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Martindale-Brightwood Neighborhood is Funding Small Business 

2023-12-03 – BE&O ATC

The Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corporation uses grants, training, and networking to help neighbors, workers, and small businesses in the growing Near East Side community. 

Joi Harmon, the Deputy Director of the Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corporation, recently received a special national certification from the International Economic Development Council. The Economic Development Professional (EDP) designation will allow Harmon and the organization more resources to support entrepreneurs and small businesses in the area. 

Harmon oversees programming and initiatives to support small business owners in Martindale Brightwood by working with community partners and industry leaders to provide training, education, and technical assistance. Harmon says the credential will help her create and nurture thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems in Martindale-Brightwood by opening up access to new resources. “Supporting small business growth and fostering entrepreneurship is the key to our future. I am excited to use the knowledge gained and connections made to build on the work we currently do in Martindale Brightwood,” Harmon said. 

Since 2021, Harmon and her team have raised over $850,000 for small businesses in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood. The money was raised through various grants and crowdfunding efforts. In 2022, the organization used $750,000 to support 48 small businesses. The money went to neighborhood businesses such as caterers, consultants, lawn care services, photographers, and more.   

What 100 years ago was a neighborhood mostly reliant on heavy industrial businesses, Martindale-Brightwood is now filled with various businesses. Harmon says the key to the neighborhood’s success is growth and revitalization through housing, employment, and community education. 

The Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corporation also helps its local businesses with marketing efforts, legal advice, and accounting needs. With a recent award of a $20,000 grant from the Indianapolis African-American Quality of Life Initiative, the neighborhood organization is helping business owners make facade improvements and buy equipment for their buildings.  

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