Ohio’s Finest Local Small Business Loan Choices

woman working at the Business Loan office in Ohio

Business loans tailored for enterprises based in Ohio are available in diverse formats.

Whether you’re committed to partnering with a local financier who’s as deeply rooted in your community as your enterprise is, or you’re prioritizing securing a loan with the most favorable interest rate, regardless of it being from a local or national lender, there’s a plethora of reputable options to explore in your quest for funding for your Ohio-based business.

Understanding Small Business Loans in Ohio

In Ohio, small business loans are tailored to cater to enterprises that can illustrate both a need and the capability to repay the borrowed amount.

The spectrum of lenders is diverse, comprising credit unions, banks, private financiers, and specialized lending institutions. The diversity in loan types ensures that numerous businesses will discover a financial solution apt to their requirements.

Here’s some prevalent small business loan options in Ohio:

  • Traditional bank loans;
  • Loans from credit unions;
  • SBA loans, accessible via SBA.gov;
  • Business lines of credit;
  • Fixed-term business loans;
  • Equipment financing loans.

The applicability of these loans is vast. Businesses might leverage them for varied reasons such as spearheading growth initiatives, launching new product lines, hiring more staff to accommodate increasing client demand, procuring new machinery, or even updating operational methods for eco-friendliness.

They can also act as an enduring credit line, addressing cash flow necessities when required.

Loan Application Process and Additional Funding Sources

Before sanctioning a loan, Ohio’s small business lenders necessitate detailed information about the enterprise. This encompasses the nature of the business, its product or service offerings, and its financial stability.

Commonly requested documents include balance sheets and profit-loss statements, which offer insights into the borrowing and repayment capacity of the business. Additionally, the creditworthiness, either of the business or its owner, plays a crucial role in the lending decision.

Some loans might come with federal government backing, while others rely purely on the firm’s repayment capacity. When weighing various lending options, businesses must assess their ability to consistently repay the borrowed amount and the associated interest.

Well-qualified borrowers can often secure competitive interest rates. A deeper understanding of the lender’s terms and conditions will invariably benefit the business owner during the loan acquisition process.

Beyond conventional lending sources, Ohio businesses can also explore:

  • Microloans;
  • Grants offered by non-profits;
  • Real estate financing;
  • Minority business loans or grants;
  • Assistance from Small Business Development Centers.

Notably, many Ohio-based entrepreneurs kick-start their ventures using personal funds but might subsequently seek external financing.

Valuable resources for this include the Ohio Development Services Agency, centers dedicated to women entrepreneurs, and other local business aid agencies. In some instances, being a women-owned enterprise might also make you eligible for specific assistance.

For those who’ve already explored the aforementioned options, other avenues like merchant cash advances, capital loans, and varied Ohio-specific small business loan schemes might be the next logical step.

It’s imperative to note that every lender will have a distinct application process, form, and repayment structure.

woman with colleagues in a business district

Top Picks: Small Business Loans in Ohio

1Huntington National Bank19985.47%$183,356
3Peoples Bank625.57%$513,387
4Live Oak Bank485.28%$1,442,000
5Consumers National Bank474.65%$421,611
6Heartland Bank455.40%$307,744

Huntington National Bank

For businesses in Ohio inclined towards procuring an SBA loan, Huntington National Bank emerges as a prime contender. Remarkably, in 2018, Huntington Bank was crowned the leading SBA lender in Ohio, and by a significant margin at that.

To illustrate, during 2018, the bank sanctioned 2,073 SBA loans for Ohio businesses at an average interest rate of 6.1%.

For comparison, KeyBank, which secured the second spot, managed to approve only 129 SBA loans at an average interest rate of 6.5%. It’s noteworthy that Huntington National Bank’s typical SBA loan value was relatively modest, averaging at $198,585.

This factor should be borne in mind when scrutinizing SBA loan avenues for Ohio-based enterprises.

While evaluating SBA loans in Ohio, it’s paramount to understand that such loans can be challenging to qualify for and might necessitate an extended processing time.

