A business coalition that has roots in western Clark County is looking to expand to surrounding communities and will be doing so under a new name.
The Western Clark County Business Coalition —that was formed in 2012 in order to serve as the voice for small businesses in places such as Enon and New Carlisle— will now be called the Gateway Business Group. It’s a move, the organization’s leaders say will help them attract more members and potential partners in surrounding counties.
“We felt that we were helping as many businesses that we could in this area and there were more out there that needed our help,” said Rhonda Ledford, the coalition’s board president.
The rebranding effort was spearheaded by Ledford, who said it had been in the works for about a year.
Though her organization already accepts members outside the western Clark County area, she said by rebranding they can attract more of those small businesses operating in cities across the county line such as Huber Heights and Tipp City.
The organization’s new name was revealed during a Friday evening launch party that saw elected officials from Enon and New Carisle, Clark County commissioners and representatives from the Ohio State University in attendance.
Ledford said Friday’s gathering is proof of her organization’s success in showcasing area businesses. She said when the coalition first started, most of its members flew under the radar and were under-served in terms of representation.
She said the goal now is to give entrepreneurs in nearby communities the tools they need to better connect with each other as well as provide more ways to promote their businesses.
Representatives of the business coalition previously told the News-Sun though the old name clearly identified the organization’s purpose, they felt it was too long and could be hard for members of the community to remember.
By shortening the name and making it more broad, Ledford said it better reflects the coalition’s goal to expand as its leaders see western Clark County, which includes several major highways and state routes, as a gateway for surrounding areas.
“We have room for growth. We want to be a gateway for local businesses and be able to connect everyone together,” Ledford added.
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