The Banks SBE Program

The Board of Commissioners of Hamilton County (County), the City of Cincinnati (City) and the Riverbanks Renaissance, LLC (developer) are partnering to develop The Banks. The Banks is a public improvement and mixed-use development located between the Paul Brown Stadium (to the west) and the Great American Ball Park (to the east).

The Banks will be developed in phases over a period of approximately 15 years and will include 1,800 residential units, one million square feet of office space and more than 300,000 square feet of retail space. The Banks will be funded with public and private dollars. 

The County and City created a Joint Policy for Small Business Enterprise, Economic Inclusion and Workforce Development to promote equal business opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses and to promote equal employment opportunities.

Only the phase of The Banks with local public dollars will be governed by The Banks Small Business Enterprise Program (Banks SBE Program). The phases of the development that consist of federal funds will be governed by the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE Program). The City will be the certifying agency for The Banks SBE Program and businesses seeking certification as a DBE will need to contact the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Main features of The Banks SBE program include:

  • No geographical boundaries for business office location
  • The business must be in existence for one year prior to application.
  • The business must meet the definition of small as defined by Section 3 of the Small Business Act (PL 85-536).
  • Each business owner’s personal net worth cannot exceed $750,000 (excluding the individual's share of the equity in his or her primary personal residence and excluding the individual’s ownership interest in the business).
  • Business owners must be a United States citizen or a naturalized citizen.
  • The business must be certified by the City of Cincinnati.

Businesses that are currently certified with the City of Cincinnati's Small Business Enterprise Program (SBE Program) do not have to recertify under The Banks SBE Program.

However, if a company is not currently certified through the City’s SBE Program because of business location, it may pursue certification under The Banks SBE Program for The Banks project only. The certification requirements for The Banks SBE Program are the same as those for the City’s SBE Program, except that any requirement for the maintenance of fixed offices within the geographical boundaries of Hamilton County will not be applicable for The Banks SBE Program.

Certification Documents