Chamber News

Columbus Chamber Launches Successful Small Business Accelerator Program with City Grant Support

May 30th, 2024

Cbus Chamber Logo

Columbus, Ohio – The Columbus Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the City of Columbus’ generous grant funding, proudly announces the successful conclusion of its innovative small business development program, Accelerate Columbus. Aimed at fostering local entrepreneurial talent, the program kicked off on March 12th, welcoming 28 eager participants. These individuals were carefully divided into two cohorts based on their business’s operational stage: one for ventures within their first three years and another for those in business development for three years or more.

Over the course of 12 weeks, participants engaged in six bi-weekly classes held at the downtown Metropolitan Library. These sessions, facilitated by notable small business consultant Abiona Harper, covered a broad spectrum of essential topics. From marketing strategies and operational management to securing funding and understanding state certifications, each class was designed to equip entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools necessary for success.

A unique aspect of the Accelerate Columbus program was its accessibility. Offered at no cost to City of Columbus entrepreneurs, the initiative underscored the Columbus Chamber’s commitment to removing barriers to business education and support. The program culminated in a graduation ceremony and reception for each cohort on May 21 & 22, celebrating the hard work and achievements of all participants. Adding to the festivities, graduates were treated to complimentary professional headshots courtesy of Toiana Tucker’s Love Angels Photography, providing a valuable asset for their professional branding.

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce and its partners are thrilled with the positive impact of the Spring Accelerate Columbus program. Looking forward to the future, the City of Columbus and the Columbus Chamber are excited to announce that the final accelerator for 2024 is set to begin in September. Registration for the Fall cohorts is now open, inviting a new wave of entrepreneurs to take advantage of this remarkable opportunity.

Photo Credit: Toiana Tucker’s Love Angels Photography


Accelerate Columbus Spring 2024:

  • Amy Jo Hamilton, The Balanced Child Method
  • Brandy Lee Morrison, UniverSoul Sisters
  • Brittany Winkfield, W Style Lounge
  • Carolyn Thurman, Civic Uplift
  • Deba Uwadiae, New Americans Magazine
  • Diana Williams, The She Spot Ohio
  • Elisa Bumgarner, Bloomin’ Blinds of N Columbus
  • Felicia McGimpsey, The eScentials Lab
  • Gary Jones, Jones Select
  • Genesis Shine, IKnoCulture Media
  • Lisa Kagy,
  • Margo Canady Johnson, Events by Margo
  • Dr. Nikhil Verma, Essential Sports and Spine Solutions
  • Priscila Teixeira, Columbus Fashion Academy 
  • Ray McElvene, Ray Macs Mobile Detailing
  • Jason Lowery, Fantasy City Homes

Accelerate Columbus 2.0 Spring 2024:

  • Angela Farris, The Rochester Event Center
  • Alicia Norman, Dipped Custom Prints
  • Brandon Rogers, Paradoxical Solutions
  • Carletta Rusher, Carletta’s Bakery
  • Essence Easley, E & E Tea Co.
  • Jenny Frankart, Frankart Film
  • Kiff & Maria Kammur, Stradaji
  • Laurentino Flores Cruz, Laguna Mexican Street Food & Ice Cream
  • Mecca Abdul, E & M Home Care
  • Lauryn Betterton, Bumble’s Backyard

For more information on the Accelerate Columbus program and to register for the upcoming Fall cohorts, please visit Accelerate Columbus Fall Registration, or contact Abiona Harper directly at Join us in driving prosperity and growth in the Columbus Region Business Community through connections, resources and advocacy. 

Contact Information:

Abiona Harper
Program Coordinator
(614) 225-6073

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that serves more than 2,300 organizations. Founded in 1884, the Columbus Chamber is dedicated to fostering prosperity and growth in the Columbus Region Business Community through connections, resources, and advocacy. Serving as the epicenter of the Columbus Region’s business community, the Columbus Chamber provides an interconnected ecosystem where businesses collaborate to eliminate barriers to prosperity, creating a vibrant environment for enterprises throughout the Columbus Region. Together, we make our region an exceptional business destination. Learn more: