Cleveland welcomes startup program

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City and airport officials in Cleveland, Ohio, have welcomed the first Launch Pad operator to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE).

Local barber Darrell Solomon’s new Aircuts & Day Spa opened on Concourse C on July 15, making it the first member of the Launch Pad scheme for startups and small business owners to open at Cleveland.

Launch Pad operators receive 12-month leases for a unit or kiosk in one of the airport’s busiest concourses, along with support in training, sales and marketing. Solomon’s concept was selected following a formal review process last year. He is a well-known local barber, famous for his cuts and grooming services at Tarbloodersports Barber Shop.

“Customers are excited to have the services at the airport and love the convenience factor,” said Fraport Cleveland vice president Tina LaForte.

Fraport USA’s Launch Pad program was piloted at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Maryland, where it is in its second year and has four local operators.

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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