5th Street Arcades in downtown Cleveland to get new retail shops soon thanks to grant competition

Finalists chosen for business startups

CLEVELAND - Five business plan finalists have been selected for the 5th Street Arcades Retail Development Grant Competition. And there's a good chance you may see some of these businesses opening up in this historic retail space in the coming months.

The competition, created by the collaboration of Charter One's Growing Communities Initiative, Downtown Cleveland Alliance and Cumberland Development, the master lease-holder for the 5th Street Arcades, was open to local entrepreneurs that wanted to see their Cleveland-based business ideas become a reality.

The competition will award the winning small businesses with grants ranging from $1,500 to $20,000 to assist in opening or expanding their business in the Arcades, located between Euclid and Prospect Avenues.

Judging criteria was based on how well the businesses would meet the area's needs, the strength of their plans, originality, creativity and the business owner's experience.

Starting on Tuesday, the five finalists kick off a 30-day, crowd-funding campaign to seek community support and raise additional funds to help start their businesses. It is the final requirement for the grant competition.

The five finalists are:

Bliss Books, an independent bookseller specializing in new and used fiction, non-fiction and children's books.

Bright Green Gift Store, a boutique shop that will sell well-priced, organic gifts, soft goods and home wares, including Cherub's Blanket, a Cleveland based children's clothing line.

POUR Cleveland, a coffee shop focused on hand-crafted coffee beverages that will also offer coffee tastings and classes.

Soulcraft Woodshop & Gallery, a furniture gallery featuring pieces designed and created by area woodshop artisans.

Sushi 86, a current sushi restaurant in the Arcades, which will expand to provide space for classes, private parties and meetings.

Winners in the competition will be announced at a special ribbon cutting ceremony at the Arcades scheduled for May 8.

You can go online and show support for the businesses you'd like to see come to the 5th Street Arcades. Click on the link below for more information on the business finalists and watch their video presentations:

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