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Small Business Assistance

Clean Air Resource Center Supporting Ohios Small Businesses

Program Overview

For small business owners, it can be challenging and time consuming to navigate environmental regulations and prioritize the costs associated with environmentally friendly upgrades to buildings and equipment.

The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) works to improve air quality by supporting businesses, creating jobs and improving communities while enhancing the health and safety of all Ohioans. OAQDA makes clean air compliance easily accessible and affordable by serving as the small business ombudsman – advocating and providing financial assistance for compliance with the Clean Air Act. All information provided to OAQDA is confidential.

How Can We Help You?

In 1996, the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) created the Clean Air Resource Center (CARC) to serve Ohio's small businesses and make clean air compliance more affordable. Since then, we have helped numerous Ohio small businesses improve air quality for their community, create a healthier environment for their employees, and do so affordably and easily.

We're not part of the Ohio EPA, and we do not enforce air quality regulations. What we do is help Ohio businesses, in coordination with or independently of the Ohio EPA, meet EPA regulations while also reducing costs and gaining tax exemptions.

We can work with the Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP). They are a non-regulatory program that helps Ohio businesses and organizations comply with environmental regulations, prevent pollution, develop and achieve sustainability goals and finance recycling and litter prevention efforts. They provide Ohio small businesses with free and confidential assessment, assistance, and advice.

All information is completely confidential—state law prohibits the Ohio EPA from using this information in any enforcement action.

“Working with the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority was an extremely positive experience for Baker’s. The application process was clear and questions were answered quickly. This grant allowed us to purchase a booth that would substantially reduce the amount of VOC’s that are being emitted and filtered. This new booth has allowed us to hire additional team members and increase our production and therefore also our annual revenue.”

– DeLee Powell, Owner, Baker’s Collision Repair Specialists

Financial Benefits

Financing packages are structured to suit the needs of individual projects, which are incentivized with tax benefits using conduit bonds issued by OAQDA as well as grants to help small businesses cover a portion of the principal amount of up to 20 percent, or maximum of $20,000, of the total cost of the eligible project. This includes:

  • Tax exemption for approved projects, namely from sales and use tax that may apply when purchasing the equipment
  • Reimbursement of legal fees, closing fees, authority fees and other fees associated with OAQDA’s bond financing
  • Principal payment of the loan incurred to provide the necessary capital for the project

Our Commitment

OAQDA is committed to serving the economic and environmental needs of Ohio businesses and communities as they strive to reduce air emissions and achieve greater sustainability goals that protect the air. Our team is knowledgeable and helpful, and we work with small businesses to break down barriers and ensure the access to financial support and technical resources is as seamless as possible through our streamlined application process.

Eligibility and Process

OAQDA can work with any Ohio small businesses that must comply with the Clean Air Act—which includes hundreds of different industries, including but not limited to businesses that bake, brew, mill, mold, paint, print, refine, repair, treat or transport.

Your business can qualify if you:

  • Employ one hundred or fewer employees
  • Maintain offices or operating facilities in Ohio, and your principal place of business is in the state
  • Have financial difficulty complying with the Clean Air Act
  • Emit less than seventy-five (75) tons per year of all regulated pollutants, and emit fifty (50) tons or less per year of any regulated pollutant
  • Are a small business concern as defined in the Small Business Act
  • Have not been issued a grant from the small business assistance fund during the previous two years from the submission date of new application forms

Small businesses undertaking energy efficiency and conservation projects are not eligible for the small business assistance grant, but can include these technologies for financing into their overall project for consideration and eligibility of the tax benefits.

Get Started

If interested in more information or to apply, please reach out to OAQDA with your questions and next steps in the process. 

Gabe Lorenz
(614) 466-6825