Small Business Grant Program

City Council has authorized the use of up to $300,000 from its federal CARES Act funds to offer Hilliard small businesses grants of up to $5,000 to pay for expenses related to COVID-19.

The Hilliard Small Business Recover Program will be managed in partnership with Hilliard Development Corporation. The grants can cover up to 75 percent of COVID-related expenses, not to exceed $5,000.

“Many Hilliard small businesses were negatively affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. This is the latest effort by the City and HDC to support those local small businesses and support the local economy during this challenging time,” said David Meadows, Director of Economic Development.

Grant Process | Application  | W9 Form

About the Program

The Hilliard Development Corporation (HDC), will provide reimbursement grants for expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. Only small businesses within the corporate limits of the City of Hilliard are eligible to apply.

To qualify for funding, small businesses must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a for-profit business;
  • Must not be part of a national chain unless the business is owned by a franchisee with two or less locations in the City of Hilliard;
  • Must have been in operation prior to March 1, 2020;
  • Must have fewer than 20 full-time equivalent W-2 employees (a full-time equivalent employee is equal to 2,080 works hours per year);
    • Businesses with no employees other than the owner, are allowed to apply, but it must be the primary source of income for the owner;
  • Must not be permanently closed and must intend to continue its business operations following the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Must be current on all municipal income tax obligations, and property tax obligations and without any outstanding City Code violations;
  • Must be open to all without regard to sex, gender, age, race, or national origin are eligible
  • The business shall not be one of the following:
    • Any pass-through entities or real estate holding companies.
    • Any business owned or controlled by a City of Hilliard employee, elected official, or an immediate family member of a City of Hilliard employee or elected official.

Grants are available to cover up to 75% of the total eligible project costs, not to exceed $5,000 per business. Grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is depleted.

IRS guidance indicates that grant funds derived from the CARES Act are included in gross income. The City of Hilliard and Hilliard Development Corporation do not provide tax advice and have no responsibility for any tax liability or other tax-related consequence of an applicant’s acceptance of grant funds.

  • Temporary signage for the purpose of advertising services available during the public health crisis. To be eligible, the sign must comply with the City Manager’s March 17, 2020, order regarding enforcement of Chapter 1129 of the Hilliard Codified Ordinances and must otherwise comply with applicable sections of the Codified Ordinances that were not expressly modified. Below is a general list of the eligible signage:
    • Window signs and graphics
    • Sandwich board signs
    • Banners
    • Yard signs
  • Capital costs associated with altering operational spaces to accommodate new social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Capital costs of temporary installations (such as a pop-up patio), and/or rental equipment or furniture to furnish new spaces.
  • Eligible capital expenses may include physical improvements that will allow local businesses to meet new health and safety requirements due to the COVID-19 crisis including new permanent outdoor eating areas, equipment, etc.
  • Personal protective equipment for use during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Rebate recipient labor
  • Signage funded through the Hilliard Development Corporation’s Sign Rebate Program
  • Costs covered by insurance
  • Severance pay
  • Costs being reimbursed by any other federal, state, or local program

Grants must be used for eligible expenses directly related to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, and the grant funds must be applied toward their operations within the City of Hilliard corporation limits. The applicant shall comply with all state and federal orders in response to COVID-19, applicable provisions of the Hilliard Codified Ordinances and the Ohio Building Code. Businesses or individuals cited for violating a state or federal COVID-19 order are ineligible. A conviction of a criminal offense is not necessary for a business or individual to be considered as violating the state or federal COVID-19 order.

Applicants have 30 days from the HDC award e-mail response to submit for reimbursement. HDC will notify the applicant its approval or denial.

Step 1: Grant Application

The applicant must submit the application by e-mail to HDC will notify the applicant by e-mail of its approval or disapproval.

Step 2: Applicant completes eligible improvements or purchases

Step 3: Reimbursement

Applicants must submit the following information within 30 days of the HDC application notice by e-mail to

  • Eligible third-party receipts or invoices that match the project description and final budget; and
  • Completed W-9.

HDC will review the receipts and invoices and mail the rebate check.