The Cleveland Foundation announced Friday in a news release that Slavic Village, an east side neighborhood in Cleveland, has been selected as the host neighborhood for Cleveland Chain Reaction, an economic development project that will match local investors with local entrepreneurs to open five new businesses in the city in 2017.

According to the Cleveland Foundation, the total economic boost to the neighborhood will likely exceed $1 million.

The Cleveland Foundation

In its news release, the Cleveland Foundation stated that five local investors have committed to the project. These city advocates have each pledged a minimum of $130,000 to invest in a local scale-up business. Collectively, the five new businesses that open during Chain Reaction will bring jobs and additional economic activity to the neighborhood. The five investors – Fred Geis, Andrew Jackson, Lillian Kuri, Justin Miller, and Claudia Young – were responsible for choosing Slavic Village as the winning neighborhood, according to the release.

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress , a partner in Chain Reaction, coordinated the neighborhood competition. Community development corporations representing ten Cleveland neighborhoods formally expressed an interest in hosting this competition, outlining location, economic development trends, recent successes, existing opportunities, and available real estate, the release stated.

Clark Fulton, Collinwood, and St. Clair Superior were the other finalists along with Slavic Village.

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

In the release, Chris Alvarado, executive director for Slavic Village Development, is quoted as saying he is appreciative of the investors’ decision. “As a staff, we work hard to promote the amazing economic development opportunities that are available in Slavic Village. We are very excited to host Cleveland Chain Reaction and will work tirelessly to assist these five new businesses coming into our neighborhood this year.”

The Cleveland Foundation also noted that Cleveland Chain Reaction is currently accepting applications for businesses who are interested in being considered as one of the final five companies who will work with our investors to grow a business in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood.

“I want to congratulate the other finalist neighborhoods,” said Ward 12 Councilman Brancatelli in a news release. Those were E. 185th St. in Collinwood,  St. Clair & Superior Ave. near E. 55th St., and Clark & West 25th/La Villa.

According to Brancatelli, the contest and concept originated from the LeBron James’ project, “Cleveland Hustles,” which had created competitions among Detroit Shoreway neighborhood start-ups trying to get backing from investors. Four new businesses opened in Detroit Shoreway as a result of Cleveland Hustles.

Learn more about Cleveland Chain Reaction at