Performance Grant (or Forgivable Loan) Overview

The Municipal Small Business Initiative (MSBI) is a city/small business partnership program offering qualifying entrepreneurs with 15% forgivable loan (or “performance grant”) which will supplement their own equity contribution of 10% to a project. This program is a public private partnership between the City of Maple Heights, Cuyahoga County Department of Development and the Small Business (or “applicant”).  Project funding consists of a privately financed loan, performance grant from the City of Maple Heights, and owner equity contribution.

The maximum forgivable loan/performance grant is $50,000, but no greater than 15% of a project’s total cost and is contingent on permanent job creation.  Applications will be accepted until all performance grant funds have been allocated from Cuyahoga County. Payments are made once the participating small business meets requirements including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Owner Equity of at least 10%
  2. Technical Assistance from a Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
  3. Private Loan covering 65-75% of project
  4. Use must fall under one of the following: retail, restaurant, small office, manufacturing or professional services.
  5. Forgivable loans may be used for property acquisition, new construction, machinery and equipment purchase and exterior and interior renovation.
  6. Matching Grants may only be used for façade improvements and signage.
  7. At least one (1) permanent full time job must be created
  8. Required reporting of job creation

Program Process

  1. Interested businesses should contact the Planning and Development Department to begin the intake process, or submit completed form.
  2. The City will review the project for eligibility.
  3. Following review, qualifying businesses will be issued a Letter of Commitment, which may also be provided to the SBA, the Technical Assistance (TA) provider, one or more Participating Banks and/or the Hebrew Free Loan Association (if this funding option is being used).  The letter will include conditions that are required to be met prior to disbursement of funds.
  4. Borrower may select the lender of their choice.
  5. The applicant will be referred to a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the required technical assistance, business plan support, and counseling and/or the Small Business Administration, Cleveland District Office.
  6. Upon SBA loan approval and satisfactory completion of technical assistance from a Small Business Development Center, the Underwritten Loan, Performance Grant, and/or HFLA loan are to be distributed at the same time.

Program Forms and Documents

Small Business Development Centers (Approved Technical Assistance and Consulting Resources)

Additional Resources

Your First Step

Contact the Department of Planning and Development. We will give you essential program information and help you determine if the Maple Heights Small Business Partnership Program is right for your startup or expansion.


Joe Duffy
Planning & Development Director
(216) 587-9032