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Cincinnati’s first minority-owned brewery coming to Walnut Hills in 2018

Exciting news coming out of Cincinnati, regarding an entrepreneur dedicated to revitalization, two OCDCA members, and beer…sweet, sweet, local beer.

Allison Smith Cohen of Soapbox Cincinnati:

“Recently announced Esoteric Brewing Company has several tactics for setting itself apart from others, starting with the fact that it will be the first minority-owned brewery in the city. Founder and CEO Brian Jackson honed his skills at MadTree before deciding to set off on his own; he’s also a MORTAR grad.

“’Esoteric’ means ‘sophistication,’” says Jackson. “We’re trying to elevate the palates of customers and the entire experience of people coming to breweries in Cincinnati.”

He plans to offer a diverse selection of brews, which will include local favorites like traditional American IPAs and stouts, as well as more complex beers like his award-winning Belgian quadruple, Nirvana.

Jackson picked a location that matches that sense of style and sophistication: the historic Paramount building in Walnut Hills, which was once known as Cincinnati’s “second downtown.”

The beautiful Art Deco-style building from 1910 has sat empty for a decade, but was purchased last year by the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, and is currently undergoing renovations. Partnering with several community organizations, Esoteric plans to use the roaring ’20s vibe of the space to create a modern speakeasy.”

Read the whole story here.

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RFP Open: 2018 AmeriCorps VISTA Sub-Sites

OCDCA welcomes current, good standing members to submit an application to become a sub-site to the OCDCA VISTA Project to begin summer 2018.

Funding for the OCDCA VISTA Project is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), US Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI), and the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) through the Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF). Limited slots are available; therefore, this is a competitive process and some slots will be reserved for housing-only and rural-only initiatives.

This will be your only opportunity in 2018 to apply for OCDCA VISTA support.

If your organization is interested in becoming a sub-site of the OCDCA VISTA Project, please complete the RFP by 5 PM January 19, 2017.

For questions or technical assistance, please contact Melissa Miller at mmiller AT ohiocdc.org or by phone at 614-461-6392 ext. 209.

Need TA on the Application?

The “Is AmeriCorps VISTA Right for Your Organization?” webinar on December 13th will focus on AmeriCorps VISTA history and mission; the Ohio CDC Association’s AmeriCorps VISTA program goals; requirements of Ohio CDC Association AmeriCorps VISTAs sub-sites; and how to become a Ohio CDC Association AmeriCorps VISTA sub-site.

The “AmeriCorps VISTA RFP TA” webinar on January 16th will go through common errors in applications and what makes a great application. This is a great time to get all your RFP questions answered.

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Former Walnut Hills Kroger slated for redevelopment

Kristen Swilley of WCPO Cincinnati:

The former Walnut Hills Kroger has sat empty on East McMillan Street since March, presiding somewhat grimly over a neighborhood that has poured millions into an ongoing attempt at revitalization.

Although the grocery giant cited decades of consistent underperformance in its decision to close the store, its sudden absence meant “many of our most vulnerable residents now have limited access to quality food options,” Kevin Wright of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation said in December 2016.

Kroger suggested former Walnut Hills customers simply patronize its new University Plaza location, but for low-income Cincinnatians with little access to reliable transportation, the milelong trip sometimes proved a hard-to-surmount barrier.

“I’m bike-dependent, or I walk most places I go,” resident Sue Plummer said. “(My neighbors) go without fresh fruits and vegetables. They go without reasonable price on just basic items, and it’s frustrating.”

Relief is coming, Wright announced Monday. The Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation plans to buy the vacant property and convert it to a mixed-use residential-retail hybrid, placing retail spaces below apartments, for around $50 million in total development costs.

Read the whole story here.

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Walnut Hills begins renovations on old Paramount Theater

Courtis Fuller of WLWT5:

A major phase of a multimillion dollar community redevelopment project was launched Thursday in the Walnut Hills neighborhood.

The excitement surrounds the extensive renovation of an iconic and historic building in the heart of Walnut Hills.

