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OTR Kickball back for season three

This summer, the third season of the OTR kickball league will return to Cutter Field, this time, with a little more organization.
The kickball league was started two years ago by Jenny Kessler, who, until now, has found sponsors, rounded up teams, organized referees and scheduled the 22 teams who have competed during the first two seasons. At the end of last season, Tom Hodges, an OTR resident and lawyer, asked Kessler if she was planning on planning a third season. After a short discussion, Hodges and Kessler, along with Joe Yoo, decided to form Urban Sports Cincinnati (USC), an LLC which will help govern the kickball league, and other downtown games like bocce ball at Neons and ping pong at the Drinkery. 
"The idea is to have something in place so once the person who started doesn't want to run it anymore, it still continues," Hodges says. "It's about the neighborhood. We want it to continue to thrive, and small things, like kickball, contribute to why people want to live here."
USC will create an infrastructure, complete with a website, to help in the planning of sports in the downtown area. 
"When I decide I don't want to run kickball anymore, someone won't have to build it from scratch again," Kessler says. "I can give someone the contacts, the set-up and all the other information they need to keep it going."
USC will also help keep the funds in one place. Soapbox contributor Casey Coston started ping pong at the Drinkery last year, but it has since stopped because of a lack of functioning tables. Hodges hopes that with USC, gathering the money needed will be easier, and better than having one person invest in the equipment alone.
The third season kicks of in late June and runs through August with a cost of $15 per person. The low cost has always been a goal, and is aimed at making the league more relaxed and all-inclusive, rather than ultra-competitive. It was a goal of Kessler's to bring the community together. Neighborhood children have always been encouraged to join teams when substitutes are needed, and those children have since become welcomed members of some teams.  
"I think the organization will give these games legitimacy, so people won't mind paying the $15," Hodges says. "But it's also cheap enough to keep the feeling that this is for fun and to make the community a more vibrant place." 

Sign your team up here.
By Evan Wallis

VisuaLingual's Seed Bomb biz blooms

Tucked into the third floor of a warehouse on W. 15th Street, right above Harvest Gallery, Maya Drozdz and Michael Stout, the duo that comprises VisuaLingual, have been busy stuffing muslin bags full of Seed Bombs for everything from baptisms to orders for Williams-Sonoma.
The Seed Bombs are gumball-sized brown balls made out of a cookie dough-like substance that encases different seeds. The bombs break on impact with the ground and eventually start to grow in almost any environment. Seed Bombs are completely hand-made and the bags are screen-printed by the couple in Over-the-Rhine.
One of their recent, larger developments is a contract with Williams-Sonoma. At the beginning of April, Drozdz put together two exclusive products for the new "Agrarian" line of products. The two products are cocktail garnishes that include cinnamon basil, lemon mint and lime basil, and culinary herbs, which include parsley, basil and cilantro. 
"It's been in the works for a long time," Drozdz says. "Once our products get featured in one national store, people start to see it and then contact us about getting it in their store." 
In the midst of stuffing bags, tying knots and packing up boxes for national retailers like Anthropologie and Williams-Sonoma, Drozdz and her two after-school employees and three part-time helpers work on custom orders for people and businesses around the country. Right now, the team is stuffing 10,000 bags of parsley seed bombs, which is a digestive-aid for dogs, for the all-natural dog food company, The Honest Kitchen. The Seed Bombs will be sent out as gifts to the dog food company's customers. 
Seed Bombs were also featured at an Etsy event in New York that showcased one-of-a-kind Etsy products for wedding favors. In the past year, VisuaLingual has experienced much growth, which will allow Drozdz's partner, Stout, to join the team full-time in May. 
"We've had to learn a lot of things as we go," Drozdz says. "But I feel like I always have a challenge and am learning and doings things I never thought I would." 
Next up, Drozdz is already thinking about the holiday season and making their Blooming Briquettes, a creative stocking-stuffer that looks like a piece of coal but is actually a Seed Bomb
By Evan Wallis

