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Small Business Loans in Ohio (2021 Update)

There are nearly one million small businesses in the state of Ohio. Entrepreneurship is common in the state because of the high rate of company success. People are tired of working their typical nine to five shifts under the guidance of a boss and are starting their own businesses. Ohio is one of the most progressive states for new business owners, offering substantial growth potential. Taking out a loan is imperative for most people looking to start their own companies as it provides them with a large sum of cash to put towards business creation and expenditures.Small Business Loans in Ohio

Choosing to Take Out a Loan

Business loans are ideal for business owners who want to expand on their sales force. You might need the money from the loan to renovate your building or office, or you might use the cash to improve marketing and advertising within the company. Before taking out a loan, understand where the money will be spent. If you're taking out a loan because your company is failing, you need to have a clear goal for picking your business back up so that you don't lose your company while still having a loan to pay off.

The Application Process and Approval

Applying for a small business loan is different from typical personal loans you'll find in banks. Not all banks offer these loans, so you'll need to visit several lenders who work with business applicants. In order to qualify for a loan, you'll need to present business-related documentation to the lender. This includes items relating to sales, expenditures and losses. If your company is considered high-risk or niche, you could be denied the loan. The same applies to brand new businesses that are less than a year old. Lenders will calculate a business's liability factor before approving their application.

Approval for small business loans can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few months. Most company owners will have to wait an average of 45 days, or one and a half months, before they receive their cash. Once you've been approved and receive your money, loan repayment starts immediately and payments must be made on time to avoid late fees.


You'll receive a bill each month to pay a portion of your loan. The length of time it'll take to pay off the loan is dependent upon your contract's term length. The typical business loan takes roughly five years to pay in full. If your business should fail while paying off a business-specific loan, you will still be responsible for paying it back in full as an individual.

Banks in Ohio That Offer Small Business Loans

For your small business loan needs, here are the best banks to get them in Ohio:

The State Bank and Trust Company

Established in Defiance, Ohio in 1902, the State Bank and Trust Company offers a variety of small business loans for general and specific purposes.

Buckeye Community Bank

Buckeye Community Bank was founded in 1999 under the vision of servicing small- and medium-sized businesses as well as professionals in the locale. In 2013, it has granted around $71 million in small business loans to the local businesses.

First Federal Community Bank National Association

With more than a century of service under its belt, the First Federal Community Bank National Association has evolved with the times and has survived the worst economic disasters of the last century.

Fort Jennings State Bank

Headquartered in Fort Jennings, Ohio, Fort Jennings State Bank offers personal and commercial banking products and services to the public.

Park View Federal Savings Bank

Park View Federal Savings Bank is based in Solon, Ohio. In just a year, it has awarded small businesses in the community with loans totaling $207 million.

Merchants National Bank

Founded in 1879, Merchants National Bank aids small businesses with purpose-specific loans that can help you in building your business or with expanding it.

Top Cities in Ohio and Their Lenders

Ohio is the northernmost Midwestern state in the country. The northern region of the state lies on the Great Lakes. Like much of the Midwest, Ohio has its roots in agriculture and manufacturing. Recent trends in the American economy have resulted in Ohio having to change its economic structure – its economy is now much more diversified than it used to be. There are a number of large cities in the state that are perfect for small business owners looking to hit the ground running.

In this section of our article, we’ll take a look at each of these cities to get a better idea of which one is right for your small business. We’ll also provide lender recommendations to anyone who is looking to finance their new small business in Ohio. 

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus has the broadest economy in the Ohio region. As the largest city in the state, it has an economy that provides services to the rest of the state. Banking, healthcare, trade, and retail are amongst the biggest industries in the state. It’s a great place to start a new small business. Below are our favorite small business lenders in Columbus, Ohio:

First Service Federal Credit Union

First Service Federal Credit Union is one of the most affordable business lenders in the Columbus region. They provide their customers with some of the best interest rates available in the region, but you’ll have to be a member of their credit union. They provide term loans, as well as business lines of credit.

Columbus First Bank

Columbus First Bank is a great lender if you’re looking for a local partner that has a deep understanding of the local economy. They also provide full-service banking services to their clients if you’re looking for additional financial help.

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland is most likely the most famous city in the state of Ohio. It plays home to the Cleveland Cavaliers and several other professional sports franchises. It’s also a great place to start a new small business. If you’re thinking of starting a business in Cleveland, consider the lenders outlined below:


ECDI is the perfect partner if you need a small business loan in Cleveland. The only downside is that they have a maximum loan amount of $350,000. If you need a lot of money, you may have to look elsewhere.

Growth Capital Corp

If you’re looking for different types of SBA loans then the Growth Capital Corp will be your best option. They provide most of the SBA loans in the city, they’re one of the largest SBA lenders in the state. They have the expertise to help you walk through what can often be an extremely complicated process.
Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati plays home to a number of large corporations, including one of the world’s most famous companies – Proctor and Gamble. The city is particularly friendly to small business owners. Below is our top lender for the Cincinnati, Ohio region:

Cincinnati Federal

Cincinnati Federal is a credit union in the city of Cincinnati that provides some of the best interest rates in the region. Their loans are great for people who are looking to save some money when they start a new business.

Toledo, Ohio

Toledo is the manufacturing capital of the Ohio region – the automotive industry plays a major role in the city economy. Below is our top pick for Toledo based lenders if you’re thinking of starting a new business in the city:


ECDI has been mentioned previously in this article, but they also have a presence in the Toledo area. They have a local office you can use to speak with a commercial lending specialists – they’re a great partner if you want the benefit of local experience.

Akron, Ohio

Akron is another manufacturing hub in the Ohio region. The city is famous for its famed rubber industries and companies. It’s also playing an increasingly large role in the bio-technology sector. Our top lender in the area is provided below:

Towpath Credit Union

Towpath Credit Union is a regional credit union with a presence in Akron, Ohio. They specialize in business lending which allows them to ensure they provide the best possible commercial loans to their clients. They also offer pre-approval to certain clients to make the entire process much easier.

Dayton, Ohio

Dayton is one of the largest exporting regions in the state. For such a small city, the area is extremely powerful economically. A number of aviation and manufacturing companies are registered in the area. Our top business lender in Dayton is provided below:

1st National Bank

1st National Bank is a mid-sized, national lender that has a large presence in Dayton. They have local offices you can use to speak with a local commercial lending expert. They have the strength of a large lender, which can help certain business owners who need large, flexible funding.


Remember, some of these companies or banks are very specialized and may only handle SBA loans or a business line of credit. Ask them about any special programs for minorities or women. Also ask for information about business grants for minorities or for startups if that interest you. If you bad credit don't worry as there still may be other alternative lenders willing to work with you.