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Photo: Madeline Fenning

Nearly 1,000 people attended the Small Business Day event, where guests were able to network, connect with marketing resources and apply for a $10,000 small business grant with the help of coaches who walked applicants through the process and answered questions.

Starting a small business requires big bills, but Hamilton County has launched a new small business office to help make your small business dreams come true. Speaking of business, opponents of a bill in the Ohio House that would ban gender-affirming care for minors want lawmakers to stay away from them. Finally, a few pools in Cincinnati are opening this weekend, but not as many as some are hoping.

Small businesses are getting a big boost from a new Hamilton County office and grants

The Hamilton County Commissioners Office held its first-ever Small Business Day on May 22 at the Sharonville Convention Center to celebrate the opening of the new Hamilton County Small Business Office. Located in Norwood, the office is operated by a commercial lender and startup growth lab that provides assistance with grant applications, business plan development, loan readiness, application preparation and more. Small business owners can get help from the office to apply for the $10,000 grant by June 20.

Read it CityBeatThe story of everything the new County Small Business Office has to offer.

“It’s none of your business.” Ohioans testify against proposed ban on gender-affirmation benefits

A third hearing was held on May 24 on HB 68, the Safeguarding Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act. If passed, the bill would ban gender confirmation in Ohio. It also prohibits doctors from prescribing cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers and from performing any type of gender confirmation surgery on minors. In addition, the bill prohibits health care providers from helping their minor patients receive gender-based care in other states. Wednesday’s hearing was an opponent’s testimony against HB 68. The committee received more than 300 testimony against the bill. Only nine of these individuals gave time to testify. Read it CityBeatto hear what these nine opponents had to say about the impact of the bill.

Ohio Republicans introduce bill to ban trans students from bathrooms at schools and universities

Continuing the law against existing transgender rights in Ohio, more than 20 Ohio Republicans have signed a bill that would restrict transgender people from using bathrooms at all Ohio schools and universities.

The bill requires all restrooms and changing rooms to be designated for use by individuals of the same “biological sex.” The bill prohibits “a female member of the biological sex from sharing an overnight bed with a male member of the biological sex” and vice versa, apparently in an attempt to address the issue of sleeping accommodations for trans students during overnight field trips. LGBTQ+ advocates noted that this is the first time lawmakers have introduced a “bathroom bill” in Ohio. Read it CityBeatstory to learn more about what’s inside the controversial bathroom bill.

Cincinnati’s park system ranks as one of the best in the nation, according to a study

Cincinnati’s parks have received national praise and recognition after the Trust for Public Land released its annual ranking, which ranked the Queen City’s park system sixth out of the 100 largest U.S. cities. The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit organization with a mission to “create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for future generations.” Each year, it releases its ParkScore, an in-depth look at U.S. city parks that measures their capital, access, acreage, amenities and investment. Notably, Cincinnati scored highly in the study when it came to equality in park access by race and income. The study found that 88% of residents live within walking distance (about a half-mile or 10-minute walk) of a park.

Read it CityBeatLearn more about what highlighted the Queen City in the study.

Only about half of Cincinnati’s pools are slated to open by June 12

As lifeguards continue, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission will open only half of the city’s pools until mid-June. More pools may open later this summer if the CRC can hire more lifeguards, which the commission will be actively recruiting when their next training class begins Tuesday, May 30 at Pleasant Ridge Pool. New training courses will begin every Monday throughout June at the Mt. Auburn (2034 Young St., Mt. Auburn). Read it CityBeatto find out exactly which pools will be open and when.

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