Akron’s Rubber City Match program to aid 20 small businesses


AKRON, Ohio – The city of Akron this week announced the second round of winners of the Rubber City Match program, which offers businesses resources and support to grow and prosper while boosting Akron’s neighborhood retail zones.

The program offers four award levels — financial aid, design assistance, technical support and space matching with vacant retail properties in Akron’s Great Streets neighborhood business districts. The program on Monday announced its Business Plan Award and Space Award winners for 2021. Some 80 percent of the winning businesses are Black-owned, and 75 percent are woman-owned, according to the city.

“Akron’s small business community is the backbone of our local economy,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said in a release. “These last 18 months have been incredibly difficult on our small businesses. The Rubber City Match program allows us to continue on our path to recovery, uplift these small businesses, and push our economic development momentum forward.”

Business Plan Award recipients will receive free tuition to attend Mortar at Bounce, a 15-week business-acceleration course designed to help existing and aspiring non-tech entrepreneurs learn about business ownership. The goal is to create local jobs that contribute to the Greater Akron economy.

Business Plan Award recipients are:

  • All Walks Yoga
  • Candied Confection
  • Fit Over It
  • Food On Da Move
  • Pearl’s Pantry
  • Zoe Wheels

Through the Space Award, winning business owners will be matched with available commercial properties in Akron and will receive technical help from Bounce, the Minority Business Assistance Center, or the Small Business Development Center to help them select their space. Selected businesses will also be eligible for micro-grants to have attorneys review their lease documents.

Space Award recipients include:

  • All Walks Yoga
  • Beautiful Minds Group
  • Project Sew United
  • Discovery Point Early Learning Center
  • Ernie’s Catering
  • Fat T’s Cookies
  • Get Grit Fit Athletics
  • Kenmore Brew Works
  • Law Office of Kandee Robinson
  • Sweet and Savvy LLC
  • American Karate Institute of Akron
  • The Tea Lady
  • Tipped and Waxed Nail Nook
  • Diamond Paws

Tipped and Waxed Nail Nook owner Telia Anderson had to close her previous salon due to the coronavirus pandemic. She has spent the past year working as a traveling manicurist, but is excited to reopen her nail salon.

“I’m very excited to be part of the Rubber City Match program,” Anderson said in a release. “This opportunity will allow me to hire within our community again, as well as provide an affordable, professional, healthy nail spa that caters to the needs of those within the community.”

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