Global 2 Local blends translation, technology

A Cincinnati-based interpreting company has been providing translations and interpreting service to companies worldwide, and recently won a contract from the City of Cincinnati to provide interpreter services for all of the Health Department locations in the city. 
Global 2 Local Language Solutions was founded by Grace Bosworth in 2009, but she didn't really start working on her company full-time until November 2010. G2L specializes in technical document translation, which is possible through its database of more than 300 to 400 interpreters and translators. 
After helping another woman start a language service business out of a house, and eventually broke off of the company to travel for a year, and upon returning to Cincinnati, she founded G2L. With previous experience starting a similar type of business, Bosworth was able to hit the ground running. 
G2L provides service including everything from website localizations, meaning the website is designed and programmed in several different languages to technical document translations to in-person interpreting. 
"Translators and interpreters are special people," Bostworth says. "They have to have a complete grasp of both languages they area working with as well as a background in the specific matter they are translating." 
Besides the translation and interpreting services, G2L also provides web design, graphics and database administration. This blend of technology and translation is a departure from what many language service businesses offer. One major hurdle G2L faces is finding new clients. Bosworth started 2012 with the goal of gaining 25 new contracts, a large number for a company with only four full time employees. 
"Finding new clients is one of our biggest challenges," Bosworth says. "Gaining contracts like this one with Cincinnati is a great way for us to bridge the gap to bigger contracts. You can't get experience until someone let's you have it." 
With the momentum of winning the contract from the City of Cincinnati, G2L is now in the running to win a larger contract to provide interpreter services for all of the hospitals in Dayton. 
Business will continue to grow for G2L as they obtain more clients and Bosworth believes more people will see the need for providing their services to a non-English speaking customer base. The Ohio Department of Development has a grant right now that gives companies money towards developing their website and marketing materials into other languages in an effort to increase exports from Ohio.
"Sometimes people don't think about it, but if you want to get your product out to other languages you need to make marketing materials in other languages as well as get your website available in other languages," Bosworth says. "We are able to do all of that for companies." 
By Evan Wallis

Plan, Build, Live encourages community feedback

City and neighborhood leaders, led by Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, have been building support for a new approach to development regulations for more than four years. Much of that has been developed through the program Plan, Build, Live.
Plan, Build, Live is a program driven by community feedback and discussion, all gathered  via the project's website. The website encourages people to share their ideas about how a city should be designed. This weekend, instead of just online, Cincinnati residents and business leaders will come together to shape our future through a citywide Urban Design Workshop. The Workshop takes place from April 28 to May 2 to help create a "form-based code" that can be used by neighborhoods all over Cincinnati -- and help shape how development happens in Cincinnati in decades to come.  
"Traditional zoning focuses on the use of the building and how far the building is off the street or how large the building is," says Della Rucker, public engagement office for Plan, Build, Live. "Form-based code flips that around and focuses on how a property contributes to the experience people have in the area. How it creates a vibrant, walkable community."
Plan Build Live is funded by a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Local funding is provided by the City of Cincinnati, the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Health Department, and the Mill Creek Restoration Project.
One of the Plan Build Live tools, a form-based code, encourages strong neighborhoods, business districts, and downtowns by focusing on the shapes of buildings, streets and sidewalks. Form-based codes can helps maintain or enhance a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly environment that offers a mix of residential options, transportation methods, workplaces, shopping and more. Traditional zoning codes encourage patches of similar use, forcing long distances between work, home and play. Form-based codes allow different uses to cluster – restaurants, apartments, drug stores and grocery stores, for instance – as long as they stick to rules that address the ways they relate to the neighborhood.  
Form-based codes are not planned to replace other types of zoning in Cincinnati, but they are intended to give neighborhoods a more flexibility.
A key difference of form-based codes is that even people who are not trained planners help put them together. Participants only need to be willing to share their ideas. During the Workshops, citizens will meet with planners, architects and engineers to talk about what they like and want to see -- both in Cincinnati's neighborhoods and on several "special opportunity" sites. 

The preliminary Workshop focuses on creating a city-wide form-based code that will serve as a framework for the fall workshop, which will focus on four neighborhoods: Westwood, College Hill, Madisonville and Walnut Hills. 

The estimated completion date is 2013, but feedback and participation from residents and business owners is critical to helping the city implement the program.

By Evan Wallis

UC students take stroke detection device global

A team of UC students that has won several awards for their stroke-detection device, Ischiban, are in the hunt for bigger awards and more recognition. 
The team includes biomedical and computer engineers and an industrial designer: Pooja Kadambi, Joe Lovelace, Scott Robinson and Alex Androski. They developed the device, comprised of an elastic headband connected to an electronic diagnostic device, which can quickly determine the type of stroke a patient is suffering from. This allows for quick diagnosis and faster treatment for better recovery rates, according to the developers.
Currently, such stoke differentiation is done by a CT scan, which is costly and time-consuming. Ischiban can be used by EMTs at a patient's home or during an ambulance ride. Early detection is important because patients whose stoke is caused by a blood clot who are treated within three hours of symptoms are significantly more likely to survive and recover.
Most recently, the team took first place at the Oregon New Venture Championship, which included a $3,000 prize. Teams are judged on their ideas, business plans and pitches, as well as how quickly they can adjust to feedback from various judges, says Charles H. Matthews, executive director of UC’s Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Research, professor of management and a team adviser.
“The NVC is one of the best, but also one of the toughest competitions,” Matthews says. “Everyone was talking about their innovative approach to early stroke detection.” 
The other prizes the team have won for their device include first place at the Innov8 Health Idea Expo at GE Aviation Learning Centre and runner-up in the Spirit of Enterprise Competition. After winning the Oregon competition, the group is on its way to the Venture Labs Investment Competition in Texas, May 3-6, which only allows 40 teams from around the world to compete. 
Prizes include $135,000 in seed funding, feedback from investors and faculty and an opportunity to gain interest about their product or business. The competition is designed to mimic the real world process of garnering venture capital. 
By Evan Wallis & Feoshia Henderson

Smale Park grand opening highlights Black Brigade Monument

After over a decade of waiting, on May 18, Smale Riverfront Park will open with a bang, literally. 
A firework display and local bands will commemorate the first phase of construction opening to the public. Phase 1 includes the Schmidlapp event lawn and stage, the Black Brigade Monument, the Bike, Mobility and Visitor's Center, The Smale Tree Grove and the first section of the bike trail. Other Phase 1 features, including the labyrinth, are expected to be open by the fall. 
The 45-acre, $120 million park, which, once finished, will house a boat dock, will be in construction for the next couple years, but the grand opening is a important timestamp for the park because the plans have been approved since 1999.  
The first piece of commissioned art in Smale park, the Black Brigade monument, pays tribute to the often overlooked group of 700 African-American men who volunteered to build a barricade to defend Cincinnati from a confederate attack during the Civil War in 1862. This marked some of the first black males to be employed by the North. Originally, the men were forced into constructing the barricades, which led to protests of the inhumane treatment of the men and an outcry by local media. The protests led to an intervention by Union officers, who freed the men from the forced labor and returned them to their homes. After returned home, the men were invited to volunteer their services and become a part of the team of 8,000 Cincinnatians that constructed the barricade to protect Cincinnati from attacks. Mayor Malloy's father, William Mallory Sr. was a leader in the development of the monument, saying that it is a important story that pertains to the history of Cincinnati. 
"It is a very significant moment in Cincinnati's and the country's social history," says Joyce Kamen, public information officer for Smale Riverfront Park. "Cincinnati was on the river that separated slavery from freedom and many of the men who volunteered ended up serving in the North's military."
The sculpture will have three life-size bronze sculptures, interpretive panels of the monument and several relief panels. The monument will also show all 700 names of the men of the Black Brigade. Writer Tyrone Williams, graphic designer Erik Brown and sculptors John Hebenstreit and Carolyn Manto are all working on the development of the monument. The four artists were chosen out of a total of 40 artists who submitted applications to design the monument. 

Future phases of Smale Park's development include an extension of the Ohio River Trail and the Women's Committee Garden, which are targeted to be completed by fall of 2013, and the Adventure Playground and Boat Dock,  on schedule to be completed by summer of 2014.
By Evan Wallis

Brandery accepting applications for next round

Cincinnati’s nationally recognized startup accelerator, The Brandery, is accepting applications for its 2012 class via its Web site. Applications are due May 15, and early-admission decisions will be made May 1. The 2012 class of 10 companies will be announced on June 1. 
As a member of the Global Accelerator Network and named a top 10 accelerator by the Kellogg School of Management/Kauffman Fellows/Tech Cocktail rankings, the Brandery has graduated 14 companies in its first two classes. These companies have generated funding across the country from CincyTech, Crosslink Capital, Draper Associates and Transmedia Capital.

The Brandery runs a four-month program in Cincinnati for startups that are consumer-focused and brand-driven. It will add several aspects to its program this year:
Brandsmiths. The Brandery will hire developers or designers who don’t have a specific startup idea but want to work for one. They will work full-time for a stipend with Brandery participants and may have the opportunity to join one of the startups. The application and additional information can be found here.
edSpark. The Brandery is soliciting applications for an education-focused startup. The Greater Cincinnati Foundation has funded a new initiative called edSpark to encourage educational innovation. Startups focused on education initiatives should apply through the standard channel. 
Office hours. For those looking for more information or advice before submitting an application, the Brandery is holding office hours from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, April 3, at The Brandery office, 1411 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. Register for office hours.
“The Brandery aims to give startups an unfair opportunity to succeed by leveraging Cincinnati’s regional strengths in marketing, branding and design and world-class companies such as P&G, Kroger, LPK, Nielsen and dunnhumby,” says Mike Bott, general manager of the Brandery, a position that was added this year. “Startups are attracted by the mentors and resources associated with The Brandery. We’ve already attracted applicants from six continents.” 

The Brandery provides each company with $20,000 in seed money, training sessions with other entrepreneurs and industry experts, and networking with more than 50 mentors who work with startups to provide insights and help grow each idea into an investable, scalable product. Additionally, Cincinnati’s design agencies have donated their services to help each of the startups develop their branding and visual identity. The seed money that each company receives from The Brandery is now being provided by an award from the Ohio Third Frontier’s One Fund program for accelerators. For the first two years of the Brandery programs, CincyTech provided the $20,000 grants.

Building upon a mentor list of industry leaders, The Brandery has recently welcomed Tim O’Shaughnessy of LivingSocial, Jonathon Triest of Ludlow Ventures, Bill Hildebolt of ExpoTV and Mike Brown Jr. of AOL Ventures.
The 2012 session will begin July 2 and culminate Oct. 4 at Demo Day, where each Brandery company pitches its startup to a room of angel investors, venture capitalists, marketers and media. Last year’s Demo Day attracted more than 350 people to Great American Ball Park.  
By Sarah Blazak

Five Design Challenge welcomes ideas for empty spaces

What do an empty lot and the wasteland underneath an overpass have in common? They're both unused space. 
The wide range of unused space in the city got the people at MSA Architects thinking about the Five Design Challenge. Their offices on Fourth Street overlook a lot that has been empty for too long. Instead of putting the space to good use, the owner put up a fence. That fence sparked ideas. Why not find other unused spaces around the city and see what people, designers, architects, artists, would do with the it?
"Michael Schuster [Founder of MSA] wanted to start a dialogue about general design issues and opportunities in Cincinnati," says Chris Rohs, project designer at MSA. "He's a very community-minded person." 
The competition evolved from an earlier idea last year. Last year, competitors were charged to convert drivers to riders -- to come up with a solution to get drivers off the road and using public transportation. Almost 40 entrants offered ideas, but that doesn't begin to compare to this year's level of interest.
The competition is to take one of the five downtown spaces, come up with an idea for it and submit it. The options are as varied as entrants' imaginations: create a destination, a park, a zoo, an art gallery, something temporary, something permanent, something temporarily permanent.

