Toledo Streets Provides Digital Newspaper for Vendors

Posted: Monday, May 4, 2020 by: Arika Michaelis | Category: Community Interest


If you have spent any time in Downtown Toledo, you have undoubtedly run into a person wearing an orange vest, a badge, and selling the Toledo Streets Newspaper. Each vendor, as they are referred to, runs their own microenterprise. They buy the paper from the Toledo Streets Newspaper office and sell it for a profit, which allows them to begin a path to financial stability.

After the statewide “Stay at Home” order was instituted for Ohio, Toledo Streets Newspaper made the tough decision to stop producing the print version of the paper, as a safeguard for both the vendor and the customer. Without a paper to sell, vendors have been left with no immediate revenue source. A GoFundMe campaign was launched in the first week and raised over $10,000, which provided a temporary cash infusion for the vendors.

Ed Conn, art director for Toledo Streets Newspaper, moved the paper to a digital format and developed a map program to provide a virtual street selling environment for the vendors. Through the MapHub app, a tag representing the vendor is displayed on the location where that vendor tends to sell. One click and the photo of the vendor pops up with an offer to link the viewer to a virtual copy of the paper. A donation link at the bottom provides an opportunity for the supporter to donate to Toledo Streets Newspaper and name the vendor in their donation.

“We see this virtual addition as an opportunity to keep our vendors connected to their supporters and provide some source of revenue,” said Arika Michaelis, Executive Director for Toledo Streets Newspaper. “We are a lifeline for many of the vendors, and need to continue to provide some type support.”

Link to map program: ​https://maphub.net/econn3/toledo-street-vendors Contact information:
Arika Michaelis, Executive Director, arikamichaelis@gmail.com

Background of Toledo Streets

We are a registered 501(c)(3) that launched in October of 2009. The street paper was established to build a safe community that works to break the cycle of poverty and empower entrepreneurs.

After 5 years as a branch of 1Matters.org, Toledo Streets Newspaper grew to become its own organization. We are part of a global street paper movement of over 110 papers in 35 countries, all with the same goal of giving our communities a program to lift individuals out of poverty through work. Our Vendors are self-contracted business owners who set their goals and schedules while adhering to the code of conduct.


Each Vendor starts with 10 free papers, then invests $0.25 per paper after that with a suggested donation of $1. Vendors keep all profits. The paper is our backbone, but we are so much more than a paper. We are a community, a resource, a training center, and a voice for those who don't have one.


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Press Release Contact Name: Arika Michaelis
Press Release Contact Email: arikamichaelis@gmail.com
Press Release Contact Phone: 4192620293
Organization Name: Toledo Streets Newspaper
Website or Link: toledostreets.com
Organization Address / City / State: 913 Madison Ave, Toledo, OH 43604