If Cleveland can repair its credit, so can you!
As a lifelong Clevelander, I have witnessed and endured countless bouts of Cleveland bashing: “The mistake on the lake”, “The city that God forgot”, “The rust belt”, “A great place to never visit”. Even our beloved Lebron James spanked us on national television when he “Took his talents to Miami”. In fact Cuyahoga County was victim of one of the worst local government corruption scandals in history and put us on the map of shame yet again!
To make matters worse there have been metrics that have supported the negative perception of Cleveland. In years past we have made more “Top Ten Worst” lists than I can count: Fattest city, worst education system, worst housing value, worst taxes, worst crime rate, worst place for young singles, the list seemed to never end. Until 2010 the percentage of Clevelanders making the exodus to new cities was staggering. We lost 10% of our population in less that ten years. I myself made an attempt to relocate to Phoenix, until my beautiful wife thankfully got cold feet 2 days before we flew to meet our Realtor.
That’s right I said thankfully! See I am in a business of helping people who have faced economic events, find their way back to being credit worthy and in control of their financial future. I am privileged to have the opportunity to help those that others deem not worthy of their time. You see in business, time is money. If you don’t have funds or don’t have access to funds, most are not wiling to offer assistance. On the contrary, this segment of consumers are my core clientele. This why I am so proud of Cleveland and compelled to write this article.
My beloved city of Cleveland is a classic case of it’s never too late to fix your credit if you are willing to make the effort. In my 41 short years, I have never seen so much positive activity as I am seeing right now. It is so exciting I actually get goose bumps thinking about it. In the past few years, there has been more than 3 billion dollars invested in the rebirth of the city. The Global Center for Health, new convention center, Horseshoe Cleveland and full restructuring of the east bank of the flats are just a few projects that have sparked the rebirth.
Ernst and Young has just finished a new office tower downtown and there is a record demand for city housing that has started a wave of new apartment and condo development. In fact Cleveland has had 95% apartment occupancy for 8 straight quarters! You can add this to the recent proposal to develop our lakefront near the stadium, Rock Hall and Science Center. The is talk of a major casino, hotel, boardwalk, parks as well as other major commercial development.
Near to my heart is food and I can honestly say that there are more amazing restaurants in Cleveland then ever. Whatever your flavor you can find an experience that will rival any major city. My personal favorite right now is Momocho, which has THE BEST modern Mexican food I have ever had including my visits to Texas, Arizona and Southern California. The corridor on East 4th alone has over a dozen great restaurants, a House of Blues, a state of the art bowling alley/restaurant/lounge and a comedy club all on one block!
Oh and I have to mention the recent increase of movie production in town including the new Captain American and Avengers movies. The list goes on with other significant projects, but for the sake of this article, I will stop here. All in all, I hope you can agree this is not too shabby for being listed as the poorest city in America as recently as 2009!
All of this progress would not be obtainable if the leaders of the city had continued to take the stance of it’s not our fault, we are victims of the economy or it’s too hard to recover and let’s just continue robbing Peter to pay Paul. Conversely, our civic leaders have not only taken responsibility, they have taken action to make progress towards being a vibrant city with a robust and enviable economy. With the support of our residents and local businesses, we continue to make the transition towards greatness or having “Excellent Credit”.
As individual consumers this should serve as an example that no matter how big your ship, no matter how much water you have taken on, you can always make the turn and navigate your way back to shore! Just remember that much like rebuilding a city, repairing your own credit is a process. It takes time, discipline and persistence.