OTR Community Partners Join Forces to Increase Diversity Among Business Owners

Posted on October 1, 2018 by aatkinson

Kickoff Event Planned to Announce New Program

CINCINNATI (October 1, 2018) – To better reflect the makeup and population of the City of Cincinnati, community leaders and stakeholders have come together to devise a plan to make Over-the-Rhine the most diverse business district in Cincinnati. This initiative, Represent, is being led by MORTAR and the OTR Chamber, with a committee of representatives from the African American Chamber, 3CDC, Findlay Market, Model Group, and Urban Sites. Councilmembers Tamaya Dennard and Greg Landsman convened this working group and have guided its work.

To celebrate the launch of this new initiative, Represent will be hosting a kickoff event on Monday, Oct. 8 from 5pm – 6:30pm at 101 W Elder Street near Findlay Market.

The event will be a networking happy hour, the first of many meetings of its type. Represent’s ultimate goal is to connect more minority-owned businesses with brick and mortar spaces in the OTR neighborhood.

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. The initiative is also engaged in unearthing the opportunities and barriers facing minority-owned businesses, an effort the group hopes can ultimately increase the success of minority-owned businesses in OTR.

“The Over-the-Rhine community is overdue for an initiative like this,” William Thomas, Co-Founder of MORTAR and Co-Chair of Represent, said. “MORTAR applauds the leaders for stepping up and making this major commitment. The collective buy-in and intention of this partnership makes us confident that together we can build a representative, inclusive and thriving business district.”

This event is free to attend and open to the public.

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