Submissions will be accepted until April 26; winners will be chosen by May 15; $5,500 in prizes will be handed out. Jurists include Tamara Harkavy of ArtWorks, Chad Munitz of 3CDC, Leah Spurrier of High Street, William Williams of DAAP and City Council member Wendell Young.
Five Design Challenge is meant to be all-encompassing and include as many entrants, from as many professions as possible. So far, Nick Dewald, who handles the entries as they come in, has seen entrants from Italy, China and around the US. Currently, there are more entrants from outside Cincinnati than from within. 
"The whole idea is to get people to be more active in their community," Rohs says. "To work to make it a better place."
By Evan Wallis

Model Group work expands to north OTR

After selling all of their units available south of Liberty Street in OTR, The Model Group has set its sights on renovating 14 buildings north of Liberty to provide affordable housing. 
The North Rhine Heights Project is scheduled to be completed by late summer and includes buildings on various streets. The renovated buildings will offer high-quality housing for low-income residents. Low-income housing is determined by calculating 60 percent of the neighborhood's household median income. 
"The existing affordable housing was in really bad shape," says Bobby Maly, COO and principal at The Model Group. "In a neighborhood like Over the Rhine, you want a good mix of market rate and affordable housing, but it all needs to be high-quality."
With continued renovations in the Gateway District, The Model Group looked for a new focus area. With much of the area north of Liberty Street still blighted, The Model Group went to work the build affordable housing that is indistinguishable from its market-rate neighbors. With the help of Federal Historic Tax Credits, The Model Group will open 65 newly renovated units this year. The Model Group sees the new rehabs as replicating the work they did south of Liberty. With all their completed condos sold out, the area north of Liberty was chosen because of its potential. 
"We went in with the same idea we had when working on our developments in other areas, and that is blight is blight, no matter where it is," Maly says. "Blight deters investment, and we want to turn that around."
The Model Group has spent more than $100,000 on police details in the neighborhood while completing the rehabs, which Maly hopes will also contribute to further revitalization. 
"We want to make the neighborhood safer for investment," Maly says. "We worked on making high-quality affordable housing a priority in other areas, so we're doing the same with this project." 
By Evan Wallis

Student Designed brings real work to design students

Completing assignments in college can seem pointless when there is no more return than a grade. So, instead of designing a fictitious building, why not pair students with the developer to design viable ideas for a real structure in their own city?

The pilot project for the startup Student Designed (SD), founded by Adam Treister, did just that. Treister, a DAAP architecture alumni and architect at City Center Properties (CCP), paired CCP with 34 interior design students to spend an entire quarter working on developing ideas for the Guildhaus building in Over-the-Rhine. Last Friday, all 34 students presented their ideas for the ground floor, basement and sub-basement of the building on Vine Street. CCP doesn't yet know if they will use one of the designs, but the project gave students real-life experience and a development company 34 ideas for the development of their building.

"The building has a lot of potential," Treister says. "We are seeing some very innovative uses for the Guildhaus."

Treister has been working on the idea for more than a year, and now, with a site designed by Mindbox Studios, SD is launched. SD is a database-driven site that brings students, professors and companies together. The idea was born out of seeing countless hours spent on projects that never came to fruition. The site allows businesses to submit projects, teachers to review them, and students to search and send on to their professors. Businesses will specify a charitable donation when they post a project that they want to outsource to a university. Universities can then search through the projects, and assign them to students. SD will provide a cheaper outsourcing of work for businesses and provide income to universities, all while giving students real-world experience.

"Student Designed provides a better experience for everyone involved," Treister says.

After winning Xavier's Launch-A-Business competition in 2011, Treister received six months of mentorship and assistance in developing his idea, and now, after launching the site, he is applying for a spot in the first round of UpTech in Northern Kentucky. At first, Treister plans on working on getting projects for UC and Xavier, but thinks the business will grow organically. 

By Evan Wallis

OTR townhouses sold out before completion

Twelve new townhouses being built in the 1400 block of Pleasant Street in Over-The-Rhine, as the final phase of City Home Cincinnati are already sold out, and the company behind the transformation has left its surburban roots to build new ones in the city's urban core.

The new townhouses are the final phase of the development by Schickel Design Company. The block's renovation began in 2006, and when finished it will blend historic OTR architecture with modern living, complete with private yards. The new homes also include parking. Seven houses are registered to be LEED-certified and the other five, built during the project's initial phase, have received Energy Star’s highest rating.

“This is a testament to the value design provides," says Schickel Design principal Martha Schickel Dorff. "The new construction meets the requirements of an upscale modern buyer, yet capitalizes on the beautiful fabric of small lots, alleys and pocket green spaces of this historic walkable neighborhood.”

Dorff designed City Home Cincinnati to appeal to young families and older buyers. Once finished, the project will have added 25 new homes to an area better known for blight than beauty. The project accomplishes its goals while using 100 percent of the existing historic shells of buildings.

The new homes, which extend continued development in OTR westward toward Findlay Market and Music Hall, have already received plenty of praise. In 2009, they were named Greater Cincinnati’s Most Outstanding Collaborative Effort, and in the same year Cincinnati Magazine dubbed the area the city's "Best Street Makeover." Further kudos have come from Urban Land Magazine and Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce.

To top it all off, Schickel Design itself is making an investment in the neighborhood. They recently moved from their Loveland location, which has been the companies’ home since being founded in 1948, to OTR.

By Evan Wallis

New choral collective looks to change perceptions

Last Tuesday, the upstairs of Below Zero Lounge hosted the first performance by the newly formed Young Professional’s Choral Collective (YPCC).

KellAnn Nelson and her husband Christopher Eanes formed the YPCC after talking to friends about their love of choral music, but lack of interest in attending concerts.

“There’s a disconnect somewhere,” Nelson says. “People used to perform in high school or college for social reasons, so we decided to try to recreate that.”

In November, Nelson and Eanes started recruiting and thought they could find around 20 people to form a choir and a practice space with a piano nearby. That’s when Nelson met Nigel, the owner of Below Zero. Nigel allowed the newly formed choir to use the club space, along with a hollowed out piano that houses a keyboard, all for free. The YPCC held two open practices in November to see how much interest they could garner. The results were more than Nelson and Eanes had hoped. Now with more than 60 members, the YPCC did Caroling in the Quarter, performed their first concert to around 200 people at Below Zero and already have another performance scheduled at Memorial Hall, May 22.

With only six rehearsals before the first performance, Nelson and Eanes didn’t know what to expect, but the event went off without a hitch. More than 150 people made reservations to attend.

“It was this little idea we had,” Nelson says. “Now it’s really happening and we have some momentum.”

The YPCC has received attention for its unique structure, so Nelson and Eanes want to find unique venues to perform and different organizations open to collaboration. Because of busy work and social schedules, the YPCC features different singers in each performance.

“We need our experiences to be unique,” Nelson says. “We want it to be something that draws new listeners in but still connects to old music fans.”

