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Common Wealth opens cooperative office space

Billy Ludt of The Youngstown Vindicator:

“A newly opened cooperative workspace on the North Side will provide amenities for new business owners, freelancers and start-ups seeking access to office space.

Common Wealth Inc. opened the doors to its latest incubator, the Co-Work Center, 906 Elm St., in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. Co-Work will join a strip of Common Wealth’s businesses on Elm Street, including the Common Wealth Kitchen Incubator and Lake to River Food Cooperative.

“It saves people money, rather than buying an official office,” said Jim Converse, regional economic development coordinator at Common Wealth. “It’s very affordable space, as is the space in the incubator, too.”

Previously a home, Co-Work converts living space into a functioning office with wireless internet access, meeting rooms, printers, storage and desks. The shared-use workspace can be rented by day, week and month.

“We’re really proud to be part of revitalizing this neighborhood between Wick Park and the university,” said Pat Rosenthal, executive director. “We think that it’s just at the tipping point and that we see more and more people walk by.”

The Kitchen Incubator has assisted a number of food-based start-ups and in many cases created sustainable careers for its clients. The same idea goes for Co-Work, which, Rosenthal said, can provide clients with affordable space, privacy and equipment they need to start their business.”

Read more about this new space by OCDCA member, Common Wealth. 

Photo from the Youngstown Vindicator

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Vinton County edges closer to grocery store opening

Susan Tebben of WOUB:

“Vinton County has fought the designation of “food desert” for four years, and finally this year, they are seeing the results of the fight to bring fresh food to the county.

Campbell’s Market is still under construction, but owner Rick Campbell is hoping to open the doors and hold a grand opening in the coming weeks.

Parking lots are currently being paved and utilities are being installed, making way for shelving units to go in the store, according to Campbell.

A groundbreaking was held in March, with county and state officials in town for the event.

The 12,000 sq. ft. Campbell’s Market of McArthur will bring fresh produce and meats to the area for the first time since 2013.

Since the SuperValu closed that year, the county came close to having grocery services a few different times. The Dollar General corporation floated the idea of a Dollar General Market, an expanded version of the store that includes groceries, but the idea never came to fruition. A meat market was also on the way to opening, but certification and regulation problems brought that project to a halt, according to reports by the Vinton County Courier.

Vinton County Senior Citizens Executive Director Rhoda Toon-Price said just in 2016, volunteers have traveled 150,000 miles, just to take senior citizens to adjacent counties to go grocery shopping.

“Because a lot of them can’t drive long distances,” Toon-Price said. “So having this new grocery store is going to give some of them back their independence, and that’s really important to us.”

The new store is a project the family owners say wouldn’t have happened without the help of a state agency’s funding.

Grants and loans totaling $1.6 million were brought in through the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which works with the Finance Fund Corporation.”

Read the whole story here, which talks more about the intiative from OCDCA partner Finance Fund, and the incredible work of OCDCA member, Vinton County Economic Development Board.

 

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We’re hiring an AmeriCorps VISTA program manager

The Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) is a statewide membership organization that fosters vibrant neighborhoods and improves the quality of life in all communities through advocacy and capacity building of our member agencies. OCDCA’s vision is the creation of a community development environment that comprehensively improves life opportunities for all Ohioans.

OCDCA is searching for an AmeriCorps VISTA Program Manager to manage the AmeriCorps VISTA and Summer Associate programs in collaboration with OCDCA programs and subsite members. This position is responsible for overall program management, effective recruitment, and placement of VISTA members whose service addresses poverty alleviation while aligning with the objectives, policies and procedures of the AmeriCorps programs.

View the full listing. Please send resume and cover letter by October 20th.

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OCDCA issues call for trainers and TA providers

Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) requests credentials from trainers and technical assistance providers for our programs for CDCs (Community Development Corporations).

Providers are needed in the areas of affordable housing, community economic development, food access, community empowerment and financial empowerment.

