$719,000 in REOPEN Downtown Dayton grant money awarded to 119 small businesses

DAYTON, Ohio – REOPEN Downtown Dayton grant program partners the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP) announced today that more than $719,000 has been invested in downtown Dayton’s small businesses.

L-R: Commissioner Chris Shaw, City of Dayton; Sandra Gudorf, Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP); Chris Kershner, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce; Erhardt Preitauer, CareSource; Haitham Imam, Carmen’s Deli

Less than one month after closing the application window for the REOPEN Downtown Dayton grant program, award checks are in the mail for 119 small businesses located downtown.

“This is a significant investment in downtown’s small businesses that were forced to close their doors to customers during the COVID-19 crisis. We’re hopeful that this money will alleviate some of the pressures they’ve felt during this time and will bridge the gap to a brighter future,” said Chris Kershner, executive vice president, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We understand the importance our first-floor businesses contribute to the overall vibrancy of downtown Dayton,” said Sandra K. Gudorf, president of the DDP. “We hope this grant program, along with the gift card bonus buy program, complimentary professional services offerings, and the innovative Pop-Up Patio starter kits, will be enough to ensure our favorite places to visit, drink, and dine will still be there for us to enjoy after this pandemic.”

The grant program issued individual awards between $1,000 and $10,000 to downtown Dayton businesses as a form of gap funding. Of the small businesses receiving grant funding, 29.5% are minority-owned and 49.1% are woman-owned. The awards are intended to cover operational expenses and help businesses keep their doors open and lights on until their revenue sources recover.

The CareSource Foundation kick-started the REOPEN Downtown Dayton Grant program with a generous donation of $500,000, and the Downtown Dayton Partnership contributed $200,000 to the fund. In addition, after the grant program was introduced, other area businesses pitched in with checks of their own. The fund grew to a total $719,000 thanks to donations from Dayton Phoenix, St. Anne the Tart, Enterprise Rent a Car of Cincinnati, and CareSource Board Members and employees.

“CareSource members, employees and partners benefit from the services local businesses provide in our community. We are proud to help continue the momentum we see in this vibrant city,” said Erhardt Preitauer, president & chief executive officer, CareSource.

REOPEN Downtown Dayton Grant applications were reviewed by a panel of Dayton-area business leaders.


The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce brings together more than 2,200 businesses and organizations in a nine county area surrounding Dayton, Ohio. The chamber strives to improve the region’s business climate and overall standard of living through public policy advocacy, economic development initiatives and providing networking and training opportunities for its members. Nationally awarded with “5-Star Accreditation” from the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Dayton Area Chamber is widely recognized for its innovative programs and outstanding contribution to positive change in the region. DaytonChamber.org

The Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making downtown Dayton a better place to live, work, and visit. Working with downtown property owners, businesses and residents, the DDP provides strategic planning, business development and marketing services to grow and strengthen our downtown. The DDP focuses its efforts in seven key areas: strategic planning, business services, advocacy for downtown, marketing & communications, downtown housing, amenities and events, and clean and safe services. More information on the organization and its efforts can be found at https://www.downtowndayton.org.


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