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CLEVELAND -- A new small business grant competition could infuseCleveland's Old Brooklyn business community with new life and innovation.

Businesses will compete to earn up to $25,000 in grant money. Competing companies must meet certain criteria, but the grant is not just limited to new business.

New, relocating, or expanding businesses in Cleveland's Old Brooklyn neighborhood are allallowed to apply.

Funds may be used to cover various costs, such as renovation or equipment purchases.

The program gets an official announcement at Drink bar and grill on Pearl Road at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.The site was chosen because of the private sector investment made to rehab the restaurant.

General eligibility requirements are as follows:

•The business plan contest is open to any type of business. An effort will be made to encourage professional services, the trades and industrial arts/design entrepreneurs, technology entrepreneurs and retail options.

• Grants must be spent within one year of the award. The total amount of funds to be provided is up to $25,000 for 2013. Other funding programs may be applicable.

• Business must be a startup or be an existing business wishing to expand in terms of space, products/services, employees, or revenue.

• The owner(s) or principal(s) of the business must be engaged on a full time basis in the daily operations of the business.

• Business must use a commercial building within the boundaries of Old Brooklyn and remain in Old Brooklyn for the duration of the grant or at least one year from the time the grant was awarded.

The full list of guidelines and application for the competition are available at www.oldbrooklynconnected.com.

The last day to submit applications is May 6 and the winner will be announced on June 7.

Anyone with questions cancontactRobyn Sandys or Tom Collins at Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporationat (216) 459-1000 or robyns@oldbrooklyn.comand tomc@oldbrooklyn.com.

The grant competition is a joint collaboration between the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation, Cleveland Councilman Kevin Kelley and the City of Cleveland.

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