Economic Development

YBI Benefits from Mutual Appreciation Program

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Contributions such as Medical Mutual of Ohio’s $10,000 donation to the Youngstown Business Incubator this morning are crucial as it seeks government funds, YBI’s chief operating officer says.

“YBI receives a lot of state and federal funding. In almost all of those instances we are required to have a dollar-for-dollar match. So we need the support of our local community,” Barb Ewing said following the check presentation at YBI’s offices. “Contributions like these really essentially allow our work to move forward.”

Medical Mutual’s donation came from its Mutual Appreciation program, which supports businesses and organizations that do business with the company, said Ed Byers, manager of corporate communications for the insurance provider. YBI has been a customer for “quite a while,” he added.

Since the Mutual Appreciation program was launched three years ago, it has “driven $43 million through the doors of Ohio businesses,” Byers said.

“Reading about the good things that the incubator has done and the worldwide recognition it’s gotten certainly did not go unnoticed at Medical Mutual.”

Byers noted Medical Mutual is based in Cleveland and employs 2,400. “We encourage our employees  to do business with people who do business with us,” he remarked.

So far this year YBI has raised in excess of $400,000 in private contributions, Ewing said.

“That largely reflects the fact that we’re building the new building and received support from some organizations, and at higher levels, than we otherwise would have,” she continued. “The need is great for that project and we’re going to do additional fundraising.”

Work on YBI’s fifth site, the former Vindicator building downtown, is going ‘very well” but “never as fast as you want,” Ewing acknowledged.

“We’re thrilled to have the project, thrilled for the support we’ve received and we’re looking forward to completing the project next year,” she said.

Pictured: Ed Byers, manager of corporate communications for Medical Mutual of Ohio, and Jim Cossler, CEO of the Youngstown Business Incubator.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.