Shopping Local in Cleveland Helps Create Stronger Communities and More Jobs

Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Small Business Saturday will take place this year on Saturday November 30. On this day many in Cleveland will celebrate entrepreneurship and the benefits of shopping local.


In Cleveland, there are a variety of small businesses which have thrived. In the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development there is a small business team which works hard to ensure the success of small businesses in the City. Small Business Saturday is a day to showcase these businesses and bring awareness to their importance.

Kevin Schmotzer, Executive of Small Business Development for the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development is an expert on small business development and believes in the importance of Small Business Saturday in Cleveland.

“This is an opportunity to rally the residents of Cleveland to shop local while educating them on the benefits to the overall community vs. big box or on-line shopping,” said Schmotzer. ” When you spend dollars at local businesses, those dollars actually recirculate into the community. The proprietor spends the money to buy supplies or advertising locally and then those vendors do the same, meaning your dollars support many businesses and help them grow to create local jobs,” he said.


The Departments small business team has an extensive list of businesses for which assistance has been provided. One of which is the revitalization of the 5th Street Arcades ( formerly Euclid-Colonial Arcades). Within this building are many new small “mom and pop” businesses. The clientele includes minority owned businesses, female owned businesses, immigrant businesses and existing businesses that have expanded.

 Linda Damiani, owner of Fra Angelica Gallery and Studio is a tenant in the 5th Street Arcades. Fra Angelica is a collection of high quality art-to- wear. The business supports sustainability efforts in the region. Many of the products are made from recycled, renewable and sustainable materials. Ms. Damiani opened the retail store this year as an outlet for her art and as an affordable venue where other local artists may sell their artwork.

Damiani believes small business is important and she is an advocate for shopping local.

More and more people who come into my store believe in shopping local and supporting small, local businesses. I believe in local sustainability,” said Damiani. “Anyone who buys products from my store not only helps my business but also supports the businesses of the artists who sell their art-to-wear in my store. The whole process is sustainable, and it’s heartening to think of all the support we’ve received,” she said.


Downtown Cleveland is being revitalized with new developments and many Clevelanders are in support.

“I want to be a part of the revitalization efforts to bring retail back to downtown. A vibrant downtown is essential to the health of, not only the City of Cleveland, but the entire region,” said Damiana.

In light of this, the Department of Economic Development has geared up to bring new life back into the City.

“We work hard as a team to ensure that the City of Cleveland is a great place to live and do business.  As we bring new businesses into the City and help improve the existing, we hope to showcase our talented work force as well as the many benefits our location offers such as low cost of living and diversity, said Tracey Nichols, Director of the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development. “The opportunities are here, we just want to let local entrepreneurs know we are available to support them. Small businesses are not small in impact, rather a critical component for the success of our economy,” said Nichols.

To learn more about Small Business Saturday, visit

For more information on economic development in Cleveland, contact the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development at 216-664-2406. Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page for news and events.


First Annual Cleveland Entrepreneurship Week to Kick Off November 5


Cleveland Entrepreneurship Week is November 4-8.  Cleveland Entrepreneurship Week is structured to connect entrepreneurs with local leaders, capital and resources so that they may successfully collaborate on current and future business opportunities to create new jobs and economic growth in the state of Ohio. Cleveland Entrepreneurship week is presented by American Airlines, LaunchHouse and Brasco Design + Marketing.The opening event will take place on November 5 at 7:30 PM at Launch House located at 3558 Lee Road Shaker Heights, Oh 44120.

The City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development helps businesses thrive in Cleveland by providing the technical assistance, creative financing and educational opportunities needed to grow and develop. An advocate for entrepreneurship, the Department offers many opportunities to help businesses succeed, including but not limited to, the Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program, the Economic Development Administration Loan and the Vacant Property Initiative Fund.


Businesses are encouraged to take advantage of Cleveland Entrepreneurship Week, an opportunity to meet entrepreneurs from around the country. The event will connect entrepreneurs with potential financial backers as well as fellow business people. It is an investment for Cleveland businesses to learn how to take their business to the next level.

You can also follow @ClevelandEW on Twitter for event news and updates.


