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The Community CONNECT - Investing in Small Business 2020

In 2019, The Community CONNECT Investing in Entrepreneurship was launched – a start-up pitch competition that awarded a total of $15,000 to the top winning businesses. On September 22, 2019, graduates of the Catholic Charities Microbusiness and Asset Development Program presented their business models in front of a live audience and received expert feedback from a panel of esteemed judges comprised of area entrepreneurs and community business leaders.

The competition was a success for our community with:

• four local start-ups walking away with cash to help grow their businesses
• all participants enriched by the training and the feedback they received through the classes and the competition
• increased community awareness of the participating businesses

Planning was underway for the 2020 event, when the COVID–19 pandemic struck. Locally, small businesses were hit especially hard by the economic downturn and the restrictions on operations that were put into place to protect public health during the pandemic. Catholic Charities and the Omaha Economic Development Corporation have experienced firsthand the devastating impact of COVID–19 on their business clients and graduates as they have sought support and advice on how to keep their businesses afloat during these turbulent times. 

In keeping with the goal of The Community CONNECT to support entrepreneurs and economic growth in the Omaha community, it was decided that the collaborative wanted to do something now to help address the urgent need of small businesses and entrepreneurs for financial support.

The Community CONNECT - Investing in Small Business 2020

Request for Proposals


The Community CONNECT is issuing a request for proposals from eligible small businesses and entrepreneurs with the goal of providing one-time funding support to help alleviate the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on their business.

The Community CONNECT is a collaboration of Catholic Charities, Omaha Economic Development Corporation, Mutual of Omaha, and CIT Bank for the purpose of supporting entrepreneurs and economic growth in the North and South corridors of the Omaha community.

To ensure consideration, proposals must be received or postmarked by 5:00 p.m., Monday, July 13, 2020.