Reynoldsburg hopes to build diversity through grants for minority-owned businesses

Brothers Terron and Bryan Nelson are co-owners of Slab Kitchen, which opened last October inside Eastside Brewing Co., 1421 Davison Drive. They are among the first recipients of the Minority-Female-Veteran Grant Program from the city of Reynoldsburg.

In 2020, small businesses across the country were shutting down amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

For Reynoldsburg brothers Bryan and Terron Nelson, the timing worked out after they quit their jobs and decided in 2019 to operate a food truck.

“We were definitely concerned when things were getting shut down,” Bryan Nelson said. “But once they allowed food trucks to travel into neighborhoods, it actually gave us an uptick in business.”

Their success has grown as they were able to reach a larger audience, he said.

The Nelsons opened their first brick-and-mortar location last October inside the Eastside Brewing Co., 1421 Davidson Drive. More recently, it received one of the first grants provided by the city of Reynoldsburg to assist new or expanding businesses owned by minorities, women or veterans.

The half rack of ribs is one of the menu items at Slab Kitchen, which is open 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The Nelsons received $10,000, funding that will help them purchase new equipment such as an oven for pizza menu items or a walk-in cooler.

“It definitely gives us the option to expand our business,” Terron Nelson said. “Whether it’s adding new menu items or new equipment, it’s definitely going to help us expand.

“It was a journey to get here, but we’ve just stuck with the game plan. Everyone seems to be enjoying the food and business is definitely growing on a day-to-day basis.”

Reynoldsburg hopes to award as much as $200,000 through the Minority-Female-Veteran Grant Program by the end of this year, Mayor Joe Begeny said.

So far, three $10,000 grants have been awarded.

The other recipients are Donley Powerwashing and Landscaping, 875 Briard St.; and 1883 Locale at 7345 E. Main St., a venue for corporate events, parties or weddings.

The Slab Burger is one of the menu items at Slab Kitchen, which is open 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

“We still have about seven or eight applications out from last year’s applicants who have expressed interest of anywhere from $3,000 to a maximum of $10,000,” Begeny said. “We hope to receive more applications this year and have it advertised by August and then do another disbursement of funds for this year as well.”

To fund the grants, the city is using money from the America Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package Congress passed in 2021.


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