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Urban Innovation21 Grant Competition Returns

Posted by Elwin Green on September 9, 2016 at 3:40 PM

Neil Dorsey received a $10,000 grant for Dorsey's Records in 2013; his family has owned and operated the business for more than 60 years.


Urban Innovation21's  business grant competition is returning to Homewood for a fourth year.


The Inclusive Innovation Community-Based Business Grant Competition launched yesterday evening with an orientation session for business owners held at the organization's office in the Hill District's Energy Innovation Center. A second orientation will be held tomorrow at the Homewood-Brushton Branch of Community College of Allegheny County from 10 a.m. - noon. Free tickets for that session are available on Eventbrite.


Attending an orientation session is recommended but not required, said Marteen Garay, UI21's director of entrepreneurship programming. What is required to participate in the competition is to register, which business owners can do at Urban Innovation21's website.

In previous years, Urban Innovation21, a public-private partnership, has conducted grant competitions for businesses in the Hill District and in Homewood at separate times. This year, the competitions for both neighborhoods are being conducted simultaneously. Business owners from both neighborhoods will be encouraged to attend Saturday morning workshops at Homewood-Brushton CCAC, and small group and one-on-one sessions at the Energy Innovation Center.


The agency plans to award $50,000 to Hill District entrepreneurs and business owners, and $100,000 to those in Homewood. In each neighborhood, the awards will be divided among new and existing businesses.


Previous winners in Homewood include Dorsey's Records, The Wheel Mill LP, and the Pittsburgh Barber College.

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In October 2005, after a bullet came through his living room window, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Elwin Green began writing "My Homewood," the first blog on the P-G's website. For 4 1/2 years, "My Homewood" shared stories of tragedy and beauty, of perplexity and hope - stories that live again in "The Homewood Chronicles."

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