The Over-the-Rhine (OTR) Chamber of Commerce announced that nearly 40 new businesses have joined the dynamic dining, shopping and office sectors in OTR during 2017. Approximately 340 jobs were added this year – 144 of those jobs attributed to the arrival of Empower Media Marketing at its new location at 15 E. 14th Street in OTR. The economic impact numbers were shared at the holiday kickoff event celebrating the start of the holiday shop-local season at Memorial Hall on November 14.

“This year, eateries and offices became the category leaders among the continuing renaissance of new consumer-oriented and professional businesses and services emerging in the OTR neighborhood and city of Cincinnati,” said Kelly Adamson, executive director with the OTR Chamber of Commerce, “and it’s notable that the impact of other business categories were not far behind, continuing to mold a full-service business district which compliments the needs of visitors and residents alike.

The new Cincinnati Shakespeare Otto M. Budig Theater, and extensive renovations at Music Hall and Ensemble Theater have contributed to a bustling arts scene, while venues and services such as the new Penthaus at the Strietmann Center, and Ziegler Pool and Ziegler Park are not only attracting new faces to the neighborhood, but also adding local jobs. Ziegler Pool and Ziegler Park added 50 total full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs.

The OTR Chamber of Commerce recently moved its office from the 1400 block of Walnut to its new location North of Liberty, joining newly opened businesses in that sector, The Rhined, Deeper Roots, EMC, Sartre, and Harvest Pizzeria. More growth is underway with Urban Sites’s Film Center, along with Model Group’s Market Square development near Findlay Market; which includes Cherbourg Bakery, a gluten and nut free bakery, set to open in February and Phase 2 construction ushering in new office and retail spaces, with several new retail businesses along Elm opening in the spring.

“It’s exciting to be activating more streets for people to explore when they visit OTR,” said Adamson. “We are dedicated to creating an expansive neighborhood that reduces the carbon foot print, and encourages visitors and residents to engage in a walk-able community that inspires as much as it serves.”

Recipients of the 2016’s Chamber’s Business First Grant, including Brown Bear Bakery and Spruce Nail Shop, continue to thrive in 2017, while over 90 perceent of the OTR businesses that opened last year remain open and flourishing.

OTR mugs will be available for purchase for $15 at participating retailers beginning Black Friday through December. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to OTR’s own Play Library, a lending library for toys.

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