Priority is given to OCDCA members who submit qualifications by October 31, 2017 for the 2018 calendar year.

View the full announcement.

Please submit the following items.

1. A current resume of presenter(s) which includes contact information and any relevant certifications;

2. Your level of compensation. Please provide both a daily and hourly rate;

3. If you are a consultant, submit three customer references (name, organization, address, phone number and e-mail). Please indicate the services you performed for the customer and when they took place. If you are submitting on behalf of an organization, please submit a brief narrative about program success in community or organizational expertise in subject area;

4. A list of workshops or webinars you can provide and on what topics. Please briefly describe the workshops or webinars;

5. A list of topic areas in which you are willing to provide technical assistance.

Please submit your response to Melissa Miller at mmiller AT ohiocdc.org. If you have any questions, please contact her at (614) 461-6392 ext. 209.

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Kiva: Community Backed Loans

Kiva is an online platform, that allows small business owners and non-profit leaders to crowd-fund, zero interest loans up to $10,000.

The online platform allows for true peer-to-peer lending, giving communities a chance to support their local businesses, and for businesses to increase their reach and social capital.

At Kiva, we are working alongside communities to create a fully inclusive economy.

Kiva: Community Backed Loans webinar
October 24, 2017
10:00 – 11:30 AM
Register Here!

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What’s happening? Microbusiness, budgets, & we’re hiring

A brief sample of our September 2017 newsletter: What’s Happening in Ohio Community Development?

OCDCA Receives Significant Gift from Fifth Third Bank for Microbusiness

OCDCA created the Ohio Microbusiness Recoverable Grant Fund to provide a sustainable pool of funding to the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program’s community development organizations, who can then use the funds to make loans to local microentrepreneurs in their community. We at Ohio CDC Association are  eager to announce that the OMBDP Recoverable Grant Fund received a significant gift from Fifth Third Bank. As this program gets rolling, we are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Fifth Third Bank to bolster Ohio microbusiness development programs and low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs throughout the state.

The Ohio Microbusiness Recoverable Grant Fund (RGF) is a statewide fund, from which OCDCA makes recoverable grants to sub-sites of OCDCA’s Microbusiness Development Grant Program, in order for the sub-site to then make loans to their low-to-moderate income microentrepreneur clients. Loan repayments are paid back to the subsite who repays OCDCA to replenish the grant fund, so that more grants for loans to microentrepreneurs can be made in the future.

Thank you, Fifth Third Bank!


2018 Ohio Micro
business Development Program Funding
OCDCA welcomes current, good standing members to apply for the Ohio Microbusiness Development Program. The maximum grant award is $40,000. Of this, up to 10% may be used for administrative expenses. The structure of the lending allocation for the microbusiness program has changed. The application is due by 4:00 pm on October 10, 2017. For questions, please contact David Foust at dfoust AT ohiocdc.org.

 

Farewell, David!
After six years of dedication, October 25th is David Foust’s last day with the Ohio CDC Association. David joined the OCDCA in September 2011. His primary responsibilities included leading an industry marketing and branding initiative, overseeing the microbusiness development program, as well as new programming initiatives. Prior to this role, he served as the OCDCA Membership Manager where he assisted in coordinating membership activities, including training and technical assistance.

He won’t be out of our network though, as he joins member Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT) working to revitalize Columbus’s Near East Side. David will be missed, but we wish him the best on the next stages of his career!

Read the whole newsletter or subscribe!

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OCDCA receives significant gift from Fifth Third Bank for microbusiness

There are almost 28 million small businesses in the U.S. and over 22 million are microbusinesses with no additional payroll or employees. These businesses are sources of local and personal pride in their communities. The U.S. Small Business Administration found that since 1995, 2 out of every 3 new jobs created have come from small businesses. They are indeed the backbone of the economy, but many microentrepreneurs lack access to traditional banking resources.

