ODA Accepting Proposals

ODA Accepting Proposals

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio, Feb. 23, 2022 – The Ohio Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. To qualify, the grants must be used to support projects that raise awareness about and increase demand for specialty crops grown in Ohio. Eligible specialty crops include both fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. 

Successful grant applications should explain how projects will improve specialty crop production through marketing and promotions, research and development, expanding availability and access to specialty crops, or addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers. Projects that demonstrate profit potential for growers and that could boost employment opportunities in the specialty crop industry are prioritized.

Ohio’s food and agricultural non-profit organizations, associations or commodity groups, universities, and research institutions are eligible to apply. Private individuals and businesses are not eligible for this grant and applications for projects that directly benefit a particular product or generate a profit for a single organization, institution, or individual will not be awarded.

Grant funding is provided by the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service. The deadline for online grant proposal submissions is Friday, March 25, 2022, at 5 p.m. EST. Grants awards will range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $150,000. In addition, all applicants must provide a minimum match of 25 percent of the requested grant amount.

For more information on the 2022 program, available forms, or a copy of the request for proposal, visit the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website at www.agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/markets/resources/SCBG.

CARES Act Grant Requirements Reduced Further

CARES Act Grant Requirements Reduced Further

WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Oct. 2, 2020 — The Wayne County Commissioners have, once again, decided to support local small businesses by dedicating another $400,000 in a third round of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act grant funding to local businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by further reducing the restrictions involved in applying for a Wayne County Small Business Relief Program grant.

Rounds one and two of the grant program have been successful, with local small businesses receiving more than $300 thousand in non-repayable grants.

“We are pleased to have been able to assist more than 60 businesses in the first two rounds and are hopeful that the lessening of restrictions opens the door to help even more small businesses,” Commissioner Sue Smail said. “It should be noted that agricultural businesses are also eligible to apply.”

As with previous funding rounds, the Wayne County Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is overseeing the program. Applications for the grant may be submitted online at www.waynecountyedc.com.

According to Kelly Haer, WEDC’s director of business retention and expansion, businesses that may not have qualified previously should re-examine the criteria.

“The goal is to serve as many organizations as we can,” Haer said. “The major reductions in criteria for the grant include the number of employees a business can have and their annual revenue.”

Applications for the grant are being accepted through October 16, 2020, and each business may receive up to $5,000.



  • Must be an ongoing business and have a physical address in Wayne County (grant funding is to be used for that location)
  • Must have 50 or fewer employees and have been in business for a year
  • Must be a for-profit entity
  • Must have a Federal Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Must have experienced a decrease in gross revenue/receipts of 35% or more due to COVID-19 when comparing March 1 – May 31, 2020, to March 1 – May 31, 2019
  • Must have less than $2 million in gross revenue/receipts on an annual basis
  • Must be able to attest that it complies with federal, state, or county and local regulations and not delinquent in any taxes
  • Must be able to attest that it is not currently in bankruptcy
  • Adult entertainment establishment
  • Bank, savings and loan or credit union
  • E-commerce only company
  • Liquor/wine store
  • Vaping store
  • Tobacco store
  • Cannabis dispensary
  • Franchised business not locally owned and independently operated


  • Grant funds provided by Wayne County’s Small Business Relief Program can only be used to pay the expenses of the business related to the costs of business interruption or required closure caused by the pandemic up to a maximum of $5,000. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:
  • Mortgage Costs. Mortgage costs for businesses that are located in or operated out of a personal residence are not an eligible expense
  • Rent or Lease Costs. Rent or lease costs for businesses located in or operated out of a personal residence are not an eligible expense.
  • Expenses for utilities, such as electric, gas, sewer, water, trash removal. Utility costs for businesses located in or operated out of personal residence are not an eligible expense.
  • Salaries, wages, or compensation paid to employees or 1099 workers.
  • Materials and supplies related to the interruption of the business caused by required closures.
  • Personal Protective Equipment or other COVID-19 related costs such as expenses related to compliance with Responsible Restart Ohio.

Sole proprietors can use grant funding as income replacement by providing documentation on lost revenue from March 1 through May 31, 2020, due to COVID-19 so long as no unemployment benefits are being received or are expected to be received by the Applicant. If not already submitted, upload the most recent filed Schedule C – Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship)

Grant funds can be used to reimburse eligible expenses incurred from March 1, 2020. The business shall submit an itemized list of all expenditures along with all supporting documentation. Documentation shall be in the form of paid invoices and canceled checks, bank statements, or similar document showing payment of Eligible Expenses. If the business cannot properly substantiate its eligible expenses, it will be considered non-eligible for the Small Business Grant.


  • Cost of vehicle or equipment leased or purchased after March 23, 2020, except if the purchase of equipment is to comply with Restart Ohio.
  • Personal non-business expenses of the business or its owner(s)
  • Construction costs
  • Any tax, license, or fee obligations payable to any governmental entity


  • Application – A business interested in participating in the program must fill out the application to determine if it meets all of the eligibility criteria set forth above.
  • Funds Available – Third round grants will be funded using a lottery method until all funds have been expended.
  • Payment and Signed Agreement – If approved for a grant, the business must sign and return the Grant Agreement within ten calendar days of receipt and provide a W-9 for grant fund payment.

