Jul 21

Grant awards announced to small businesses directly impacted when peaceful protests turned violent


DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND– The Downtown Recovery Response Fund is pleased to announce grants to local businesses who experienced damages as a result of the events of May 30.


Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA), City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Foundation, Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), Destination Cleveland, Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation, Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation, and corporate and civic partners collaborated to develop the Fund. To date, over $1.45 million has been raised with donations still encouraged at DowntownCleveland.com.


The goal of the Fund is to provide direct support to small and locally owned businesses in danger of closing because of the property damages suffered after peaceful protests turned violent on May 30 with a focus on vulnerable and minority owned small businesses. There is an emphasis on those who employ people of color and provide essential goods and services for downtown residents and employees. The Fund received more than 100 applications for assistance through an online application portal via Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s website.


“Our small businesses play an invaluable role in our local economy,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, who initially helped capitalize the fund through an investment from the city’s Restart CLE Program. “Following the events of May 30, our downtown businesses needed our assistance. The creation of this Fund was the community’s way of answering the call.”


Supporting downtown businesses that have been challenged by both COVID-19 and the impact of the recent protests is critical as we look to achieve the goal of reaching 20,000 residents downtown and maintaining  the recent momentum enjoyed by the entertainment, service and hospitality sectors of our economy,” said Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive, who also provided significant funding for the Fund.  


“The events of the past four months have exposed huge gaps in and around equity in Cleveland,” said India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation senior vice president for program. “The fact that grant recipients will retain more than 1,530 jobs – representing many Black and brown members of our community – was a priority to the Fund’s organizers, but there is still more work to be done.”


“We are actively engaged with downtown businesses to address their challenges and the financial hardships that they may otherwise not overcome,” said Joe Marinucci, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, President and CEO. “The Fund provides a chance for these businesses to receive the support they require to reopen and remain downtown for years to come.”


Greater Cleveland Partnership CEO Joe Roman agrees “The economic health of downtown Cleveland impacts the entire NEO region. The Recovery Response Fund provides critical resources to our downtown businesses whose operations are crucial to our economic recovery.”


For additional information about the Downtown Recovery Response Fund, please visit DowntownCleveland.com.