In 2013, OCDCA began administration of the Ohio Microbusiness Development Grant Program (OMBDP) via the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA). The OMBDP currently provides funding support on a competitive basis to 13 community development organizations to foster microbusiness development for low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs in the form of training, technical assistance, and loan fund development. Through this program, community development organizations strengthen the economic health of their communities by investing time and resources into these microbusinesses, which become community assets.

In 2015 alone, the OMBDP:

  • Provided over 2,100 technical assistance consultations to microbusinesses
  • Educated over 1,000 aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Started or expanded over 200 businesses
  • Created or retained almost 300 jobs in low-to-moderate income communities

OCDCA created the Ohio Microbusiness Recoverable Grant Fund to provide a sustainable pool of funding to these community development organizations, who can then use the funds to make loans to local microentrepreneurs in their community.

The Ohio Microbusiness Recoverable Grant Fund (RGF) is a statewide fund, from which OCDCA makes recoverable grants to sub-sites of OCDCA’s Microbusiness Development Grant Program, in order for the sub-site to then make loans to their low-to-moderate income microentrepreneur clients. Loan repayments are paid back to the subsite who repays OCDCA to replenish the grant fund, so that more grants for loans to microentrepreneurs can be made in the future. 

We at Ohio CDC Association are eager to announce that the OMBDP Recoverable Grant Fund received a significant gift from Fifth Third Bank. As this program gets rolling, we are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Fifth Third Bank to bolster Ohio microbusiness development programs and low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs throughout the state.

Thank you, Fifth Third Bank!

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TNP Warren works to end food gap in Warren

Caroline Collins of WFMJ:

The Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership released a Community Food Security Strategic Plan on Tuesday afternoon at the Warren Farmer’s Market.

TNP released the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded plan with Warren Mayor Franklin, the Warren-Trumbull NAACP and staff from Tim Ryan’s office at the downtown farmers market.

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership (TNP) and the GROW Program (Garden Resources of Warren) conducted a year-long Community Food Security Assessment funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Organizers spoke about the food problem in some areas of Warren.

They call it a “food desert.”

“There are no full service grocery stores that you can get fresh and healthy produce and fresh foods from nearby,” said Cassandra Clevenger, GROW Program Manager.

Read the full story here.

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NECIC releases new goals for North End

Emily Mills of Mansfield News Journal: 

The North End Community Improvement Collaborative plans to update its goals for the North End to improve the neighborhood and create new opportunities.

NECIC representatives shared the new plan in the Blust Avenue Teaching Garden on Wednesday.

Volunteers working on the Blust Avenue Teaching Garden.

“Rather than it being a transportation plan or a law enforcement plan or a housing plan, this plan is from the standpoint of a resident,” said NECIC executive director Deanna West-Torrence. “It really brings together all of those things.”

The 157-page plan updates the organization’s previous 80-page plan, released in 2010 and adopted by Mansfield City Council in 2011, to see what changed and what didn’t over the last few years.

Starting in 2015, more than 350 people were surveyed to find out what they wanted to see in the North End, the area roughly north of Park Avenue between Trimble Road and North Main Street.

The new plan includes a community economic development plan with sections on land use, housing economic development, education, public infrastructure/transit, community spaces and health and safety.

The sections are the same as the old plan, save for health and safety.

“That was really driven by residents who told us the number-one concern right now was a lot of violence,” West-Torrence said.

The new section focuses on youth violence in the community, something the Mansfield Community Against Violence, or M-CAV, is trying to combat through mentorship, said NECIC community development manager Tony Chinni.

“They need mentorship,” Chinni said. “Somebody that cares about them, somebody, you know, that’s in their corner.”

One of the most significant recommendations in the 2010 plan, which remains in the new plan, was decreasing blight in the North End, something most residents requested.

Since 2009, more than 250 properties have been demolished in the North End.

Chinni said he was surprised to learn many residents are now upset so many homes are being demolished.

“It’s like you’re taking something and not putting something back,” he said. “We were just so happy to get this stuff torn down, sometimes I think you forget about the people that are living right there in the neighborhood.”

Read the full story here!