Note from Publisher Nate Dillard: The story behind our solutions journalism relaunch

Our first campaign, COVID Can’t Stop Us, features in-depth reporting on how BIPOC-, veteran, and women-led businesses in Dayton are faring during the COVID-19 pandemic and what is needed to help them thrive.

Dear Valued Community Member

I am pleased to announce the relaunch of Elevate Dayton as a ‘solutions journalism’ platform that will elevate Dayton’s unheard voices and provide in-depth coverage of the pressing issues impacting the life and culture of our community. I invite you to become an active and engaged partner in our effort.

Elevate Dayton is a BIPOC-owned (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) digital media platform with unparalleled proximity, cultural competency and connections to the Dayton community. We have adopted an issues-based editorial campaign model that includes community listening, data gathering and solutions-oriented reporting that culminates with a resource showcase and solutions summit.

Our first campaign, COVID Can’t Stop Us, features in-depth reporting on how BIPOC-, veteran, and women-led businesses in Dayton are faring during the COVID-19 pandemic and what is needed to help them thrive.

Over the next two months, our small but mighty editorial team will bring you insightful reporting aimed at: 

  • Understanding the experiences of Dayton’s women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses two years into the pandemic;
  • Illuminating what’s working, what isn’t and why;
  • Identifying solutions that help businesses go from a state of surviving to thriving;
  • Rallying resources and implementing solutions. 

Our kickoff story by reporter Stephen Starr explores how a lack of data undermines support for Dayton’s women- and minority-owned businesses, and the many ways these entrepreneurs have pivoted to survive. 

We have also revamped our website to be more interactive, and included an Elevate Communities portal that allows local stakeholder organizations to directly share content and opinions. This allows us to deliver community-centered journalism and curate events that amplify unheard voices, highlight people who are making a difference, create deeper connections within our community, inspire change, and create reciprocal experiences that drive innovative solutions. 

While the pandemic continues to heap plenty of heartache and financial devastation on Dayton’s small business community, it also is surfacing new opportunities. By sharing the stories of women-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses, prioritizing their experiences, and connecting them with each other and with resources, Elevate Dayton is doing its part to build a local economy that is equitable, resilient and responsive to community needs.

We have received enormous support from the community, including an endorsement from Dayton faith leaders. Check out the related press release about our partnership.

Here are some ways you can help:

Shape our coverage: Are you an owner, employee or service provider of a woman-, veteran- or minority-owned business in Dayton? If so, you have valuable insights and experiences that can inform our reporting, influence policymakers, and identify needed resources.

Please complete the community engagement survey(s) relevant to your experience:

  • Business owners who are women, veterans and Black, Indigenous and People of Color
  • Employees at women-, veteran- and BIPOC-owned businesses 
  • Service providers for women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses (nonprofits, chambers of commerce, banks, credit unions, community development organizations and finance institutions) 

Share our coverage: Help bolster our impact by amplifying our reporting through your professional and personal networks and contact lists. When sharing on social media, be sure to tag us at @ElevateDayton on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and use the hashtag #COVIDCantStopUs

Join Elevate Communities: Connect, communicate and build community through Elevate Communities. Please contact contact@elevatedayton.com for details.

Support our Solutions Summit: Our campaign will culminate in a Solutions Summit that will bring together business leaders, policymakers, community development funders and service providers to address the challenges facing women-, veteran- and BIPOC-owned businesses. Please contact contact@elevatedayton.com if you or your organization is interested in sponsoring our event and fueling our journalism.

Thank you for your continued support of Elevate Dayton. Our broad and supportive community will always power our coverage.

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