Typically, businesses that have a yearly revenue exceeding $180,000, maintain a personal credit score above 680, and have operated for a minimum of two years stand a better chance at SBA loan approval. For businesses that don’t meet these benchmarks, it’s advisable to explore alternative loan options in Ohio.


With its main office situated in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyBank extends a comprehensive array of banking and financial solutions tailored to cater to its diverse clientele. The bank has strategically designed a suite of offerings that encompasses services for both businesses and individual clients.

This spectrum includes but isn’t limited to small business financing, as well as individual and corporate banking solutions.

In our pursuit to glean insights into any distinct advantages KeyBank might offer during the SBA loan application journey, we initiated a dialogue with them. Here’s a distilled overview of their response:

  • Recognized as an SBA Preferred Lender since 1997;
  • Facilitates a range of SBA loan schemes, inclusive of the SBA 7(A) Loan Program, SBA 504 Loan Program, SBA Express, and the SBA Export Working Capital Program;
  • Loan quantum can escalate to a commendable $12 million;
  • Primarily targets small businesses, especially those that might not align with conventional lending criteria;
  • The loan funds are versatile and can be channeled towards varied business needs, be it operational costs, business procurement, machinery acquisition, among others.

Peoples Bank

Peoples Bank has been a stalwart financial institution in Ohio. With a total of 62 loans under its belt, the bank boasts an average interest rate of 5.57%. The average loan size extended by Peoples Bank is approximately $513,387.

Their commitment to providing tailored financial solutions is evident in their lending patterns and their unwavering support to businesses and individuals alike.

Services are provided through Peoples Bank, encompassing the divisions of Peoples Investment Services, Peoples Premium Finance, and North Star Leasing. Additional services are available via Peoples Insurance Agency, LLC, and Vantage Financial, LLC.

Live Oak Bank

Established in 2008 by James S. (Chip) Mahan III, Live Oak Bank initially concentrated its efforts on catering to specific sectors like veterinary and dental practices.

Currently, the bank extends its lending services to over 35 distinct industries nationwide and has an extensive network of general lenders dispersed throughout the country, dedicated to assisting small business entrepreneurs.

Notably, Live Oak Bank is adept in offering SBA and USDA loans and provides both business and individual deposit services via its digital, branch-free platform.

Live Oak Bank has established a significant presence in the Ohio banking landscape. With 48 loans to its credit, the bank offers an average interest rate of 5.28%.

Impressively, the average loan size at Live Oak Bank stands at a substantial $1,442,000. Their dedication to robust financial solutions and customer-centric approach sets them apart in the competitive market.

Consumers National Bank

Consumers National Bank has consistently served the Ohio community with dedication and expertise. They have sanctioned 47 loans with an encouraging average interest rate of 4.65%. The average loan amount provided by Consumers National Bank hovers around $421,611, reflecting their commitment to cater to diverse financial needs.

Heartland Bank

Heartland Bank traces its origins to the Croton Bank, established in the Licking County farming community of Croton, Ohio. Initially, local farmers who earned their livelihood through agriculture conducted their banking activities locally with Croton Bank. Over time, this institution evolved and came to be recognized as Heartland Bank.

Heartland Bank has been a beacon of trust and reliability in Ohio’s banking sector. With a total of 45 loans dispensed, they maintain an average interest rate of 5.40%. Heartland Bank’s average loan amount is approximately $307,744, showcasing their versatility in addressing the varied financial requirements of their clientele.


Ohio presents a plethora of small business loan opportunities tailored to various needs and niches. With an array of financing options ranging from traditional bank loans to specialized schemes like SBA and USDA loans, businesses in Ohio have the flexibility to choose solutions that align with their unique requirements.

Various institutions, from long-established banks to modern digital platforms, play a pivotal role in supporting the state’s economic growth. By exploring these financial avenues, Ohio-based businesses can secure the capital they need to thrive, innovate, and contribute to the community.