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Equal Opportunity

It is the mission of the Equal Opportunity Division to serve, support, and find solutions for Ohioans by ensuring equal opportunity to and fair treatment in government contracting and state employment. The Division strives to achieve its mission by implementing and enforcing the state’s affirmative action and equal employment opportunity policies, and implementing and monitoring the state’s procurement preference programs for minority-owned, women-owned, and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, our office staff is working remotely to continue to serve your needs. Customers needing to submit documents may continue to do so through email, U.S. mail, or delivery services. Additionally, our phone line is open (614-466-8380) and we are also responding to inquiries via email ( Please be aware that while we are able to receive mail deliveries, those materials are routing for processing every few days. To reduce processing delay, submission via email whenever possible is encouraged at

Leadership Team

Administrative Unit
Eric M. Seabrook, Deputy Director and State EEO Coordinator
Stacy Cornett, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director

Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity Unit
Jennifer Adair, EEO Program Manager

Business Certification and Compliance Unit
Todd McGonigle, EEO Program Manager

Research, Reporting and Recruitment Unit
Bobbi Bell-Bartholomew, Program Administrator


Ohio Administrative Code Updates

Ohio Administrative Code 123:2-14


The below referenced updates have been reviewed and approved by the Joint Commission for Agency Rule Review (JCARR) and scheduled to go into effect on October 9, 2020. 




Minority Business Owners:
Ohio Certification Can Help Grow Your Business

Ohio is strongest when as many Ohioans as possible have an opportunity to share in our state’s growing economic strength. One way that state government does this is through the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program. The MBE program seeks to expand options for state purchasing by encouraging MBE-certified businesses, both small and large, to do business with the state. At the same time, state agencies are directed to source a portion of their goods and services from MBE-certified vendors. The state also provides a wide range of business development resources to help businesses grow and compete in the public and private markets. Below is a graphic representation of the dollars spent by state agencies with MBE-certified businesses from Fiscal Year 2008 to Fiscal Year 2020.

Click here to see how individual agencies performed in Fiscal Year 2020.

Click here to learn about the benefits, criteria and processes to certify your business with the MBE program.

Certified Business Owners:
See Something, Say Something

We have created a hotline to receive allegations of possible fraud or abuse in the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE); Encouraging Diversity, Growth, and Equity (EDGE); Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE); or Veteran-friendly Business Enterprise (VBE) programs. Tips about alleged violations may be reported to the toll-free hotline by calling 1-888-623-8477 (MBE-TIPS). Allegations may be reported between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday by state employees, contractors, or the general public. Callers have the option to remain anonymous. Businesses that violate certification laws or rules risk decertification and the loss of business opportunities. Click here for frequently asked questions about the hotline.

Resources for COVID-19 Economic Support:

The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a great strain on the nation’s healthcare system, but it’s not come without it’s economic difficulties as well. State leaders are working to ensure resources are readily available to Ohio businesses and workers to ensure we all weather this difficult time, remembering we are all in this together.

The links provided on the Ohio Department of Health's website will connect you with local, state and federal resources and funds for the following impacted categories:

  • Small businesses and non-profits: economic disaster loan program, bar and restaurant relief, daycare ratio updates and more.
  • Individuals and families: unemployment resources, health insurance relief, school meals and more.

Please click here to learn more.

The following NEW programs from the Ohio Development Services Agency are designed to aid small businesses:

Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program

  • The Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program will help small and medium-sized manufacturers to retool existing facilities to make PPE or reshore PPE production to Ohio.
  • There is $20 million available for this program, and eligible manufacturers could be awarded grants up to $500,000 per facility.
  • Up to 20% of the available funding may be reserved for manufacturers with fewer than 25 employees and registered nonprofits.

Minority Business Grant Program

  • The Ohio Micro-Enterprise Grant Program will help small minority- and women-owned businesses through the current crisis and set them up to thrive in the future.
  • Businesses eligible for the grant program must meet the following requirements:
    • Be a certified Minority Business Enterprise and/or EDGE (Encouraging Diversity Growth and Equity Program) -certified women-owned for-profit business as of Feb. 29, 2020, with up to $500,000 in annual revenue and 10 employees or less;
    • Have not received any CARES Act funding; and,
    • Be current on all taxes and private or public loans.
  • Each qualifying business would receive $10,000 until funding runs out, and grants will be awarded on first-come, first-served basis.
  • The program could fund up to 500 companies.

Appalachian Growth Capital Loan Program

  • The Appalachian Growth Capital Loan Program will help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the 32-county Appalachian region of eastern and southern Ohio.
  • Businesses located in the 32-county region with less than $40 million of revenue in the most recently completed tax year are eligible.
  • Appalachian Growth Capital will offer loans to small businesses at 2 percent interest.
  • The maximum loan amount would be $500,000, and businesses will have the ability to defer payment for up to six months.

To access program applications and additional information, please click here (see "Business and Non-Profit Support). For additional information, please direct questions to:

Additionally, these reference materials were made available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) specific to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL):



Gateway Step-by-Step Video Tutorials

Wondering how to locate the forms you need to complete on the Ohio Business Gateway? Here are some tutorial videos the Gateway team put together to help you log in and add service areas (and forms) to your profile.