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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Cleveland Development Advisors invests in catalytic
University Circle/Hough neighborhood project


After years of collaborative efforts, The Finch Group has closed on financing for the first phase of The Preserve at Upper Chester in the Hough neighborhood, including a $3 million loan from Cleveland Development Advisors’ (CDA) Advance Cleveland Development Fund.

CDA is the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s real estate and business development finance affiliate that invests privately funded capital and New Markets Tax Credit allocations into catalytic projects designed to advance economic and community development projects throughout Cleveland.

The $42 million project at the corner of Chester Avenue and East 97th Street will create 177 units of residential apartments, 23,000 square feet of retail space including a fresh food market, and supporting parking.

A transformational project

The Preserve will be transformational to this section of Cleveland by not only anchoring a 24-hour community but also connecting the main campus of Cleveland Clinic to Cleveland’s cultural institutions in University Circle.

Wesley Finch, founder and chairman of The Finch Group said of the closing, “This project will affect the lives of many of the area’s current and future residents by bringing an array of new opportunities to live, work, learn and play to this exciting section of Cleveland.

“The Finch Group has worked for seven years to achieve this milestone and we could not have done it without the cohesive partnership of, most notably, Councilman T.J. Dow, the Mayor's administration, Huntington Bank and Cleveland Development Advisors.”

The apartment building will have a 24-hour concierge/doorman, a full fitness center available for residents, laundry facility, free surface parking, free Wi-Fi throughout the entire property, a rooftop deck and residents-only penthouse floor club room.

Future phases will develop the adjacent blocks as additional apartments, commercial and retail space, and affordable housing for seniors.

GCP submits education reform recommendations to state legislature

In this week’s GCP Insight video, Marty McGann, vice president, state and local government advocacy (left), discuses recommendations submitted by the Greater Cleveland Partnership to the state legislature to bolster the authority of the Cleveland Transformation Alliance.

The Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy organization, is dedicated to growing a “portfolio” of high-performing district and public charter schools in Cleveland.

GCP’s “Insight” video series is hosted Steve Luttner, vice president, Lesic and Camper (photo right).

Click here to watch.

More advocacy news: GCP busy in Columbus

GCP secures amendment promoting Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Council

As the community advocate for NASA Glenn and a strong supporter of aerospace at the regional and statewide level, the Greater Cleveland Partnership secured an amendment to a bill that recognizes and bolsters the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Council in collaboration with State Senator Frank LaRose.

GCP is supporting state legislation pending at the statehouse designed to create a small study committee to promote and encourage additional aerospace and aviation development.

GCP endorses legislation giving local communities more transportation funding options

GCP, which supports the use of flexible funding options to support road and bridge projects, recently endorsed two pieces of state legislation that will give local communities more tools to finance major transportation projects.

House Bill 494 will give counties increased authority to collaborate with other counties to pool funds for major projects. Last week, the Ohio House voted unanimously to support the bill. GCP also supports House Bill 533 that modifies state tolling authority for major projects.

The bill is meant to provide funding for the Brent Spence Bridge project in Cincinnati. Over $400 billion in freight crosses the bridge annually. This bill passed the House with over 90 percent of votes and is proceeding through the Ohio Senate.

GCP urges removing obstacles from New Markets Tax Credits

GCP recent testified in an Ohio House committee in support of state legislation to remove unnecessary program obstacles from the Ohio New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. Ohio law does not allow NMTC projects for businesses that derive more than 15 percent of their income from real estate.

Many Ohio projects include a mixed use of retail/commercial space and residential space. This provision unnecessarily limits Ohio NMTC to businesses that are owner-occupied. Many growing small and middle market companies prefer to lease space in order to focus resources on core competencies, while letting landlords manage their space needs.

MBDA Cleveland office generates $27M in economic activity
in its third year

In its third year of operation ending March 31, 2014, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center Cleveland generated more than $27 million in economic activity, including $22 million in awarded contracts and procurement and $5 million in awarded capital.

The MBDA Cleveland office, which is operated by the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, received a rating of “commendable” from its national office for its services to 84 clients.

The MBDA Cleveland serves minority-owned enterprises (MBEs) throughout the State of Ohio. Its services including advising MBEs on access to capital and finance management, contracts, and markets.

Lenders to connect with minority business owners
at access-to-capital event

Minority business owners are invited to learn about funding options (traditional, alternative, micro and bonding) and what it takes to qualify at an Access to Capital event on Thursday, June 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Trinity Commons, 2230 Euclid Avenue.

The session is presented by the Minority Business and Growth Committee of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Cleveland Business Center, which is operated by the Commission, and their strategic partners.

The goal is to facilitate one-on-one meetings between 30 pre-screened certified minority-owned businesses and 15 lenders prepared to approve deals.

For more information, email or call 216.592.2253.

Click here to download the event flyer.

Strategies to nurture customer relationships

National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) contributor Lori Richardson, a thought leader on B2B front-line sales growth, says middle-market companies should find different ways to be at the top of their customers' priority lists when they need a product or service. Here are four suggestions on what to do:

Regular contact: Schedule set meeting times so that you never fall behind when it comes to staying in touch with your top customers.

Semiannual account reviews: By having a formal account review with your customers, you convey the idea that they are an ongoing concern of yours.

Value-added calls or visits:
Do some research and gain insight into the executives of the company you're working with. Follow up and learn ways that you can offer value NOT related to your products and services.

New product or service features: Anything new is a great reason for a follow up visit — in person or virtually — especially when you can show how a new item or feature will help your customer in some way.

Click here to read more.


The NCCM is a collaboration between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, is a strategic partner of GCP's Middle-Market Initiative. 

Assistance helps early-stage companies generate $424M
in economic impact

A new study released by JumpStart has found that, in 2013, young, high-potential companies receiving capital and/or technical assistance from Greater Cleveland entrepreneurial support organizations are generating economic impact for Ohio.

According to the study conducted by The Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University's Levin College of Urban Affairs, 245 start-ups supported by Northeast Ohio seed funds, accelerators, incubators, or mentoring, recruitment and education programs collectively generated $424 million in economic benefits for the state last year.

The annual study looks at the economic contributions of tech-based businesses that have accessed the resources of the Northeast Ohio Entrepreneurial Signature Program (ESP), a coordinated regional network of entrepreneurial service providers funded in part by the state's Third Frontier initiative.

The growth and activity of these entrepreneurial companies and their suppliers resulted in $16 million in state and local taxes, a $142 million increase in household earnings and a total employment impact of 2,383 jobs.

JumpStart is part of the regional economic development system that the Greater Cleveland Partnership helped to create and continues to support. Since 2004, the organization has accelerated the successes of diverse entrepreneurs, their high growth companies and the ecosystems that support them.

Click to read more in the press release.

Click here to view or download the report.