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Business Updates

Business news and announcements from across the Mahoning Valley for the week of Dec. 22.
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From left are James Cossler, Huntington Bank entrepreneur in residence; William Shivers, regional president of Huntington Bank Canton and Mahoning Valley; Barb Ewing, CEO of the Youngstown Business Incubator; and Sandy Upperman and Barãta Bey of Huntington Bank. (Contributed photo)

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Huntington presents check to YBI

YOUNGSTOWN — Huntington National Bank presented a $35,000 check to the Youngstown Business Incubator on Dec. 20 in support of its Digital Incubation Program and sponsorship of the entrepreneur in residence position, held by James Cossler.

Huntington has supported the program and position since early 2016. The check represents part one of a two-year commitment extension after the initial gift, a four-year commitment.

“We are very honored that a bank as community-focused as Huntington continues to see promise and value in our programs,” Barb Ewing, CEO of Youngstown Business Incubator, said in a news release. “Since their initial gift in 2016, we’ve been able to expand the capacity of our Digital Incubation Program, providing services to some really world-class entrepreneurs,” she said. 

“The recognition and success of the YBI has provided our region with extraordinary national prominence while developing local entrepreneurial projects that create vitality for the economy,” said William C. Shivers, regional president of Huntington Bank in Canton and Mahoning Valley.

Real estate classes at YSU start Jan. 6

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown State University Williamson College of Business Administration will start a new set of real estate agent licensure classes in January. 

Completion of four courses is required to sit for the Ohio licensure exam. All classes are from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Williamson Hall on the YSU campus. 

Here’s the schedule:

  • Jan. 6 to Feb. 10: Real Estate Law, Mondays and Wednesdays (10 sessions), $305; 
  • Jan. 7 to Feb. 6: Real Estate Principles and Practices, Tuesdays and Thursdays (10 sessions), $305; 
  • Feb. 17 to March 2: Real Estate Appraisal, Mondays and Wednesdays (five sessions), $205. 
  • Feb. 18 to March 3: Real Estate Finance, Tuesdays and Thursdays (five sessions), $205. 

For information on licensing, contact the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing at 614-466-4100 or

Shenango Valley Chamber receives $100,000 grant

SHARON, Pa. — Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is awarding $100,000 to the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce through the Creative Communities Initiative, a first-time multiyear grant that funds community-driven, arts-based projects that serve as catalysts for livability, economic development, workforce development and community connectedness. 

Titled the Shenango Valley Community Connections Collaborative, the initiative will have a valley-wide impact on a variety of demographics, including the artist community, veterans, minorities and displaced workers, with potential for others to be involved as well, according to a news release.

“This community project will offer strategies to strengthen and revitalize our community’s cultural, economic and educational vibrancy through the creative arts and microbusiness development and support,” said Sherris Moreira, executive director of the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Moreira said the initial collaboration of the SVC3 initiative is with the city of Sharon where the collaborative will be located and includes the Random Acts of Artists, The Shenango Valley Urban League, The Guardians Nest Veterans Resource Center and Whole Life Services who will be matching the grant with in-kind Fab Lab equipment. 

“These organizations, along with chamber members, will be key partners with this project. We also believe that many other cross-collaborative opportunities will result from SVC3. This project will help grow and support innovation in our community,” Moreira said.

For more information about the Creative Communities Initiative, contact Sarah Merritt at or 717-787-1521; for more information about the Sharon project, contact Moreira at or 724-981-5880.