Virtual Panels Provide Guidance for Cincinnati Small Businesses
By Beth Robinson
Uptown Consortium, Inc.
This month, Uptown Consortium, Inc. (UCI) hosted its first virtual panel event to provide resources for small businesses located in the Uptown neighborhoods. Panelists Bob Pickford, Business Coach at HCDC, Inc., and Ella Frye, Director of the Women’s Business Center at the Economic Community Development Institute, discussed emergency relief resources and support services as businesses start to reopen. The online event was free and open to all businesses and nonprofits in the community.
Businesses throughout the city, state and country are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic and wide-ranging closures. As a result, UCI began looking for new ways to support the organizations in Uptown. UCI already partners with HCDC to provide business coaching services, and Bob Pickford has worked with dozens of Uptown companies and nonprofits on emergency relief efforts and much more. Offering a virtual panel with local experts created another opportunity to connect with additional businesses and provide much-needed support and advice.
“As an economic development organization, it’s important that we support the businesses in our community as much as possible,” said Beth Robinson, President and CEO of UCI. “We truly care about the small businesses, community organizations, and residents in Uptown, and we believe that we can help our neighborhoods through this difficult time by connecting people to expert resources.”
Representatives from 16 different businesses and nonprofits attended to listen to Pickford and Frye’s presentation and ask questions, many of which were submitted in advance so the panelists could tailor their presentation to attendees’ concerns. Pickford and Frye addressed more than 10 questions from attendees about local resources for financial relief, how to apply for local, state and federal support programs, managing cash flow, transitioning to e-commerce, and how to get help from the panelists’ respective organizations.
“I really enjoyed the information that was provided by the panel. It was very informative,” said [Shalon Price, MSW, LSW, Regional Coordinator for Southwest Ohio & Northeast Kentucky Pathway of Hope and Salvation Army International. “I look forward to the next Uptown virtual meeting. I believe these meetings will be very beneficial for companies and/or organizations, as we attempt to adapt to the “new normal” and a COVID-19 environment.”
UCI plans to host regular virtual panels to continue providing support and guidance on various issues for Uptown business and community organizations. Next, representatives from Wordsworth Communications and Brn Digital will share advice for Uptown businesses about communicating with customers and clients as businesses continue to reopen. The virtual panel will take place on Wednesday, May 27 at 2 p.m.
Anyone interested in registering for UCI’s next virtual event focused on small business marketing and communications can register here. For more information about UCI’s ongoing efforts to support businesses in Uptown, contact Brooke Duncan, Director of Community Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beth Robinson is the President and CEO of Uptown Consortium, Inc., a nonprofit community development corporation dedicated to the economic development of Uptown Cincinnati. To learn more about the Uptown Consortium, visit www.uptowncincinnati.com.
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