Four BG groups get grant to explore one-stop shop PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN, Sentinel City Editor   
Monday, 09 December 2013 10:18
Four groups that work in various ways to promote Bowling Green will use a grant from the Toledo Community Foundation to help determine the feasibility of setting up a one-stop-shop for their services.
The $15,000 grant will be administered by the Downtown BG Foundation and also involve the BG Chamber of Commerce, BG Convention and Visitor's Bureau and BG Community Development Foundation. Downtown BG and the CDF share office space on East Wooster Street, while the chamber is on North Main Street and the CVB on East Court Street.
"This will allow us to do our due diligence on things we're not experts on," Barb Ruland, director of Downtown BG, told chamber trustees Friday morning. "The Community Foundation is looking to us to provide a model for other agencies around the state," she said.
Chamber President Bruce Stevens said "Now it's time for us to roll up our sleeves and go to work."
Ruland learned of the grant possibility early in 2013 and shared the possibility with the other groups. The idea was also promoted in the 2012 visioning program between the city and Bowling Green State University.
"This is part of a great opportunity to help nonprofits operate in a more efficient manner," Ruland said. She said the effort will look at ways to collaborate and also ways in which the four are different. "The sentiment may be this is a good thing to do but how to do it and make it work is the question." The study will also look at moving expenses, space requirements and how to deal with existing leases.
Ruland said the study could lead to a second grant that would help with some of the costs of setting up the combined location, if it becomes reality.
"We're on board," said Earlene Kilpatrick, executive director of the chamber. She said each group will assess its needs and determine "if indeed a one-stop is feasible. We are being responsible to our members by looking at this. It will be a work in progress next year."
CVB Director Wendy Stram said Lima has developed a one-stop that appears to be working. "If we can all save some money by moving together that would make it easier on the community. The public does not always know our various missions. If they can walk in and get assistance with one fell-swoop, that should be beneficial."
Stram said she would like to see "Bowling Green, as a whole, market itself as a destination and a brand. Visit, live, eat and shop." She said the four groups have a long-term policy of meeting once a month.
CDF Director Sue Clark said the grant will help each of the four with their planning. "This will take a good look at what we need and who we all are. It will determine whether we have similar enough missions to get together. It will be a healthy process."
Last Updated on Monday, 09 December 2013 10:27

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