EXPERIENCE COUNTS—With years of experience under their belts these established business owners are aiming for the next level. Yolanda Hill of East End Notary Etc., Neal Dorsey of Dorsey’s Records and Steven and Amber Dent of Lady D’s Mini Market. (Photo by Diane Daniels)
In line with the organization’s purpose, Generett outlined the goals for the Homewood business grant competition as a way to increase the number of new start-up businesses in Homewood; to provide small grants to successful existing businesses to help them grow; to connect Homewood businesses to existing sources of financing; to recruit other organizations to provide resources and services that will create successful businesses owned by Homewood residents; to increase awareness of and get more Homewood based businesses to use the services of existing business service providers and to assist the Homewood community become connected to the city’s successful new economy.
“This is an exciting day in Homewood,” commented District nine City Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess demonstrating support and political representation along with County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Democratic Mayoral candidate and City Councilman Bill Peduto. “I am excited about the investment being made in this community,” said Burgess noting that there is a need for committed resources to rebuild the business corridor in Homewood. “There is a vision to help rebuild the business corridor on Homewood Avenue but it has to be done from the bus way up.” He pointed out that aside from the businesses to have a vibrant community there also has to be homes and a safe neighborhood. “The future is bright and we have to be in this together,” he said thanking Generett for his vision.
Because of his entrepreneurial experience, Fitzgerald encouraged the award recipients to continue their hard work. “The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. Opportunities are here due to the rebuilding of the economy. People are coming into the community and they need resources,” he said. He assured the audience that he and Bill (Peduto) are committed to Homewood. “Partnerships are important and we are working together at all levels of government.”
“It’s about people and we all have to work together like pieces in a puzzle,” said Peduto, feeling connected to Homewood, describing how his grandfather worked in the area. “We have to work from the bottom up to make sure there are employment programs, support and partnerships.”
Also taking part in the awards ceremony organized by Tricina Cash of the Osmosis Group were Daniel Taylor; senior vice president of PNC Bank serving as award presenter and closing remarks were made by Shawn Escoffery; program director of strong local economies of the Surdna Foundation out of New York.
Award recipients ranged from businesses in the infancy stage looking for locations to Jones Printing and Dorseys Records with more than 50 years of operation.
The next steps, according to Generett are for the businesses to continue working their plan and to be paired with business coaches. He also mentioned that another Homewood Business Grant Competition will be launched in about six months.
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