UpTown district teams up to support Toledo’s creative class

Feb 25, 15 UpTown district teams up to support Toledo’s creative class

Economic and Community Development Institute was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Kresge and Surdna Foundations. This significant investment for the UpTown Toledo Arts Entrepreneur Initiative (AEI) is designed to enhance neighborhood and commercial revitalization in Toledo’s UpTown commercial arts district.

The UpTown AEI is a joint effort with The Arts Commission, UpTown Association and Toledo Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). AEI is a small business development program designed for creative entrepreneurs in need of training and capital to launch or sustain creative enterprises, including craft, fashion, food, entertainment, and fine-arts businesses.

“Like entrepreneurs, artists are drive by passion and creativity. We are pleased to be a part of the UpTown Toledo Arts Entrepreneur Initiative. This innovative and unique program will allow us and our partners to help these businesses build strong foundations to grow. We are grateful to Kresge and Surdna Foundations in giving a much needed opportunities to our local creative entrepreneurs, said Inna Kinney, Founder & CEO, ECDI.

LISC’s Financial Opportunity Centers will also be involved.  Toledo LISC will connect individuals not yet eligible for loans from ECDI to LISC Twin Accounts™. LISC Twin Accounts™ are matched, low interest savings loans with a credit builder twist. The product, offered through the Toledo Financial Opportunity Centers, has a proven track record of helping individuals with a bad credit rating, or no credit rating at all, build a credit history and healthy credit score over a short period of time. “The benefit of LISC Twin Accounts™ is two-fold,” according to Toledo LISC Program Officer Valerie Moffitt. “Not only are folks with little to no credit history afforded the opportunity to experience the benefits of credit building, but positive financial behaviors needed for long-term economic success are also established and rewarded through the dollar for dollar match.”

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