Cyrus Littlejohn, a local Columbus filmmaker wrote his first screenplay titled “Aimless” about the phenomenon of Sleep Paralysis while in college. He did not know that he would struggle for years seeking a job after getting his Bachelor of Arts degree. As time passed and things did not pan out, he knew he had to focus on his film project. He started his own film company, 12 Stones Productions, and took marketing and producing into his own hands. His credit score was not loan worthy due to school loans and, although his business plan was polished, he had yet to meet a willing investor. After doing some research online, he learned of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). He contacted East Columbus Development Company (ECDC) to get more information and soon was enrolled in the ECDC IDA program. The insights on economic development learned through the education programs at #ECDC were beneficial for his business. The credit repair, personal savings, and 2:1 matched grant money helped him get a top of the line camcorder, office devices, and a new website created by Creative Business Intelligence Web Company for his business. Cyrus is currently in the fundraising stage for his film project “Aimless” and is trying to get Columbus involved as much as possible.
While taking the IDA classes, Cyrus often donated his time and financial gifts to ECDC because he believed in the purpose of the organization. He’s a firm believer that people who are willing to take courses and demonstrate that they are responsible, by completing the IDA program, deserve grant money. Following his donation near the end of the program, he was asked by the Executive Director, Bernita Gatewood, to be on the Board of Directors. He gladly accepted, and has been helping the organization with marketing and major decisions as it relates to internet marketing and information technology. So not only did the ECDC’s IDA program help him with startup funds, but it led to a position that will help him become a community leader and more connected to resourceful people and other companies within Columbus.
Cyrus has expressed his thanks to the sponsorships and funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Franklin County Economic Development and Planning Department (CDBG), City of Columbus Department of Development and PNC Bank for making his hard-working and entrepreneurial experience a worthy journey thus far.