• Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

From Left to Right: Publisher Walter White of Cincinnati Herald and Sesh Communications, Congresswoman Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney of Sesh Communications, First Financial Bank Representative Lisa Recchia and Sanserrae Frazier, CEG Vice President LaMarque’ Ward, CEG President Paul Booth Jr. CEG Program Manager Erica Garrett, First Financial Bank Representatives Lawrence Chappell and Shenda Larry. Photo provided

Contributed by Collective Empowerment Group

The Collective Empowerment Group (CEG), Cincinnati Chapter has shared exciting information about the CEG Relaunch Fund.

Representatives from WKRC Channel 12, WCPO Channel 9, WLWT Channel 5 and The Cincinnati Herald were present at the announcement event to hear the report.     

CEG is a Ministry in Marketplace organization who has been in our city for over 10 years. Our focus is to bring about economic empowerment, wealth building and a community of educated consumers. We draw together leaders from faith, business and public service sectors to develop and enhance economic empowerment strategies. The Collective Empowerment Group has made a huge effort to adapt to the needs of our CEG Members and our community during this pandemic.

From left are Pastor Eugene Ellington, CEG Vice President
LaMarque’ Ward, CEG Board Member Isaiah McKinney stand
in excitement following the press conference.
Photo provided

During the COVID-19 crisis CEG has provided Town Halls, Virtual Leadership Training, launched a COVID- 19 Task Force, check-in calls for mental health to our pastors, created a food program to help feed children, as well as help launch Community and Voter Empowerment Days.

Now it is time for us to assist in making a financial impact on our Small Businesses to aide in the economic crises. Our Goal for the CEG Relaunch Fund will make a difference. Funds are meant to assist Small Minority Owned Businesses in the costs of business interruption caused by required closures due to COVID-19.

This grant is really about sustainability. This fund will be used to help provide small business grants to low economic Small Minority Owned Businesses in order to help them remain sustainable beyond COVID-19 and the recent challenges in our city.

CEG President Paul Booth interviews with Raven Richard of
Channel 9 News.
Photo provided

The Grant can be used for the following:

·         Employee compensation (including wages and benefits)

·         Working capital

·         Equipment inventory: upgrades to business communications, such as computer hardware, business software and telecommunication equipment in order to have a responsive and effective web and social media presence

·         Rent 

·         Other business-critical operating expenses

After the launch via social media, applications came flying in. During the press conference, CEG’s Program Manager Erica Garrett spoke about their deadline extension and qualifications for the grant. CEG President, Pastor Paul Booth Jr. spoke about the vision behind the Relaunch Fund, “It is not only to help businesses survive during the challenging economic season, but thrive. We want to stand behind small businesses in our community. We’re just getting started. The fund fulfills our vision of Thriving Churches + Thriving Businesses = a Thriving City.” 

In the words of CEG’s Vice President Pastor LaMarque’ Ward, ” This opportunity is our Seeds of Hope planted, and we can’t wait to see the local business leaders’ hopes and dreams become fruitful.”

CEG’s Program Manager Erica Garrett reminded us all of what the process would look like moving forward.”

From left are CEG’s former President Eugene Ellington, Ben Johnson of Center Bank, CEG
Program Manager Erica Garrett and Keith Borders of Union Guardian Savings Bank. Photo provided

Title sponsors Covenant Bank and First Financial Bank have been incredibly supportive during this process.

CEG officials say thanks to first Covenant Bank, Center Bank as they have been in alignment with CEG for many years as well as Union Savings Bank and Guardian Savings Bank, that has consistently funded many of CEG’s outreach programs over the years.”

Recipients have been notified.