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Program a plus for city residents

Steubenville residents who are looking to start or grow a business will have an opportunity this week to learn details about a program that is designed to help them move forward.

The Thrive in Steubenville business development program, which is designed to help would-be entrepreneurs and city businesses that are struggling to survive as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who participate will receive one-on-one mentoring sessions that will offer access to resources, accountability and support, as well as access to monthly seminars and networking opportunities.

According to city officials, at least eight people already have registered for the program, which is being run by Ambridge, Pa.-based Paramount Pursuits.

It’s an economic development consulting firm that is focused on business incubation and main street revitalization. Among its main goals is to ensure inclusivity in entrepreneurship throughout the Pittsburgh region.

While there will be a virtual information session at noon Thursday that can be joined at bit.ly/thriveohinfo, Paramount will have a presence in the city, working out of an office in the War Memorial Building, which is home to some services provided by Urban Mission Ministries.

The program fits in with a goal of Urban Mission by helping people who need additional layers of support when they are starting out, explained the Rev. Ashley Steele, the organization’s executive director, who added that Paramount is trying to engage partners in the community, and has been mindful of programs that already exist.

Participation is limited to Steubenville residents, and the businesses they operate or want to operate must be based within city limits, according to Chris Petrossi, the city’s urban projects director. The program, officials add, will cost the city $159,946, money that will come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and will be distributed through Steubenville’s Community Development Block Grant program.

Thrive in Steubenville is, according to Steele, an opportunity that doesn’t come along often. It will offer information that can make businesses grow, which is good for local entrepreneurs and helps the city’s economy grow.

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