Small Business Owners Could Receive $10K from Hamilton County, and Four Other News Stories You Might Have Missed this Week

Small business grants, bathroom bills, parks praise — this is your news roundup.

May 26, 2023 at 6:00 am
click to enlarge Nearly 1,000 people attended the Small Business Day event, where guests could network, get connected with marketing resources and apply for a $10,000 small business grant with the help of coaches to walk applicants through the process and answer questions. - Photo: Madeline Fening
Photo: Madeline Fening
Nearly 1,000 people attended the Small Business Day event, where guests could network, get connected with marketing resources and apply for a $10,000 small business grant with the help of coaches to walk applicants through the process and answer questions.
Starting a small business comes with big bills, but Hamilton County launched a new Office of Small Business to help boost your small business dreams. Speaking of business, opponents of a bill at the Ohio Statehouse that would ban gender-affirming care for minors want lawmakers to stay out of theirs. And finally, a handful of Cincinnati pools are opening this weekend, but not as many as some would hope. 

Small Businesses Get a Big Boost From New Hamilton County Office and Grants
The Hamilton County Commissioners’ Office held its first-ever Small Business Day on May 22 at the Sharonville Convention Center to mark the opening of the new brick-and-mortar Hamilton County Office of Small Business. The office, located in Norwood, is operated by a commercial capital lender and startup growth lab that provides help with grant applications, business plan development, loan readiness, bid preparation and more. Small business owners can get help from the office to apply for a $10,000 grant through June 20.
Read CityBeat's story about everything the county's new Office of Small Business has to offer.

‘This is None of Your Business.’ Ohioans Testify Against The Proposed Ban on Gender-Affirming Care
A third hearing was held on May 24 for HB 68, the “Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act.” If passed, the bill would ban gender-affirming care in the state of Ohio. It would also prohibit physicians from prescribing cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers and from performing any type of gender-affirming surgery on minors. Additionally, the bill would prohibit health care providers from helping their minor patients receive gender-affirming care in other states. Wednesday’s hearing was opponent testimony against HB 68. The committee received over 300 pieces of testimony in opposition to the bill. Only nine of these individuals were granted the time to testify. Read CityBeat's story to hear what those nine opponents said about the bill's impact.

Ohio Republicans Introduce Bill to Ban Trans Students From Bathrooms in Schools and Universities
Continuing on with the legislation against the presently existing rights of trans people in Ohio, more than 20 Ohio Republicans have signed on to a bill that would restrict bathroom access for transgender people at all Ohio schools and universities. 
The bill would require that all restrooms and locker rooms be designated for use by individuals who are one “biological sex.” The bill would prohibit “a member of the female biological sex to share overnight accommodation with a member of the male biological sex” and vice versa, seemingly in an attempt to address the sleeping arrangement of trans students during overnight field trips. LGBTQ+ advocates noted that this marks the first time lawmakers have introduced a “bathroom bill” in Ohio. Read CityBeat's story to learn more about what's inside the controversial bathroom bill.

Cincinnati Parks' System Ranks as One of the Best in the Country, According to Study
Cincinnati Parks are getting national praise and recognition after Trust for Public Land released its annual rankings, with the Queen City’s parks system placing sixth out of the largest 100 U.S. cities. Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit with the mission to “create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.” Each year, it puts out its ParkScore, an in-depth look at U.S. city parks that measures their equity, access, acreage, amenities and investment. Noteworthy in the study: Cincinnati scored high when it came to equity in access to parks by race and income. The study found 88% of residents live within walking distance (about half a mile or a 10-minute walk) to a park.
Read CityBeat's story for more about what made the Queen City stand out in the study.

Only About Half of Cincinnati's Pools are Slated to Open by June 12
As lifeguard shortages continue, Cincinnati Recreation Commission will only open about half of the city’s pools by mid-June. More pools could open later this summer if CRC is able to hire more lifeguards, which the commission will be actively hiring as their next training class begins Tuesday, May 30, at Pleasant Ridge Pool. New training courses will start each Monday throughout June at Mt. Auburn Pool (2034 Young St., Mt. Auburn). Read CityBeat's story to find out exactly which pools will be open and when.

Follow CityBeat's staff news writer Madeline Fening on Twitter and Instagram.

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