Kevin S. Schmotzer is the Executive of Small Business Development with the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development, where he is responsible for creating and administering programs, financial incentives, and economic development tools to attract entrepreneurship, small business development and private investment to the City of Cleveland. He has been with the City of Cleveland over 19+ years since October 1998. In April 2006, the Executive of Small Business Development position was created by Mayor Frank G. Jackson to focus on the attraction, growth and expansion of small and start-up businesses. Kevin, who was selected by the Mayor for this position, and has built a team that is dedicated to this mission.
Kevin has extensive experience with structuring creative and innovative financing programs. He streamlined the process involved with providing capital to small businesses including technology start-ups, retail, locally-owned restaurants, cafes, food trucks and urban farming projects. He led a team at City Hall in 2010 to draft legislation that would allow food trucks to operate in Cleveland. He was selected to speak at the 2013 National League of Cities Annual Conference to share Cleveland’s success with food trucks and entrepreneurship. His recent activities include providing capital to start-up breweries that invested capital to repurpose abandoned manufacturing buildings into vibrant job creation nodes of employment. The portfolio of small business projects includes a pipeline worth more than $100 million in public-private financing for retail, commercial office, and mixed-use development.
Kevin has been invited to be a speaker at the annual economic development conferences of the International Economic Development Council (2012, 2015, 2016, and 2018) and the Business Retention & Expansion International (2017). He previously served on the Downtown Cleveland Resident Association’s and Gay Games 9 (GG9) Board of Trustees. He currently serves on Growth Capital Corporation’s Board of Trustees and on the Steering Committee for the LGBT Center of Cleveland. He lives in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio with his husband Lawrence Carter. They both own and operate Pet-tique, a pet boutique since 2003. Kevin’s hobbies include volleyball, running marathons and home cooking. In summer of 2018, Kevin plans to participate in Gay Games X in Paris.