“When it is vacant and blighted, they think Walnut Hills is vacant and blighted, so to bring it back to life is very symbolic and very important for the rebirth of Walnut Hills,” Kevin Wright said.

Wright is with the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation. He said the project could serve as a template for other development around the city of Cincinnati.

“Everybody knows Walnut Hills because everybody drives through it and I think everybody thinks about this building as representative of Walnut Hills,” Wright said.

The building is the old Paramount Theater.

Get the whole story here!

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OCDCA receives significant gift from Bank of America for social enterprise

Ohio CDC Association is delighted to announce a significant gift from the Bank of America Foundation for the new Social Enterprise Incubation Program.

The Social Enterprise Incubation Program (SEIP) provides training and development for community development corporations (CDCs) interested in expanding into social enterprise activities. Social enterprises are entrepreneurial activities that provide social good while generating a profit. The SEIP is a four phase academy where CDCs complete rigorous social enterprise training and receive technical assistance from OCDCA. It culminates in a pitch competition where CDCs receive investment funds.

Phase One of the SEIP allows 30 CDC staff or board members (two from fifteen organizations) to attend an introduction workshop. Because initiating a social enterprise requires complete buy-in from the organization’s stakeholders as well as a considerable amount of time, planning, and resources, each participant completes an assessment to gauge their organization’s readiness. In Phase Two, twelve CDC staff or board members (two from six organizations) are sent to a three day social enterprise boot-camp. In Phase Three, three organizations receive technical assistance to help shape their enterprise idea. Phase Three culminates in a shark tank where the CDCs pitch to a room of investors. In Phase Four, one to two organizations receive startup capital and an OCDCA AmeriCorps VISTA to help implement their social enterprise.

The SEIP will begin in the first part of 2018, and we are more than excited to expand our relationship with Bank of America to bring this program to realization in Ohio. Thank you, Bank of America! We could not do this work without your support!

 

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Three lessons from the Rust Belt on growing a healthy city

Armando Carbonell and Torey Hollingsworth for Next City:

“The loss of major industries also hurt cities in more subtle ways, by depriving them of a broad cohort of civic leaders that were once woven into their communities’ social fabric. Today, as smaller legacy cities take steps to regenerate, their continued success depends on rebuilding civic capacity and talent across the public and private sectors. They can do that best with a sustained commitment of resources by states, which need to recognize the importance of smaller cities to their future.

These are the conclusions of a new report by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Greater Ohio Policy Center, “Revitalizing America’s Smaller Legacy Cities: Strategies for Postindustrial Success from Gary to Lowell,” which tracks the progress of 24 smaller postindustrial cities in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

The cities range in population from 30,000 to 200,000 and face unique challenges, but they have more in common than they differ. They each rose to prosperity amid a wave of international and domestic migration, and many continue to recognize the role of immigrants in their resurgence a century later. They all want to attract young professionals and startups while nurturing their existing residents and businesses. And unlike their larger counterparts, they lack many of the big anchor institutions — corporations, universities, hospitals and philanthropies — that that might otherwise lead their regeneration.

Some cities have already begun to rebuild the civic capacity needed to improve the local economy and quality of life. We will release a toolkit with strategies in early 2018, building on a few core approaches that have worked thus far…”

Read the rest of this op-ed in Next City. Also, check out the report by our partner Greater Ohio Policy Center!

 

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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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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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New report lays out strategies to revitalize smaller legacy cities

From Gary, Indiana to Lowell, Massachusetts, smaller post-industrial cities are taking strategic steps to regenerate – with the chance to follow their larger rebounding counterparts like Pittsburgh and Cleveland – by building on downtowns, capitalizing on a unique sense of place, and focusing on workforce development, according to a new report published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in partnership with the Greater Ohio Policy Center.

 

The report, Revitalizing America’s Smaller Legacy Cities: Strategies for Postindustrial Success from Gary to Lowell, emphasizes how America’s smaller legacy cities – cities located primarily in the Midwest and Northeast with 30,000 to 200,000 residents and traditional economies built around manufacturing – have long been central to building American middle class prosperity.