Promoting Economic Vitality

The mission of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce is to represent our members by promoting economic vitality and fostering a socially and culturally diverse Over-the-Rhine community.

We accomplish this through comprehensive marketing, signature events, business support programs, and safety and beautification initiatives.

The OTR Chamber was formed in 1985 as a 501(c)(6) organization. In 2000, we created the OTR Revitalization Corporation, a 501(c)(3), to tap into available grants and fiscal gifts. The organizations work hand in hand to bring resources, events, commerce, and awareness to our 360-acre neighborhood.


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Marketing and Communications

The Over-the-Rhine Chamber works to improve attitudes and perceptions about OTR, and increase the neighborhood’s vibrancy. As the creator of signature events like the OTR MADE Awards, Second Sunday on Main, and the OTR 5k & Summer Celebration, The OTR Chamber is responsible for bringing thousands of visitors and potential shoppers to the district. LEARN ABOUT MEMBER BENEFITS

The OTR Chamber also leads an annual holiday campaign, including special events. Year-round, it convenes Over-the-Rhine merchant associations on a monthly basis to better connect and cross promote regional business districts.




Business Attraction and Retention

The Over-the-Rhine Chamber supports existing and potential businesses of OTR to grow sustainable businesses, increase employment opportunities, and energize the streets and sidewalks of OTR.

Business First Grant

Our Business Innovation Challenge awards grants to businesses with an innovative idea focused on growing new products and services in Over-the-Rhine. All existing businesses located in Over-the-Rhine and Pendleton (as defined by the City of Cincinnati) are eligible to apply. LEARN ABOUT THE BUSINESS INNOVATION CHALLENGE

Safety Initiatives

The OTR Chamber develops initiatives in partnership with the City of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Police, business and property owners, residents, and its members and stakeholders to enhance the quality of life for the community. Monthly safety meetings, attended by the Cincinnati Police and facilitated by the OTR Chamber, are solution-oriented meetings open to all OTR stakeholders to attend. Other initiatives include the No Trespass sign program, with more than 900 properties participating.

Our Neighborhood

Over-the-Rhine is a welcoming community where people of all socioeconomic backgrounds shop, live, work and play. By coming here, patrons are embracing the diversity that makes our neighborhood special and supporting businesses that are the backbone of our community.

Since the early nineteenth century, Over-the-Rhine, a 360-acre neighborhood, has been home to people of all economic classes and ethnic backgrounds. Over-the-Rhine has long been physically defined by its characteristic compact streets, three- to five-story brick buildings, churches, and meeting halls, which was heavily influenced by its first inhabitants, German immigrants.

The neighborhood’s name is also a nod to its earliest residents. The first portion of the Miami and Erie Canal completed in 1827, and the canal flowed between downtown and Over-the-Rhine, which reminded German immigrants of the Rhine River. They dubbed the canal (now Central Parkway) “the Rhine,” and from this grew the name “Over-the-Rhine.”

The revitalization of Over-the-Rhine continues to receive national attention for its clear direction with regard to development, public and private efforts, and strong will of local residents. With city-wide collaboration and determination, Over-the-Rhine is moving steadily toward a future with an economically vibrant, socially and culturally diverse, and all-around inclusive neighborhood.

Learn more