OurShop business development program returns to College Hill

Budding businesses have a low-risk opportunity to test their concept in the heart of one of Cincinnati’s most bustling business districts.

On Tuesday, the College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation announced it was accepting applications for the fourth round of its OurShop program.

The initiative gives participants a Hamilton Avenue storefront to use rent-free for six months while they fine-tune their business model and hopefully drum up business. College Hill CURC also provides a full suite of small business support services – marketing, mentorship, financial education and sales data analysis.

OurShop College Hill storefront

College Hill CURC plans to accept 4 or 5 businesses for this round of the program. 

Applications are open until June 12. The goal is to launch the fledgling business in the beginning of August.

“College Hill has a strong, inclusive business community and we are excited to welcome even more entrepreneurs working to achieve their dream in a brick-and-mortar space,” said Emmanuel Karikari, CEO of the College Hill CURC.

Bringing new life, money to College Hill

Founded in 1975, The College Hill CURC focuses on the revitalization of the neighborhood business district along Hamilton Avenue through real estate development, small business support, and community engagement. Over the last eight years, the nonprofit has led over $87 million in development.

Since 2021, College Hill CURC has used the OurShop initiative to provide opportunities to small business owners while also bringing a new level of vitality to the neighborhood business district.

College Hill’s business district.

Through the program’s first through rounds, College Hill CURC has supported 11 small businesses – six of which have graduated to permanent locations. One recent participant, Zonieke Alston-Betts, owner of Pour Candle Co., is opening in College Hill this summer.

“We are so thankful for the tremendous support from the City of Cincinnati and the College Hill community for OurShop,” Karikari said. “We have seen an overwhelming number of applicants every year, so we know the demand for this opportunity is high.”

College Hill Our Shop

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