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Akron Zoo volunteers to create masks for local community 


Akron Zoo volunteers and staff have stepped up to sew masks from kits developed by the zoo’s veterinary team. Using a medical mask pattern from the University of Florida, volunteers are making masks with up to N99 level filtration using Halyard H600 surgical sterilization wrap material. These masks can be sterilized for reuse. 

Does Working From Home Have You Feeling Stressed?


Hilton Garden Inn Akron has what you need to stay productive. Clean, quiet and private workspace; Free high speed wi-fi; Complimentary in-room coffee and tea; Reserve from 7 AM - 7 PM Daily. Book your own private office space in a guest room today! Call Margaret Sinclair at (330) 733-2900 or email [email protected] with any questions or to book.

Emerge Counseling Adds More Statewide Tele-Counseling Options


Amidst the current challenges of Covid-19, many people are experiencing anxieties and concerns due to the resultant economic and stay-at-home restrictions impact. In response to this need, Emerge Counseling has significantly increased its tele-counseling services. Currently, anyone in the state of Ohio could receive counseling support from one of Emerge Counseling’s 35+ licensed clinicians and, in many cases, that assistance would be covered by their insurance

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Nationally Recognized Minority-Focused Startup Accelerator Coming to Akron


Five community institutions partner to bring MORTAR to Bounce Innovation Hub

MORTAR was founded in 2014 in Cincinnati and is a 15-week program that helps both existing and aspiring entrepreneurs learn the fundamental elements of business ownership and build a comprehensive business canvas. A primary goal of the program is to launch businesses that contribute to local economic development and establish a path to generational sustainability and wealth. It has been credited by Essence Magazine with helping Cincinnati become the fastest-growing economic power in the Midwest for minority small business owners.

"It is incredibly important that entrepreneurs who haven't seen themselves represented in the entrepreneurial landscape receive access to the tools and resources that their business counterparts have been given for years,” said William Thomas, co-founder of MORTAR. “MORTAR was founded and exists to provide that access and support, and we are thrilled to join the community of Akron." 

Applications open February 3, and the program starts in early April (bouncehub.org/apply-to-mortar). The cost is $295 for the entire 15 weeks with an 18-month alumni program to follow. Payment plans are available if participants are unable to pay the entire balance at once. The program will be headquartered at and facilitated by the Bounce staff, led by Ace Epps, director of inclusive entrepreneurship. The official name is MORTAR at Bounce, and it is the second track of Bounce’s GROW program. 

“I have been helping individuals grow their businesses in Akron for over 10 years. As a business counselor and facilitator of several entrepreneurial classes, I think it's a monumental time in Akron for small business owners,” said Epps. “For these important local organizations to come together to provide support and assistance to our minority population is an amazing opportunity.”

The MORTAR program found success by focusing on entrepreneurs who are often ignored, and the new program in Akron will strive for the same focus. By targeting underserved and redeveloping communities, the team will be able to offer non-traditional or historically marginalized entrepreneurs the opportunity to use their talents to not just make a dollar, but to positively participate in the rise of Northeast Ohio.

“From the beginning, I have envisioned and positioned Bounce to be a dynamic hub of activity serving entrepreneurs and innovators of all kinds,” said City of Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “This partnership with MORTAR will continue to grow Akron’s support for non-tech and neighborhood businesses, and will engage and elevate some of our community’s most dynamic and promising entrepreneurs.” 

In the spring of 2019, Bounce started looking for ways to expand programs and services beyond tech companies to also support non-tech entrepreneurs and small businesses, such as retail or home healthcare companies. At that same time, inspired by the findings of the Elevate Greater Akron plan, a number of other stakeholders were also looking at programs designed to support minority-owned startups and small businesses, which are under-represented in Greater Akron’s economy. MORTAR emerged as a proven model with strong outcomes. 

“MORTAR at Bounce catalyzes startup activity among Akron’s black population which is a great complement to our ongoing work through the Opportunity Akron economic inclusion initiative,” said Robert DeJournett, VP of Opportunity and Inclusion at the Greater Akron Chamber. “Thus, positioning the region for growth and prosperity.” 

Akron-based GAR Foundation has also come forward with enthusiastic support. “This program gives overdue attention to our community’s minority-owned startups and small businesses, said Christine Mayer, president of GAR Foundation. “MORTAR at Bounce will help strengthen the efforts of entrepreneurs who are more reflective of Akron’s population.”

The initiative is in service to the community’s collaborative spirit and with a vision for a city fueled by diverse entrepreneurs, spurred on by the Elevate Greater Akron initiative.

