Charter One and Ohio City Incorporated Announce Small Business Grant Program
Charter One Growing Communities 2012 Ohio City Market District Small Business Development Grant Competition now in its second year
Small businesses have an opportunity to secure grants to help their companies grow or launch in the Ohio City Market District through the Ohio City Market District Small Business Development Grant Competition. This competition is a program of the Charter One Growing Communities initiative, a project aimed at boosting economic and neighborhood development in the Ohio City Market District.
The competition will award winning small businesses with grants between $5,000 and $20,000 to assist in opening or expanding a business in the Ohio City Market District, the area surrounding the West Side Market. The Market District is home to over 150 small businesses and has recently seen significant growth including the addition of 25 new businesses in the last two years. This year, the competition is limited to new retail businesses looking to call the Ohio City Market District home. Competition winners may utilize funds for the payment of rent in an eligible location for a period of no more than one year, the purchase of equipment necessary for business operation, or interior build out.
Charter One has invested over $500,000 in the Market District over the last three years including the Growing Communities initiative and the West Side Market Centennial celebration this year. In 2011, Charter One Growing Communities provided funds to help launch five businesses including Joy Machines Bike Shop, Campbell’s Sweet Shop, Salty Not Sweet, Urban Orchid and SOHO Kitchen and Bar to open in the neighborhood.
“We are truly excited to be a part of the revitalization of Ohio City Market District,” said Ken Marblestone, President of Charter One and RBS Citizens in Ohio.
“Ohio City Incorporated and our other community partners have brought forth so many innovative ideas that are really making a difference here. The future is bright for Cleveland neighborhoods,” Marblestone continued.
New businesses or expanding businesses can apply for the grants by responding to the the Ohio City Market District Small Business Development Competition Grant RFP, along with submitting a short essay, and a business plan.
“The Charter One Growing Communities initiative has catalyzed tremendous growth in the Market District,” said Eric Wobser, Executive Director, Ohio City Incorporated. “We are very excited to launch year two of the Small Business Grant Competition. We have five vacant storefronts left in the Market District and through this program, we hope to have them filled by the end of the year.”
The competition begins today and runs through May 21, 2012. Applications must be received by 5 PM on May 21, 2012 in order to be eligible. Grant applications will be judged on their merits by a grant selection committee, and winners and grant amounts will be announced the week of June 11, 2012. The RFP is available online at www.ohiocity.org or by contacting Ohio City Incorporated.
Ohio City Incorporated is the community development corporation dedicated to developing, preserving and promoting Ohio City as a desirable place to live, work, study and play.
Charter One Growing Communities invests in job creation and neighborhood development in the Ohio City Market District. It partners with Ohio City Incorporated, the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman, Cleveland Public Art, Neighborhood Progress Inc., The Refugee Response and others to support and launch new ideas and programs to benefit the neighborhood and its residents.
Download the RFP in word doc here and pdf here