As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eases coronavirus pandemic guidelines for the first time in nearly 15 months, business owners around the nation are trying to get their bearings as they reopen to wider audiences, including those in Greater Cincinnati.
The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) created a new program to help businesses through this transition. The Chamber launched PIVOT on May 24 to offer recovery strategies for businesses in Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky as they begin to open back up.
The chamber offers 120 programs throughout the year to its small business members, including courses informing businesses on networking, marketing and accounting. While PIVOT includes these lessons, its overall intent is broader than the other programs the AACC provides.
In PIVOT, experts with the AACC help owners with business counseling and technological support by appointment or during walk-in sessions noon-4 p.m. Tuesdays at chamber headquarters at 2303 Gilbert Ave., East Walnut Hills. Businesses with additional needs can find other resources through the PIVOT program.
“We are all about referrals, so we will refer (small business owners) to our community collaborators such as Greater Cincinnati Micro Enterprises if we are unable to help them,” Jill McCauley, AACC technical assistance and outreach business counselor, tells CityBeat.
Businesses do not have to be a chamber member or part of a specific industry to participate in PIVOT.
The PIVOT project comes after President Joe Biden announced a $1.9 trillion Federal Small Business Stimulus Aid Program. For federal aid, a business’ gross receipts must have declined 20% in one quarter in 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019, according to uschamber.com. PIVOT qualifications are much lighter, the AACC says, as the only qualification is that the business operates in Northern Kentucky or Hamilton County.