“Successful entrepreneurial ecosystems are built upon the collaborative interactions between entrepreneurship support organizations, philanthropy, government and others. Ecosystems that boast strong collaboration and trust are more cohesive, adept at meeting the needs of entrepreneurs, and capable of realizing their potential as drivers of innovative ideas and inclusivity,” noted Deborah Hoover, president and CEO of Burton D. Morgan Foundation and board chair of Bounce. “Collective efforts in the Greater Akron area are bearing fruit; Akron is a place where entrepreneurs can grow their ventures. MORTAR at Bounce will build upon the spirit of collaboration already present so that we can all work more intentionally to serve historically underserved entrepreneurs in the non-tech space.”
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AAF Movie Trivia Night


July 15 | 5:30pm - 6:30pm Zoom Hosted by National CineMedia Topic: 80’s-Disney-Actors/Roles-Marvel-Sports Free to participate. Each player will have their own pen/paper to write down the answers to the questions shown on the screen (and read by the host for those with video issues). At the end of the game, host will reveal the correct answers. It is based on the honor system as to how many each player got correct. Prizes will be mailed to the winners! Limited to the first 25 participants. Registration https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIudu-gqz8jEtXC8cuq6-kGeZ0mLHFS4svq

The CoLounge Tours


Stop in and check out all the amenities that the CoLounge offers. Monday, June 22nd 4-7pm Wednesday, June 24th 10-1pm Friday, June 26th 10-1pm SPECIAL FOUNDERS RATES are now available via www.thecolounge.com. Inquire online and come next week to lock them in!

Kristen Birkbeck
[email protected]com

Open Arms Adoptions: Big Cup Golf Tournament


July 10 at Fairways at Twin Lakes, registration will be at 8 a.m. with staggered tee times. BIG CUP TOURNAMENT Big cup golf: 8″ cup instead of 4″ cup. Limit of 60 golfers total, 2 people per cart. $85 per ticket 2 drink tickets 50/50 raffle Winner will get a prize Meal will be provided by the Overlook Restaurant. Spots have already been reserved so register at www.openarmsadopt.com today!

Ginger Swanson
[email protected]

The 5 C's of Credit: How They Help You Get The Money


This in-depth seminar is designed to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with valuable information and insights on how loan officers and underwriters evaluate a potential business loan transaction.

Upon completion of this seminar, participants will understand the commercial credit evaluation process in a manner that will empower them to receive that “Yes, You’re Approved…!” Participants will also be provided with solutions related to solving various financial shortfalls that might be hindering their ability to acquire financing such as credit, collateral, and poor historic financial performance.

Ed Hopson is the owner and founder of Hopson Communications and Coaching, LLC, he has over 25 years of experience in business banking, SBA financing, small and minority business development, and consulting. Hopson won awards from former Governor Voinovich, Mayoral Proclamations, and was the founder of the MCBAP Micro-Loan Fund, MCBAP Networking Expo, and the newly developed Hopson Communications Mastermind Business Development Program.

Love Akron to Hold Ninth Annual Breakfast on Sep. 29


The doors will open at 6:45 AM for networking and breakfast; the program begins promptly at 7:15 AM and will conclude at 8:30 AM. The morning will feature Love Akron partners, and remarks from Executive Director Kemp Boyd, as we take the organization from a noun to a verb. Bishop Joey Johnson and Pastor Cathy Johnson, The House of the Lord, and retired YMCA President & CEO Doug Kohl and his wife, Kathy Kohl, will serve as honorary event chairs. Two awards will be presented during the morning, the Servant Leader Change-Maker Award and the Allies Collective Impact Award. The Servant Leader Change-Maker Award will recognize an individual in the community who has made a positive impact on the lives of others. The Allies Collective Impact Award will be presented to an organization which exemplifies the mission of Love Akron by helping the city thrive. Both awards will represent those who aspire collective impact within our great city. 

St Patrick's Family Shooting Competition on Mar. 14 or 15



Feeling the luck of the Irish? When it comes to finding a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day event it can sometimes be a challenge, but not this year! Shoot for the gold in our first-ever St. Patrick’s Day Shooting Competition.  And if our St. Patrick’s Day festivities turn out to be anything like our Valentine’s Day competition, you’re going to need all the luck you can get!

Join us Saturday March 14th and Sunday, March 15th for a family-friendly shooting competition. Enjoy the chance to win the Pot of Gold at the end of the EVR rainbow and do something fun that gets your family out of the house!

60 minutes per session.  Schedule a time now!

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