Floor plan

Dayton introduces new program and invests $7 million in ‘first floor’ companies – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

DAYTON — The City of Dayton has announced a program to help entrepreneurs build first-floor businesses across the city using American Rescue Plan Act dollars.

The city has approved $7 million for the “first floor plan” as part of what leaders are calling “the Dayton stimulus plan.”

Luke Tandy opened Skeleton Dust Records in the fire district on East Third Street five years ago.

“I wanted to open up a recording space and it was an available place downtown,” Tandy said.

He knows the patience and perseverance a new business owner must have.

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He’s glad the city is using American Rescue Act funds to spur the next wave of entrepreneurs.

“I don’t see any problem with using the money that way, to invest in small businesses on the first floor,” Tandy said.

Dayton City Manager Shelly Dickstein said the citywide development corporation will help them administer the program.

Businesses will apply for loans, some of which are repayable, for machinery, building renovations or working capital.

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The city is emphasizing minority and women-owned businesses with this program.

“We want to make sure these are good investments, that we’re getting capital to people who really need it, but they’re also ready to succeed,” Dickstein said.

Charlynda Scales and her two partners received a loan of $750,000 to open their incubator company 6888 Kitchen.

They are opening a very large commercial kitchen that will provide space for many start-up food and beverage businesses to grow.

The $7 million approved for the first floor fund represents a small portion of the $138 million the city received from ARPA funds.

The largest $55 million will go to neighborhood projects, and the city is working to finalize those plans.