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Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials and business leaders head to D.C. to talk about ARPA

Triversity Walnut Hills.jpg
Ann Thompson
(from left) Triversity Construction President Jim Watkins and Developer Robert Sanders discuss progress at Triversity's future headquarters on Curtis Street, just south of Peebles Corner in Walnut Hills where a Black business district is getting bigger.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County benefited from the millions of dollars the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided to the area.

A group of city and county business and government leaders hope a visit to the White House Wednesday leads to more opportunities for investment and large infrastructure projects like the Brent Spence Bridge.

One of the invited guests is President and CEO of the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce Eric Kearney. He plans to highlight how the money is helping minority businesses expand.

One example is the Lincoln & Gilbert fund and its goal of doubling the number of MBEs in five years. “We’ve put a million dollars, just this summer into small businesses across Cincinnati. So, over 100 businesses here have been helped by Lincoln & Gilbert,” says Kearney.

Other unique programs include “Pivot,” a Chamber program which Kearney explains provides tech assistance, marketing, web site design and certification guidance.

And he says these efforts are working. A UC Center for Economic study shows clear growth in minority business. An updated study will be out soon.

A Hamilton County Commission news release on Wednesday’s trip says, “Commissioners are expected to strategize and leverage County interests with leaders from across the state to maximize the positive local impact from the Inflation reduction Act that tackles climate change and prescription drug costs. They will also speak to Biden-Harris Administration officials about rebuilding local economies with the CHIPS and Science Act and the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that aims to create jobs for Ohio’s families.”

A news release from the Cincinnati Mayor’s Office says, “Using ARP dollars, the City has already leveraged the promise of the Biden-Harris Administration’s CHIPS and Science Act, planning the creation of ready-to-build sites to capitalize on the Intel deal and attract high tech manufacturing to Cincinnati. The mayor will also highlight the incredible opportunity that lies in the Inflation Reduction Act, as it’s expected to lower costs for families, combat the climate crisis, create good paying jobs, and make the tax code fairer."

Eric Kearney is on the Cincinnati Public Radio board.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology