Business owners want to brand BG PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 09:59
A group of Bowling Green business owners have resumed meeting informally in an effort to find ways to cross-promote their efforts and attract more customers from the city and surrounding communities.
Ginny Stewart of BG Hats and Apparel said Tuesday night's meeting and another planned Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Cafe Havana are an effort to "form a cohesive group interesting in branding Bowling Green."
The group has not met since spring. The reason for meetings both the second Tuesday and Thursday nights of the month is to help business people who have conflicts one of the evenings. About a dozen people attended Tuesday night.
Clazel owner Ammar Mufleh said the group was started to "discuss issues, frustrations and similar concerns" and how to improve business. "It's a way for us to be supportive and work together." He said there are already organizations that work to promote the community and the group wants to expand on those efforts.
"Having many thriving businesses will help pull more people into the community," he said. "Do we want to pull together or go it alone? How can we engage BGSU? How can we be a cohesive group rather than individuals? We will carry more weight with five or 10 or more business owners together."
Joseph Chao of Agile Oasis Tech, a custom software development firm, said that although he does not do retail business, the company can likely help the group in its efforts. The firm is located downtown. "I am a part of the downtown. Even though I don't count on foot traffic, when I see people downtown I feel better about being there."
Both Mufleh and Stewart said they are seeing more people come to the city to do business. He noted a recent wedding at the Clazel with the families living in Livonia, Mich., and Columbus, "meeting in the middle, booking 20 rooms in a local motel, having dinner in a local restaurant and keeping a taxi service busy."
Stewart said she has had customers from Toledo who came to explore BG and suggested other stores they might want to visit.
Mufleh said many people "gravitate toward centers of knowledge" and suggested with the number of universities in the region "Bowling Green is in a great corridor." He said with Michigan State, the University of Michigan, University of Toledo, Owens Community College, BGSU and the University of Findlay, plus easy access to the Great Lakes, there is a lot going for the area.
The group also spent time discussing a variety of social media and traditional methods of promotion and ways to get more people involved in the group.
"We should not see each other as a threat," Mufleh said.

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