The Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce is proud to support small business owners with business retention support. We seek to maintain strong, sustainable businesses and increase employment opportunities, while animating the streets and sidewalks of OTR.





Our Goals Include

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Improve

Making referrals to resources and information that will strengthen business operations

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Connect

Providing contacts to lending organizations

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Cooperation

Inspiring collaborative relationships between businesses, residents and strategic partners

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Locate

Providing information on available commercial (retail and office) space in OTR

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Training

Connecting businesses with trained employees


Business First Grant

The mission of the Business First Grant Program (BFG) is to benefit OTR by strengthening the local economy, increasing business and employment opportunities, and creating a diverse, healthy, and sustainable business district.

Our Goals:

  • Deepen the success of minority-owned business in OTR.
  • Support business capital improvement in strategic locations that promote walkability and safety by offering valued services to residents and workers.
  • Attract businesses which will inspire originality and pride, hire locally, and invest in the Business First Grant mission.
  • Provide an environment for individuals, entrepreneurs, investors and businesses to thrive.
  • Attract local and regional tourism, while also complementing the local neighborhood and its residents.
  • Provide an experience unique to Over-the-Rhine and create an atmosphere which encourages shopping and supporting local businesses.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESS FIRST GRANT



Innovation Challenge Grant

The Innovation Challenge Grant was created in 2014 to award grants to OTR businesses and organizations for projects which will help them expand or fund a creative partnership or service. All existing businesses located in Over-the-Rhine (as defined by the City of Cincinnati) are eligible and must also be a member of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce to apply. The Innovation Challenge grant is administered by the OTR Chamber's Business Attraction and Retention Committee, a diverse group of leaders and stakeholders in the community.

Suggested innovation ideas include: a focus on expanding the business with equipment, promotions, etc.; enhancing the customer experience; or funding a project or service the business would like to launch.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE INNOVATION CHALLENGE GRANT

Represent

A group of community leaders have come together to craft a plan to increase the number of minority-owned businesses in Over-the-Rhine to better represent the makeup of the population of the City of Cincinnati. The group, Represent, is comprised of representatives from 3CDC, MORTAR, the OTR Chamber, the African American Chamber, Model Group, Urban Sites, and Corporation for Findlay Market.

The ultimate goal of the initiative is to connect more minority-owned businesses with brick and mortar spaces in the neighborhood of OTR. Data shows that the percentage of African American-owned businesses, in particular, lags far behind the percentage of the African American residents in the City of Cincinnati. As part of the initiative, the organizations involved are committed to filling the majority of their commercial spaces with African American-owned businesses moving forward. While this change will take months or years to be fully realized, the organizations involved are committed to seeing this effort through.

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Invest in OTR Businesses

Build brand recognition for your organization, and signal your support for the renaissance of Over-the-Rhine.
LEARN ABOUT PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES.