CLEVELAND — A local woman is helping clients transform structures to fit a need.
Danielle Sydnor runs Cleveland’s Economic Community Development Institute.
The organization is filling a financial void for people looking to start a business.
“Restaurants are a very large percentage of our portfolio, because they have a very hard time getting money from a traditional bank,” said Sydnor.
ECDI also helps with long-term planning.
“Business plan writing, looking at market research, understanding the financials,” said Sydnor.
She has helped recent startups find buildings that once served as something else.
“It’s much cheaper to do it this way,” said Pyramid Soul Food and Grill owner, Donatais West. “This used to be a Dominoes, a burrito spot, and now it’s a soul food spot.”
West moved to Northeast Ohio, from Tennessee. He always wanted to open a soul food restaurant. Just months ago, he opened Pyramid Soul Food, in Cleveland Heights.
“They don’t want a business that fails. they make sure that you’re all the way together,” said West. “I didn’t know there was as much help in the city. It’s so many outlets that helps small businesses that I didn’t know about until I got connected with ECDI. I wrote the 23-page business plan, I showed my projections and that still wasn’t good enough, so I went to ECDI.”