November 5

5:00 PM-7:30 PM Launch House Demo Day- The culmination of the 12 week LaunchHouse accelerator program

7:30 PM-10:00 PM Cleveland EW Opening Event- Kick off for Cleveland Entrepreneurship Week

November 6

9:00 AM-11:00 AM  Pitch Session

11:00 AM-1:00 PM  Pitch Session

1:00 PM-3:00 PM    Pitch Session

3:00 PM-5:00 PM    Pitch Session

6:00 PM-9:00 PM   After Hours Networking

November 7

9:00 AM-3:00 PM Showcase Ohio

5:00 PM-7:00 PM Cleveland Startup Collective Speaker Series

7:00 PM-11:45 PM Cleveland EW Presents BT @ Barley House

November 8

9:00 AM-11:00 AM Women in Business

9:00 AM -11:00 AM Attracting Capital in Cleveland

11:00 AM-1:00 PM Med Tech Industry

11:00 AM-1:00 PM Cleveland Food Industry

1:00 PM-3:00 PM Government Role with Start-Ups

1:00 PM-3:00 PM Creating a Loyal Brand

3:00 PM-5:00 PM So You Want to Start a Biz?

3:00 PM-5:00 PM Legal Advice for Growth Stage Companies

7:00 PM-10:00 PM Cleveland EW Closing Event

For more information on Cleveland Entrepreneurship Week, visit

Be sure to like The City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development on Facebook, Twitter and Slideshare for more economic development news in Cleveland.

For questions about how to grow your business please call the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development at 216-664-2406.

2013 Inner City Economic Summit at Cleveland’s GCHI

The Inner City Economic Summit was held in Cleveland at the Global Center for Health Innovation October 23-24. The summit themed ‘Transforming Urban Ecologies’, convened economic and community development professionals from public, private and nonprofit sectors to discuss the drivers to economic growth.

The agenda included the Director of Economic Development for the City of Cleveland, Tracey Nichols. Director Nichols led a tour of Downtown Cleveland.  The tour highlighted the sites of some of Cleveland’s newest development efforts, including the future location of Lake Erie’s offshore wind farm, the thriving Health-Tech Corridor, and the transit development along Euclid Avenue.

Cleveland’s transit system is a successful development which has received national attention. Most recently mentioned in the article, Cleveland transit system points the way for Detroit M-1 Rail project, the project serves as an example to other cities and is award winning. Cleveland’s Health line was ranked as the highest quality-corridor in the US and Canada by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

The Summit provided attendees with the practical knowledge, skills and network needed to bolster their city’s development efforts.The Summit also shed light on economic development successes within the City of Cleveland.

Director Nichols informing attendees about Cleveland's Healthline.

Director Nichols informing conference attendees about Cleveland’s Healthline. Photo by: Cheng-Han Yu, City of Cleveland

Bus  passes Cleveland City Call. Photo by: Cheng-Han Yu

Bus passes Cleveland Public Auditorium in Downtown Cleveland. Photo by: Cheng-Han Yu, City of Cleveland

City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development attend conference. Staff member, Michael Elliot asks a question. Photo by: Cheng-Han Yu, City of Cleveland

Team members of the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development attend Summit. Staff member, Michael Elliot asks a question. Photo by: Cheng-Han Yu, City of Cleveland


Cheng-Han Yu, Fellow, City of Cleveland with Dr. Michael Porter of Harvard Business School.

Cheng-Han Yu, Fellow, City of Cleveland with Dr. Michael Porter of Harvard Business School.

Be sure to like us on Facebook, Twitter and Slideshare for more economic development news in Cleveland.

For questions about business development in Cleveland please call the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development at 216-664-2406.

International Businesses Explore Cleveland with Help from Fellow, Cheng-Han Yu


Cheng-Han Yu and international guests visit Cleveland’s Global Center for Health Innovation.

The City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development is working to attract international businesses to the City. The Department’s goal is to raise awareness of business opportunities in Cleveland and welcome potential investors and businesses to Cleveland. In an effort to accomplish this, Cheng- Han Yu has been named an International Business Development Fellow for the Department of Economic Development.  Cheng-Han has been working closely with the Department to ensure foreign direct investment within the city is obtained.

“We are excited to have Cheng -Han Yu on our team. He is an advocate for Cleveland and international business. His expertise can help take investors to the next level in our City, “said Tracey Nichols, Director of Economic Development.

Cheng-Han Yu is an experienced researcher in real estate development, urban design and economic development. He possesses a diverse background and knowledge in urban planning, real estate, financial engineering and actuarial science.  As a leader in international business development, he promotes international business retention and growth in the City of Cleveland.  He is knowledgeable regarding current and future development trends in Cleveland.  He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has demonstrated an ability to connect international businesses with the proper resources needed to ensure the success of a business establishment.

“I can provide the assistance needed to make things happen. I can fluently explain each process, step by step,” said Cheng Han Yu.

