Youngstown Approves Contract with EAG for COVID-19, Corridor Work

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio –Economic Action Group will assist Youngstown with its response to the coronavirus outbreak and with planning along the city’s main corridors.   

The city’s Board of Control, which met virtually Tuesday, approved a $25,000 professional services agreement with Economic Action Group, which provides economic development and entrepreneurship assistance in Mahoning and Trumbull counties, with a focus on Youngstown’s downtown. 

Under the contract, Economic Action Group will conduct outreach and engagement services during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide work on a commercial corridor action plan, according to the board of control’s agenda. 

Economic Action Group will primarily assist the city’s economic development division with creating a database of local businesses and assist it with engagement, said T. Sharon Woodberry, Youngstown’s economic development director.   

“The idea is to expand our outreach capacity, get insight from businesses owners on challenges and quantify it as data, then EAG will direct them to appropriate contacts when additional assistance is needed,” she said.

“We will be using business database resources to create a comprehensive contact list for outreach in the city of Youngstown,” said Nick Chretien, Economic Action Group program manager. “We will be tracking data as we go and connecting them to the appropriate economic development resources and assistance.”

One major connection Economic Action Group will be making is sharing information on resources provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act for those who might not be aware of them, he added.

The city’s community planning and economic development department also has a survey posted on its website that businesses will be encouraged to complete, Woodberry said. The survey asks about the impact of COVID-19 on businesses. 

The COVID-19 outreach and engagement work is also similar to the work Economic Action Group is doing in Warren with the city’s community development department, Chretien said. 

The corridor planning aspect aligns with other projects centered around identifying potential sites for redevelopment and facade improvement, he said.

“We anticipate that EAG can also assist with outreach when we start to gear up the facade program by identifying strong candidates for the program,” Woodberry said. 

The Board of Control also approved accepting an Appalachian Opportunity Zone grant for technical and marketing assistance to the community planning and economic development department to “create a new vision” for the city-owned 20 Federal Place. The $5,000 match for the grant is being absorbed through in-kind services, according to the board agenda. 

In addition, the city entered into a contract worth up to $25,000 with Dawn Montiero to provide compliance administration duties in the community planning and economic development department for Housing and Urban Development and Community Development Block grant monitoring and reporting, and for completion of the city’s five-year consolidation plan. The contract runs through Oct. 31. 

City representatives were not available following the meeting before publication to discuss the Appalachian Opportunity Zone grant or the contract with Monterio. 

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.