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Micro-Grants Give Boost To Small Minority-Owned Local Businesses

Adrienne Onley (left) watches as Lawrence Cain, Jr., thanks CEG for a micro-grant.
Bill Rinehart
Adrienne Onley (left) watches as Lawrence Cain, Jr., thanks CEG for a micro-grant.

Local minority-owned small businesses are getting some help this week. A consortium of churches and businesses awarded 20 micro-grants. Recipient Adrienne Onley opened Touch of Heaven floral shop in Mount Healthy in February, before the pandemic hit. She says she didn't qualify for a federal payroll loan.

"I've been maintaining from month to month, but the CEG grant actually kept me (going) for this month, because resources were dwindling. Now, business is picking up. I have plans for the future as far as getting a driver," she says. "I just see hope now."

Onley says she's one of the businesses trying to revitalize the Mount Healthy area.

The started in July, to help small business owners with rent, payroll expenses and inventory.

The CEO of a financial literacy company, Lawrence Cain, Jr. says he sees the grant as a form of building relationships and community in times of uncertainty. "We don't know what is going to happen over the next few months, with the pandemic and with how schools have specifically impacted my business."

Cain's Abundance University teaches kids and adults how to handle money. He says, like many educational organizations, they've had to switch to virtual classes.

CEG was founded by churches, financial institutions and businesses to promote community prosperity.

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Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.