THRIVE development grant to bring businesses to Peebles' Corner

Funded by Fifth Third Bank, Walnut Hills’ THRIVE business development grant was created to attract at least three businesses to Peebles’ Corner. The grant can be for a minimum of $3,000, and up to $15,000; ideally, Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation wants to fund as many businesses as possible.
 
“Historically, Peeble’s Corner has been difficult to repopulate, and we’re doing everything we can to reinvigorate the district,” says Kevin Wright, executive director of WHRF.
 
A committee of stakeholders, including members from the African American Community Council, the Walnut Hills Business Group, Fifth Third and WHRF, oversee the application process and match businesses with storefronts. 
 
The grant can be used for things like equipment, signage and marketing, among other things, but not for payroll or rent. The idea is to get sustainable businesses with solid business plans into Peebles’ Corner, Wright says.
 
“THRIVE is just an additional incentive to bring businesses to Walnut Hills and to give them that last push to open,” he says.
 
WHRF conducted a social capital survey last year and asked the community what types of retail options they wanted to see in the area. When THRIVE applications come through, they’re comparing the survey results to see what they community wants. One of the top requests was for a coffee shop.
 
Angst Coffee, which is located at 2437 Gilbert Ave., is the first THRIVE recipient. It also took advantage of the neighborhood’s Façade Improvement Program and Community Entertainment District program, which helps with liquor licensing.
 
“Our vision for Peebles’ Corner is to bring it back to what it once was—a vibrant, walkable business district,” Wright says.
 

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Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.