By Evan Wallis

Craft Menagerie to debut at Bockfest

After Tara Heilman, owner of Robot Inside, and Chris Breeden, manager of Arnold’s Bar and Grill, teamed up for Local Night, a one evening celebration of five local artisans and crafters, they decided to take it a step further and create the Craft Menagerie.
The menagerie will be held at Arnold’s on Saturday afternoon during Bockfest, March 3. The event, open from 11 am-4 pm, will feature more than 15 local entrepreneurs selling handcrafted items. Heilman is working with Hilary Nauman, of Ceci & Cela, to plan the event.
“It’s just grown naturally so far,” Heilman says. “I don’t usually stick with things if they don’t feel right. I haven’t felt like that for a second while planning this.”
The products will range from Heilman’s hand-sewn stuffed owls, monsters and robots, to Ovenfried Beads' handmade beads and jewelry to Paper Acorn’s handcrafted paper luminaries, dolls and gift boxes. After Bockfest, Heilman plans on working to make the Craft Menagerie a quarterly event at Arnold’s. In the spirit of Bockfest, the event will even have its own beer, Bell’s Consecrator Dopplebock.
“Arnold’s is such a great place,” Heilman says. “People can bring their families, enjoy the crafts, beer and food all in one place.”
The event will feature a soundtrack of local music and a photo booth on the stage in the courtyard. Most importantly, though, it gives local vendors a way to get their products seen by new potential customers. Heilman knows this is a necessity for crafty entrepreneurs. She has attended craft shows around the region, including the popular City Flea, and wants to give local vendors an outlet in their hometown.
“So many people have great ideas and businesses,” Heilman says. “It would be great if they didn’t have to travel around to craft fairs, but instead could sell their products and make a living in Cincinnati.”
By Evan Wallis

Survey says: local businesses see brighter futures

Local business owners look forward to hiring and growing, proving more confident in the future than their national peers, according to a first-of-its-kind survey by UC's Carl H. Linder College of Business and the Goering Center for Family and Private Business, launched the Greater Cincinnati Family Business Survey (GCFB).
The study was sent to more than 900 local businesses to gage their opinions on the economy and the future. It mirrors the National Federation of Independent Businesses, but adds a local focus. After comparing the local findings to the broader study done by the NFIB, Cincinnati businesses owners expected higher sales and earnings and favored the prospect of expansion.
“For a long time, I thought it would be interesting to do a study on the family businesses in the area.” says Sid Barton, executive founder of the Goering Center. “You can get national surveys and indications of large companies, but there wasn’t anything focused on local businesses.”
Barton knows the results aren’t the most reliable because of the sample size of 200, but he plans on conducting the survey each quarter to grow the sample size until it is large enough to break apart into specific business types. Barton would also like to measure the accuracy of business owners' projections.
“Our intention is to get as much promotion as we can,” Barton says. “We think this can really tell us about the economic landscape. We also want to see how good business owners are at predicting future growth.”
Barton says a main focus was employment expansion in the area.
“Most of the employment over the past decade has come from private business,” Barton says. “It hasn’t come from the large firms, because those are slowly becoming smaller.”
By Evan Wallis

Building Value hosts third ReUse-apalooza

This weekend, upcycling creatives and fans of REM join supporters of Building Value in Northside for the third annual ReUse-apalooza fundraiser, April 27.

“We are very excited about this chance to truly engage the community in reuse with ReUse-apalooza!,” says Tina Dyehouse, event volunteer and the chair of the designer challenge contest that rewards creative re-use of building materials. “The real magic of the event is it brings the community together to make a positive impact on our neighborhoods by raising awareness about sustainability and helping those with disabilities and disadvantages.”

In the spirit of Building Value's focus on "green" building practices, the event this year includes an after-party at Northside Tavern where  local favorites Messerly and Ewing will perform the entire "Green" album by REM. The band contributed REM memorabilia for the event auction as well, and will entertain the Building Value crowd before heading to the after-party.

All proceeds benefit job training program for people with disabilities and disadvantages at Building Value and its parent organization, Easter Seals Work Resource Center. Building Value employs people with disabilities from Easter Seals who staff the reuse center, which sells some of the more than 3,000 tons of building material waste Building Value diverts from landfills each year. 

Do Good:

Attend ReUse-apalooza. Tickets are available online.

• Find out more about Building Value and its impact on the community.

Donate used building materials to support the nonprofit and its environment-friendly practices.

By Elissa Yancey
280 Leadership Articles | Page: | Show All
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