COLUMBUS, Feb. 28, 2024: The Ohio Department of Development today announced $1 million in support for two Ohio women-owned businesses. The Ohio Minority Development Financing Advisory Board approved the funding during its monthly board meeting.

“In today’s business world, removing barriers to financial support is crucial for minority- and women-owned businesses,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “These funds empower  Ohioans to grow their businesses and reinforces our commitment to promoting entrepreneurship for everyone.”

Businesses receiving support include:

Guard Plus LLC dba Guard+ and Sydney Candle Company, LLC (Trumbull County) were approved for $500,000. Guard Plus dba Guard+ LLC is a 70-unit outdoor storage facility, providing four different types of storage units for its customers. Sydney Candle Company, LLC is a soy wax candle manufacturer operated by the same owner. The funds will be used to expand both owners’ operations with the purchase and construction of two new storage kits and a warehouse.

Wonderland Playground LLC (Hamilton County) was approved for $500,000.  The 10,000-square-foot children’s amusement facility offers three play areas, a snack bar, and rental for private parties and events. The funds will be used to pay off existing business debt, saving the company thousands of dollars.

To date, Development has provided nearly $22 million in support to more than 240 minority – and women–owned businesses through the Women’s Business Enterprise Loan Program, the Minority Direct Loan Program, the Ohio Micro-Loan Program, and the Ohio Minority Business Bonding Program. Additional funding remains available for these programs.

MDFAB reviews and makes recommendations on loans and surety bond requests. More information about loans and other capital assistance programs can be found online at Minority.Ohio.Gov. Eligible business owners can start the loan application process here.

The Ohio Department of Development empowers communities to succeed by investing in Ohio’s people, places, and businesses. Learn more about our work at