by Aaron Kirby
In my last blog, I mentioned that Southeast Ohio covers 20 counties and only has a population of about 1 million people. With that small of a population, there is a notion that few organizations are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs thrive. I quickly disproved that notion by talking about the resources and services that are available to entrepreneurs in Southeast Ohio through TechGROWTH. However, it would be absolutely impossible for TechGROWTH to provide those resources and services without a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. TechGROWTH is fortunate enough to be able to partner with many different organizations across Southeast Ohio. All of these organizations have the common goal of fostering and growing entrepreneurial activates in the region. One of those partners that I recently learned about and worked with is the Community Improvement Corporation of Belmont County (CIC) in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
I am fortunate enough to get to travel across beautiful Southeast Ohio to work with our many partners on a regular basis. Growing up in Southern Ohio, I am very familiar with the southern counties such as Jackson, Vinton, Athens, Pike, Scioto, and Lawrence. However, I never had the opportunity to visit or learn about the southeast counties in Ohio until I recently started working with the Belmont CIC.
The Belmont CIC is the non-profit arm of economic development in the county that was originally started in 1962 by local businessmen. Over the last 18 months, the CIC has really delved into helping existing businesses and those residents wanting to start businesses in order to help diversify the economy. The Belmont CIC visits businesses, learns about them, and shares information and resources that might help them. Many times, the Belmont CIC brings in experts to the businesses to share additional information in a particular subject area. With the help of partner organizations, such as the Small Business Development Center, the Belmont CIC also offers workshops to help start-ups and existing businesses.
Not only is the Belmont CIC the hub for business information and resources in Belmont County, they act as the conduit for all of their partner organizations within the region. Crystal Lorimor, Executive Director of the Belmont CIC, has made it a priority to bring the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region to Belmont County. The Belmont CIC gives entrepreneurs in Belmont County access to all of the partner organizations in the region such as TechGROWTH, LIGHTS, OMEGA, ACEnet, SEE, PTAC, EODA, HCDC, SBDC, and the Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. I will talk more about these organizations in later blog posts.
If you are an entrepreneur in Belmont County and not sure where to go with your business or idea, the Belmont CIC is a great place to start! You can stop in the Belmont CIC to learn more about TechGROWTH and all of the partner organizations at 133 Woodrow Avenue St. Clairsville, Ohio. You can also reach the Belmont CIC at 740.694.9678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: 19 E. Circle Drive Ohio University Athens, Ohio 45701