C-1st LLC - Day 7
Getting people where they need to go with a little hope and a lot of driving!
It can be difficult to find affordable transportation to important medical appointments if you don’t have access to a vehicle or a friend or family member to lean on. Edward Gresham found a solution to that problem in May of 2022. He started a business, C-1st LLC, a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) company. It provides proper transportation for seniors, disabled people, and other disadvantaged citizens that insurance plans can cover. These patients normally would rely on taxi services to transport them to necessary medical appointments. Edward had the idea to start C-1st when he was driving for Uber and Lyft, two well-known taxi service companies. He found he was picking up riders from the hospitals and doctor’s offices frequently and learned insurance could pay for such trips. He is also a licensed insurance agent in Ohio, so with his experience in the transportation and insurance world, Edward decided starting his own NEMT company would be worth the pursuit. He did a lot of homework and “Youtubed” a lot of things and finally said, “let’s give it a shot!” When he started in May, Edward had just himself and one vehicle, a 2018 Toyota RAV 4. Today, he has four drivers, three vehicles with a fourth on the way, and his company travels all over the state of Ohio. The business serves, on average, 30 people per week and travels almost 1200 miles a day. Most rides are roundtrip, and the starting point can be anywhere between Toledo and Cleveland.
Since May, C-1st has served at least 1500 people
The company averages about 1200 miles traveled per day
Most rides are roundtrip and are over 100 miles each
Alongside running his business, you might not know that Edward is also a pastor for Jesus Saves Thru Faith North, a local church in Sandusky. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Johnny Cross, who had been pastoring in the area for nearly 50 years. One thing Edward preaches, not only at church but through his business and in the community, is to have and give hope. “Hope is one of the greatest tools we can have,” said Edward. “The grounds for starting my business was to help people and give them hope. Not to help myself.” C-1st LLC was a recipient of the Minority Business Empowerment Team Startup Scholarship, a grant facilitated by ECEDC & RISE and awarded to new minority-owned businesses in Erie County. Edward said the grant funding and support from MBET and RISE were crucial to the start of his business as the organizations gave him hope, knowledge, and motivation. The company continues to grow. It has secured multiple contracts, receiving one more just this month, and is expected to gain a few more when the new year comes. Among some of Edwards goals are to hire a minimum of three more drivers and add three new vehicles within the next two years. For anyone who needs guidance on how to get transportation for any of their needs – grocery store, doctor’s appointments, and more – they can call Edward. He’s willing to share his knowledge free of charge to make sure people get where they need to go.
Did You Know? The Minority Business Empowerment Team (MBET), a collaborative effort between local minority-owned businesses, RISE, the City of Sandusky and its commissioners, and Sandusky City Schools, works to champion minority and women business development. Through MBET, businesses can find peer networking, learning, and marketing opportunities. To learn more and get involved, contact us today!
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