Closing “Missing Middle” Financing with JobsOhio’s Growth Fund Loan Program

Small and mid-sized companies represent most of a community’s economic and workforce landscape and many of these companies are borne out of innovation of local entrepreneurs. While much attention is given to building a local entrepreneurial support system where new businesses can create innovative products or services and bring them to market, pivoting from a new start-up to a growth stage or mature company can come with challenges. Businesses must figure out how to scale their operations for long-term, stable growth and identify the tools needed to successfully expand.

The JobsOhio Growth Fund Loan Program provides capital for expansion projects to companies that have limited access to capital and funding from conventional, private sources of financing and is targeted towards companies that are in the growth, established or expansion stage, and that have generated revenues through a proven business plan. Companies should consider the JobsOhio Growth Fund Loan Program if they are looking at an expansion project that results in job creation, additional payroll, fixed-asset investment commitment, and enhances the company’s competitive position in the marketplace by demonstrating a return on the capital investment.

Available Funding & Eligible Project Guidelines

The JobsOhio Growth Fund Loan can finance allowable project costs with loan awards typically ranging in size from $500,000 to $5,000,000. For established and expansion stage companies, projects should typically receive more than half of their total financing from other private capital sources. For growth stage companies, JobsOhio may consider financing a higher portion of the project’s total investment. The program will consider projects by companies engaged in one of JobsOhio’s targeted industries and business functions. Ineligible projects include but are not limited to retail and other population driven businesses.

Job Creation

Like many economic development finance programs, the Growth Fund Loan requires the creation of jobs within a specified period of time, and JobsOhio may consider the amount of loan proceeds awarded based on a per job created. JobsOhio may also consider providing financing for eligible projects that improve operational efficiencies or production expansion, along with the retention of jobs.

Eligible Costs, Terms & Interest Rate

The JobsOhio Growth Fund focuses on fixed-asset investment by companies, including the following:

  • Land
  • Building (purchase, construction, or renovation)
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Capitalized costs directly related to a fixed-asset purchase
  • Software development

The JobsOhio Growth Fund Loan term is based upon the useful life of the allowable project costs/uses financed with a typical term for real estate of up to 15 years and a term for machinery and equipment up to 10 years.

Interest rates are fixed at the time of closing and are priced based on project risk and other project factors. The program does not impose a pre-payment penalty.

Equity, Security & Collateral

The program requires a 10% minimum borrower contribution/equity in the allowable project costs and uses, but it is important to note that the required contribution may be higher, depending on the company’s financial and operating position and the project’s characteristics.

The program typically requires a senior or shared-senior lien position on project uses financed with the JobsOhio Growth Fund Loan proceeds, however JobsOhio may consider a second mortgage and/or subordinate lien position on the project assets.

The program may require additional collateral or credit enhancements, including:

  • Personal guarantees from owners of the company
  • Corporate guarantees from related companies
  • Full or partial letter of credit
  • Life insurance on key business owners and/or managers
  • Other types of credit enhancement, if necessary

Disbursement of Loan Proceeds

The JobsOhio Growth Fund Loans are typically “take-out” financing of allowable project costs and uses that must be purchased with interim financing, with the JobsOhio Growth Fund Loan disbursing upon project completion. In limited circumstances, the JobsOhio Growth Fund may consider multiple draws on a reimbursement basis.

For more information on the JobsOhio Growth Fund Program and if it can help your community’s growing businesses, contact Jamie Beier Grant at (419) 707-0164 or