Listen to the WQKT Radio ad by Commissioner Sue Smail HERE.


By Dan Starcher, public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.

WCTID discusses project timelines

WCTID discusses project timelines

WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Sep. 2020 — On the heels of accepting a nearly $150,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for two area road projects, the Wayne County Transportation Improvement District (WCTID) devoted a portion of their monthly meeting held on Monday, August 31, to discussions about the stages and estimated timeline of each project.

According to Wayne County engineer Scott Miller, the award for the Apple Creek Road project will save taxpayer money by covering 25% of the cost of the county’s portion of the estimated $257,000 project. The plan calls for a center turn lane to be added on Apple Creek Road to improve traffic safety at the future site of a BellStore at 1046 N. Apple Creek Road.

According to TID Chairman Becky Foster, the WCTID will hold the grant money in escrow until the project is complete before releasing it to the county.

The project stems from a “trips” study conducted by the Wayne County Engineers Office. The analysis, using national averages, is used to determine the amount of traffic flowing in and out of the business to establish peak periods of the day.

Miller said that safety is the number one priority, and the project will consist of a center lane to be installed as a countermeasure to ensure the safety of store patrons entering and exiting the BellStore.

Miller hopes that construction on the road can begin later this year.

In addition to the Apple Creek Road project, $90,000 was awarded for a turn-lanes project on West Milltown Road.

According to Wooster City engineer Roger Kobilarcsik, adding turn lanes to West Milltown Road stems from a 2017 traffic study conducted by the supermarket company, Meijer Inc., to determine traffic-control needs of the area. At the time, Meijer was considering adding a superstore nearby and was seeking a zoning amendment from city council for 32 acres of land along Milltown from C-2 to C-5 commercial.

Because funding has been secured, City of Wooster Director of Administration Joel Montgomery said the project to add lanes turning into Buehler’s and the adjacent road behind Bob Evans could move into the planning stage and will start early next year.

Funding for the Milltown Rd. will also be held in escrow by the WCTID and disbursed upon completion.


By Dan Starcher, public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.

$1.4 million in ODOT grants fund public transit expansion

$1.4 million in ODOT grants fund public transit expansion

WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Sep. 2020 — Grants totaling more than $1.4 million from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will pave the way for expanded public transit service in Wayne County representatives of the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA), Community Action of Wayne and Medina Counties (CAWM), and the Wayne County commissioners announced today.

According to Wayne County Commissioner Ron Amstutz, the ODOT grants will fund a pilot program that will extend ride-sharing and other transit services to residents living outside the city of Wooster beginning early next year. The area’s private transportation providers will have the opportunity to submit proposals to provide the service. SARTA and CAWM will administer and coordinate the program.

Melissa Pearce, CAWM President and CEO, said the grant-funded project represents the next logical step in the drive to bring expanded transportation service to Wayne County.

“The City of Wooster’s robust investment in transportation and the launch of Rural Mobility Solutions, our workplace access pilot, established a strong foundation for growth,” Pearce said. “The combination of the city’s commitment to enhanced mobility, SARTA’s experience, and resources, and the ODOT dollars will keep us moving in the right direction.”

SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad said the award-winning and the nationally-respected transit system is excited about being part of the innovative project.

“We know that residents of rural areas want, need and deserve safe, affordable, and reliable mobility services,” he said. “We look forward to using our expertise to help develop the pilot program, coordinate scheduling, and routing, and ensure that the community gets the biggest bang possible for ODOT’s dollars.”

Amstutz hopes the pilot project will serve as a model for other rural areas in the state.

“Across Ohio, the lack of mobility is a barrier to self-sufficiency and economic growth,” he said. “We believe programs like the one we envision have the potential to break down those barriers and improve the quality of life for thousands of people.”

The pilot project will be designed to meet transportation needs identified via a survey of residents conducted earlier this year. It will target residents who need rides to work, medical appointments, or local courts.

Discussions are now underway to determine and develop a scope of services and fare structures. When that process is complete, SARTA and CAWM will begin accepting proposals from private transportation providers.

Performance metrics that will be used to evaluate the program are now in development. The length of time needed to implement the pilot fully and the final scope of services will be determined by several factors, including the availability of funding from federal, state, and local sources and the ability of private transportation providers to meet identified needs.


By Dan Starcher, public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.

Amazon offers up to $100k to non-profits

Amazon offers up to $100k to non-profits

WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Sep. 2020 — Amazon Web Services (AWS) is offering a public grant opportunity to registered 501(c) nonprofit organizations in the United States that are using technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. The Imagine Grant program submission portal is now open through 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 30, 2020. Get started HERE.


Posted by Dan Starcher, public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.