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OTR Chamber of Commerce awards $10K in grants to local enterprises

Know Theatre
Posted at 11:17 AM, Jan 16, 2019

CINCINNATI — The Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce awarded grants to three local enterprises to help them expand their operations.

Spruce Nail Shop, St. Francis Seraph Ministries and Know Theatre were awarded a combined $10,000, the chamber announced Monday.

A $5,500 grant will help Spruce Nail Shop take its cruelty-free and toxin-free nail services outside of a traditional salon environment with a mobile nail salon, according to the chamber. The project has already been approved by the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology.

"With the help of the OTR Innovation Grant, our expanded Spruce Mobile services will allow us to take our services into the community, at the office, home and even to festivals in and around the city," Spruce owner Molly Reckman said.

St. Francis Seraph Ministries will purchase $2,500 in durable equipment and supplies from OTR business Artichoke in order to expand its Cooking for the Family program, according to the chamber. The five-week program teachers local people basic cooking skills using fresh and healthy ingredients. The grant will allow them to expand to other local organizations including the OTR YMCA and Elm Street Health Center.

A $2,000 grant will allow Know Theatre to expand its Play(under)ground program, which it piloted last season. The program gives local performing artists the chance to experiment with new ideas as a complement to the theater's MainStage season.

The chamber has awarded more than $32,000 to 16 businesses through its Innovation Challenge program since 2014. Past grantees include Venice on Vine, The Sarah Center and The Libby Shop.

"This newest round of OTR Innovation Challenge Grants supports three diverse businesses and social enterprises that make our neighborhood special," OTR Chamber Executive Director Kelly Adamson said. "We're especially proud that each of these grants not only support central operations in our neighborhood, but then take that spirit of innovation into the surrounding areas and communities."