Cheng-Han Yu also utilizes Sina Weibo, a Chinese micro blogging site where his recent projects and achievements for the City of Cleveland can be found.  Sina Weibo is one of the most popular sites in China. It is comparable to what Twitter has established in the USA.

International businesses can benefit from moving their operations to Cleveland in multiple ways. Some of those benefits include affordable housing, reliable public transportation, world renowned hospitals and various entertainment and recreational venues. It is within the Northeast Ohio region which has 29 colleges and universities that contribute to an educated, productive workforce. In addition, the central location of Cleveland allows quick access to more than half of North America, including Canada. Almost 50% of the U.S. population and 60% of all U.S. fortune 500 headquarters are within 500 miles.

For more information on international business resources and Cleveland assets, contact Cheng Han Yu directly at 216-664-2202 or via email


Cleveland Businesses Can Acquire Low Interest Capital Assets with EDA Loan Program

The City of Cleveland’s Economic Development Administration Loan Program (EDA Loan) offers long term, fixed rate, and below market financing to for- profit businesses. EDA funds can pay for 1/3 of the project costs for machinery and equipment, working capital, building construction or acquisition and building renovation. The borrower can finance up to $200,000 for working capital and between $35,000 and $500,000 for other uses. The principal payment is deferred for six months on all EDA loans (interest only payments for six months). The amortization term period will begin after six months.


To be eligible for this loan the business must be for- profit and is required to create or retain one full time job for every $35,000 borrowed. The business must inject at least 10% equity and the loan value must be 90% or less. The business must show that a bank would not finance the project, is charging a high interest rate or will only fund a portion of the project. The interest rate of the EDA loan is currently less than 3%. No retail establishments, except grocery stores, are eligible. Job creation may include both retained and created jobs.


For more information on the EDA loan program, contact Michael Elliott, Project Coordinator, at 216-664-4470 or

Affordability Attracts Headquarters to Cleveland: New Online Newsletter Touts Economic Resurgence in the Midwest


More companies are becoming interested in the opportunity to locate to the Midwest. Cleveland is among the chosen Midwest cities that companies are selecting for business. The economic downturn has not kept Cleveland down. There are increasing development opportunities here that are attracting businesses.

Alexander Mann Solutions, a U.K.-based global recruitment services company, is an example of a company which has taken advantage of Cleveland’s many assets. The company chose to headquarter in Cleveland after enticing persuasion from other states such as Florida, Texas and North Carolina. Cleveland and other Midwest cities are receiving recognition for economic development accomplishments.

Due to an increasing volume of interest and the economic rebirth in the Midwest, the monthly newsletter, Trust Belt, has been created. The newsletter is dedicated to the upper Midwest regions and will tell the stories of Midwest cities presenting an opportunity to share economic development news about their states and communities. The publication is being launched by the publisher of the award winning, Site Selection Magazine.

According to a study by The Boyd Company Inc., in Princeton, N.J., the Midwest offers some of the most affordable locations for corporate headquarters. Corporate executives are increasingly finding opportunities in Midwest territories like Cleveland. Cleveland ranks the 18th most affordable market in the country.

For more information on economic development in Cleveland, contact the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development at 216-664-2406. Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page for news and events.  Follow  The Trust Belt on Twitter and like their page on Facebook for more information on the economic resurgence of the Greater Midwest Region.

Award Opportunities Available for Innovative, Community Based Organizations


Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. has announced that proposals for the Community Innovation Award and the Nurture an Idea Award are now being accepted.

The Community Innovation Award was launched in 2012 by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., in partnership with Key Bank and with assistance from the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. The award will honor an organization whose work embodies the vision and values of developing an equitable and sustainable society that works for all people, the environment and the local economy.  The first place winner will receive a $25,000 unrestricted grant to support their work. Applications must be received by 3:00 p.m. September 6, 2013.  To be eligible, organizations must be 501(c) (3), or have an eligible fiscal agent and projects must have been completed between December 2011 and March 2013. Additional criteria and information on how to apply can be found here

The Nurture an Idea Award, sponsored by Neighborhood Progress Inc., will award the organization that best demonstrates a commitment to impact, innovation and collaboration. The award will recognize a group or organization that is working to implement an innovative idea. The winner will receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds and be paired with an advisory team who will lend their expertise. In addition, finalists will be selected by invitation only to participate in a fundraising campaign on Crowdrise, an online funding site. To be eligible the organization must be 501 (c) (3). Applications must be received by 3:00 p.m., September 6, 2013. Additional criteria and information on how to apply can be found here

 Visit Enterprise’s website for more details.  




