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Small businesses in Over-the-Rhine are relying on a big holiday shopping season

OTR Chamber Director Kelly Adamson and Mayor Aftab Pureval
Zack Carreon
Over-the-Rhine Chamber Director Kelly Adamson and Mayor Aftab Pureval at a press event Monday, Nov. 21.

The Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce is asking people to shop small and local this holiday season.

Last year, 45 new small businesses opened in Over-the-Rhine and the Chamber says these establishments will need support from shoppers now through December to survive in the new year.

"Next month is really critical to their sales for really the entire year," Over-the-Rhine Chamber Executive Director Kelly Adamson said.

"January and February are slower months," she continued, "This (time of) year really helps give them that boost that they need, especially as we're coming out of the pandemic."

The neighborhood has seen an increase in the number of businesses opening in the area. This year, 45 new small businesses opened in Over-the-Rhine, up from 42 new establishments in 2021.

Of those new businesses, the Chamber says 33% of them are minority-owned.

"We have an opportunity with each space to prioritize women- and minority-owned businesses," Adamson said. "When you have diversity in industry and race — you have this amazing neighborhood that has so much vitality to it, it has a lot of culture to it — and that's a place where people want to come and spend their time."

A multitude of holiday events will be coming to the neighborhood in the coming weeks, including Shop Small Saturday on Nov. 26 along with the Holiday Market and Christmas Tree Sale at Findlay Market.

The Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce says these events will bring potential customers to nearby shops who will be ready to provide a more personal shopping experience than the major stores and online retailers.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.