First Financial, 3CDC, DCI Provide Relief to Damaged Downtown Businesses

Posted on June 25, 2020 by jrudemiller

Organizations Commit $50,000 to Offset Costs to Repair 40 Storefronts

CINCINNATI (June 25, 2020) – First Financial Bank, Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), and Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI) have teamed up to cover the costs of damage to 40 storefronts in Downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine that resulted from the civil unrest that occurred in late May. First Financial is contributing $30,000 to the effort, with 3CDC/DCI adding $20,000 to bring the total commitment to $50,000.

Recognizing the difficulty many of Downtown’s small businesses had already been grappling with related to closures due to COVID-19, Archie Brown, First Financial’s President & CEO, contacted 3CDC the Monday after the damage took place to offer financial support to the businesses impacted.

“The past few months have been exceptionally difficult for small businesses within our community,” said Brown, who is also a 3CDC Board Member. “This donation aligns perfectly with our emphasis on being woven into our communities. It provides assistance to local businesses at a time when unplanned expenses could impact recovery plans. We’re pleased to do our part and look forward to the return of our vibrant Downtown and OTR business communities.”

3CDC did an assessment of every business that had been reported as damaged, and ultimately found that approximately 80 total properties between Downtown and OTR had been damaged. 3CDC managed to connect with roughly 60 business owners to assess the damage to their storefronts and lost inventory, and 40 of those businesses accepted the offer of financial help to cover the cost of the damages.

Several businesses that had storefronts shattered or inventory stolen were large chains that covered their own expenses, and a number of small businesses owners received contributions and donations from patrons in the immediate aftermath of the damage, and requested that any funds raised go to other small business owners. 3CDC estimates the total damage to be in excess of $275,000.

“We’re grateful to our partners at First Financial for stepping up to help Downtown’s small businesses, many of which were just reopening after closing down due to the virus before being dealt this immediate out-of-pocket cost,” Steve Leeper, President & CEO of 3CDC, said. “We hope this financial boost helps these businesses as they continue to get their operations up and running during these challenging times.”

The $50,000 in funding will be used to cover a combination of out-of-pocket costs and insurance deductibles for the 40 businesses, which are split evenly between OTR and the Central Business District.

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