BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — At the Maumee Chamber of Commerce’s August luncheon, growth was the topic of conversation for members.
Throughout the luncheon, members heard about the opportunities available to members and plans the city has to continue welcoming growth for businesses in the community.
Guest speaker Gary Thompson, executive vice president and COO of Regional Growth Partnership, discussed the opportunities available to Northwest Ohio businesses through the RGP.
“Who are we at RGP? We’re a private organization. We’re not the government. We serve 17 counties in Northwest Ohio … but interestingly enough, we work very closely with the bordering counties in Michigan and Indiana in our region,” Thompson said.
According to Thompson, RGP focuses on a variety of projects, including retention and expansion.
“We do various things at the RGP. The number one thing we do is we market the business assets of the region to companies that are outside of Northwest Ohio,” Thompson explained.
Attracting companies that are not yet in the region is important to the RGP, he said. The organization does this by focusing on specific industries that can flourish in the Northwest Ohio area.
The organization focuses on six key industries: advanced manufacturing, automotive, energy, food processing, logistics and distribution, and technology.
“These are the sectors that we have world-class assets here in Northwest Ohio to compete,” Thompson said. “Maumee itself has a lot of employment in the logistics business. The fact that Interstate 75 and 90 cross in Northwest Ohio, that doesn’t happen in every city in the country. That gives us an asset and advantage to attract logistics and distribution workers.”
Thompson also explained the relationships with local, state and federal organizations the RGP has and how those relationships benefit the businesses the group works with.
Additionally, Maumee Mayor Rich Carr spoke with the chamber members about several updates and changes coming to businesses in Maumee.
“One of the things we found through the rejuvenation of our uptown is that when businesses see a community that is improving itself, rejuvenating, they want to be a part of it,” Carr said.
The mayor cited the development of new restaurants in uptown Maumee as examples.
“As we continue down Conant Street, Burger King is going to remove their existing building and build a brand-new one. That’s important because as you get older as a community, a lot of those fast food restaurants go away and the buildings sit empty,” Carr said.
Kentucky Fried Chicken has recently completed its new building and construction is underway with Wendy’s. Additionally, Long John Silver’s has plans to rebuild its building, Carr stated.
“We’re not losing any of the businesses. They’re rejuvenating them as well,” he said.
Additionally, apartments are planned in several spots, including near The Shops at Fallen Timbers, Carr said.
An automobile dealership, car wash, senior-living complex, Sheetz and more are coming to the city, too, Carr told the members.
“As we continue on with the progress of the city, bringing in these small businesses makes a big difference … what we found out is the small businesses have been very successful in the city of Maumee and we continue to grow them,” Carr said. “Revitalization helps to bring in new business, and we’re excited about what’s been going on in Maumee.”
Also during the luncheon, chamber executive director Kristin Meyer provided updates on:
• The Toledo Marathon, which is coming to Maumee and Toledo on Sunday, September 24. Chamber businesses can host water stops by contacting email@example.com.
• The new member mixer, which will be held at the Toledo Zoo on Thursday, August 24 at 4:00 p.m.
• The business expo, which will be held on November 14.