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Hilltop Rise attracts entrepreneurs to neighborhood's business corridors

A new corporation will develop and implement creative community-based strategies to drive economic development.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Small and minority-owned businesses who are impacted by the challenges of unaffordable commercial real estate, may soon get help from Hilltop Rise, which launched Thursday. 

Hilltop Rise is a nonprofit economic community development corporation that will be driving vital economic development along the neighborhood’s commercial corridors.

"Our economic development focus here on the west side is that rather than displace the challenges or push the challenges out, how do we come alongside and equip people to reach their full potential?" John Rush, a member of the Hilltop Rise board, said.

Hilltop Rise’s aims to provide support for existing local businesses while empowering community members and entrepreneurs while preserving mixed-income neighborhoods and maintaining affordable commercial space.

When asked about the biggest challenges Hilltop business owners face, Betty Jaynes, chair of Hilltop Rise board said, "I believe it's our perception because so much of what is on the news is the bad stuff, and people don't see how vibrant we are as a community, a business community, as our neighbors."

The group is still searching for a full-time executive director will work with The City, Franklin County, COTA, as well as other groups. For more information and updates, visit their Facebook page. 

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