As new businesses open up in the historic, Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati, a new initiative called “Represent” is stepping in to make sure the owners of these new establishments mirror the diversity of the area.
Community leaders worked alongside MORTAR and the Over-the-Rhine Chamber to create a program designed for diverse entrepreneurs and are launching the initiative this week.
While 43 percent of Cincinnati’s population is Black, only six percent of the city’s entrepreneurs are, according to Over-the-Rhine Chamber executive director Kelly Adamson.
“Over-the-Rhine is one of the most popular business areas now. Unfortunately, it has not been very representative of the Cincinnati community so far,” William Thomas, co-founder and expansion director of MORTAR, a business accelerator for inner-city entrepreneurs, said to WCPO Cinncinati.
The new initiative is implementing programming to bring Black-owned businesses to the Over-the-Rhine, including an attraction grant geared towards helping a minority entrepreneur open a business. Business owners can get as much as $20,000, Adamson said to WCPO Cinncinati.