This week, Alfonso Cornejo, President of the Hispanic Chamber, and Sean Rugless, President of the African American Chamber, both spoke out in support of the streetcar and the possibilities it brings for minority companies to have a business located along the route. The Chambers hosted a joint discussion about economic development created by the streetcar, featuring a presentation by Project Executive John Deatrick.
In addition to an overview of the project, Deatrick focused on making resources available for people wanting to start businesses along the route, as well as providing support for current businesses that are open during construction.
To date, 18% of the streetcar contracts have been awarded to minority-owned companies, such as Fairfield-based Bansal Construction, who received a $10 million contract for electrical work. Ten disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) are engaged with the project. Over 100 people are currently employed through streetcar construction.
Deatrick will be hosting a public outreach session on November 14 at the Main Library to provide minority-owned enterprises with information on creating a sustainable business along the streetcar route. The seminar will be hosted by the City of Cincinnati Economic Development Division, as well as the Small Business Administration, representatives from financial institutions and real estate companies, and partners from the African American and Hispanic Chambers.
“We will have as many seminars as it takes to be economically inclusive,” assured Deatrick.
Both the Hispanic and African American Chambers urge their members to become certified as a DBE, attend informational seminars, and take advantage of the opportunity the streetcar brings to Cincinnati.
Rugless stated, “Whether you are for streetcar, or against streetcar, it doesn’t really matter because the tracks have already been laid. The Cincinnati Streetcar is going to happen. We have to look ahead at how can we use this platform as an economic development engine to build wealth, drive investment, and attract the businesses of our people.”
Following the initial success of the Cincinnati Streetcar T-shirts, a fourth run of the shirts has been produced. These shirts feature ‘gameday’ colors of either red with a black logo or black with an orange logo. “These shirts are the perfect way to show your support for the Cincinnati Streetcar and your favorite team” says Brad Thomas, founder of Cincystreetcar.com. The new shirts are available at Market Wines in historic Findlay Market located at 128 W. Elder Street open Tuesday through Sunday all year round.
Even if you don’t ride the Cincinnati Streetcar on a regular basis, you will still benefit by saving money on parking when going down to a big game or the fireworks. Another way the Streetcar will help occasional riders is by getting you places when you don’t have access to a car.
One of the biggest hassles of getting your car repaired (aside from the cost) is getting to and from the repair shop. A lot of times, the car can make it there, but it will take hours to fix it. During that time you can either wait in the waiting room reading a six month old People Magazine or drop the car off and do something else.
With over half of the jobs in the entire city in Downtown and Uptown, a worker could drop their car off and take the streetcar to their office.
If you don’t work along the line, you could take the streetcar up to the Zoo, downtown to the Riverfront or Findlay Market, or instead of waiting in a car repair shop, go to one of the many museums along the line. The map below shows the Google results for automobile repair along the line. There are several mechanics to choose from.
Unfortunately technical difficulties prevented the route from being shown as well as the results. The route runs from the Zoo in Avondale to the Riverfront.