research

Grant awards will be maximized at $10,000, with award levels based upon the calculated year-to-year loss in gross revenue.

How to Apply

Applicants for the grant program must use the online application for the program and submit it to ODSA electronically.

The application period will begin on January 26th and will close on March 31st.

Grant awards will be administered on a first come, first served basis and are contingent upon availability of funds.

If a business is approved for funding under the Lakes in Economic Distress Grant Program, it will not be eligible for funding under the Lakes in Economic Distress Loan Program (neither the Micro-Loan nor the Fixed-Asset financing).