American Made Movie Tour: CLEVELAND

On Sunday, July 14, 2013, American Made Movie filmmakers and promoters will roll up in a great big bus to screen their film in Cleveland. Spend your Sunday with the crew at one of the planned events around town, join the Be a Part Movement, and join us at Market Garden Brewery for a screening of “American Made Movie” at 6pm. Let’s show the crew what Cleveland and it’s manufacturers and makers are all about!

American Made Tour Bus


For more information about the day, please visit:

SPOTLIGHT: Cleveland Event Participants


Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program Brings New Life to Mac’s Sports Grill

Robert Hunt, Eloise Hunt and Anthony Stella at the Mac's Sports Grill Grand Opening

Robert Hunt, Eloise Hunt and Anthony Stella at the Mac’s Sports Grill Grand Opening

June 17th was a proud day for the Lee-Harvard community. The grand opening of Mac’s Sports Grill located at 17436 Harvard Avenue, triggered smiles on the faces of commuters eager to come back to the place they call home.

For citizens in the Lee-Harvard community, Mac’s Sports Grill is a home away from home. “Everybody in the neighborhood is saying, ‘We’re back home,’” said Robert Hunt, husband of Eloise Hunt, owner of Mac’s.

"Welcome Back Home" Mac's Sports Grill

“Welcome Back Home” Mac’s Sports Grill

“The best thing about coming here is the people. Most of the people have grown up in this neighborhood. This place is like a landmark,” said owner, Eloise Hunt.

The City of Cleveland’s Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program (NRAP), which aids small retail businesses and merchants in Cleveland, served as a key component in the success of the opening of this neighborhood landmark. NRAP provided Mac’s with a loan which helped purchase equipment and fund interior construction.

“The City’s Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program is a great tool for small retail businesses and restaurants,” said Anthony Stella, Project Coordinator for the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development. “It was a pleasure to work with Ms. Hunt and help provide the financial assistance she needed to realize her dream of opening a sports café in the Lee-Harvard Neighborhood.”

Mac’s menu features many American favorites such as sandwiches, wings, burgers and fries as well as specialty drinks to enjoy during a big game or while socializing with friends. The business is also decorated in Cleveland sports memorabilia to showcase hometown pride.

Eloise Hunt not only loves Cleveland sports, but she is a strong supporter of the City.

“Cleveland is a great place to raise a family. I like that Cleveland is both peaceful and a place where you can have a good time,” said Hunt.

Leaving a legacy of pride, Hunt wants customers to remember, “This is something to give the community, something to be proud of. I want the people to be proud of what their community has accomplished.”

Business hours are 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. seven days a week.

Mac’s Sports Grill

Address: 17436 Harvard Avenue. Cleveland, OH 44128

Phone Number: 216-295-1808

For more information about the Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program, contact Anthony Stella with the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development.

City of Cleveland Represented at CGI America

City of Cleveland Logo small

 City of Cleveland Represented at CGI America

 Director of the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development to Present at Clinton Global Initiative

 CLEVELAND – The City of Cleveland will be represented by Economic Development Director Tracey A. Nichols during the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting in Chicago, Illinois on June 14. Nichols will speak on a panel titled “Towards a New Economy: Strategies in Urban Economic Development”.

The CGI America breakout session will highlight forward-thinking collaborative approaches to urban economic development that can create new, quality employment opportunities while also enhancing the social and physical well-being of metropolitan communities. Director Nichols will be presenting the Evergreen Cooperatives, a set of worker-owned green business cooperatives in Cleveland that work in partnership with anchor institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, CaseWestern Reserve University and University Hospitals to create wealth and jobs in low-income communities.

“The Evergreen Cooperatives are innovative models of job creation, wealth-building and sustainability in Cleveland,” said Nichols. “I look forward to sharing the Evergreen story with those in attendance at CGI America and inspiring other communities to create similar models that assist low-income individuals and provide valuable products and services to anchor institutions and residents. “

Nichols has been the Director of the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development Department since February 2008 and is responsible for business attraction and helping businesses navigate City Hall for all their needs. In 2011, under her leadership, The Department won the Best Community Development Project in the Nation from the National Development Council for their participation in the Evergreen Laundry Project. The City of Cleveland has also provided assistance to the Green City Growers and Ohio Cooperative Solar, two other worker-owned cooperatives in town.

Joining Nichols on the panel Mike Brady, President and CEO, Greyston Bakery; Tina Castro, Director, Impact Investing & Strategic Partnerships, The California Endowment; and Audrey Choi, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley.

About CGI America


The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more than 200 commitments valued at $13.4 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit

Participate in #CGIAmerica 2013 via Social Media