“We want this piece to be the place where area business people will go to find relevant business news in Northwest Ottawa County,” Tribune Publisher Kevin Hook said. “We decided that the readership generated by Tribune subscribers would be a great platform to deliver the message to.”
The Business Times will replace the Business Beacon, a bimonthly magazine produced by the Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven-Spring Lake-Ferrysburg since 2001. Prior to that, the Chamber’s membership publication was a four-page newsletter called The Beacon.
Hook said the idea to form the partnership began with a meeting in April with Chamber of Commerce President Joy Gaasch.
“She felt the Business Beacon needed a new look and brand,” Hook said, “and the discussion evolved into what we know today as The Business Times of Northwest Ottawa County.”
Gaasch said the new magazine will, for the most part, have the same content as the Business Beacon — with the addition of a community calendar.
“Our editorial focus will remain targeted on business — the people, issues, economic sectors, growth, workforce/education, health care, quality of life and importance of all business sectors to our community — to name just a few,” she said.
Gaasch said partnering with the Tribune to jointly publish the new local business journal greatly expands its readership. The Business Beacon was in a digital format and was e-mailed to Chamber members only, while The Business Times will be a hard copy that will be distributed as an insert in the Tribune, as well as being available for distribution to Chamber members via e-mail.
Hook said the magazine will also be distributed as an online e-edition and accessible from the Tribune’s website.
“This partnership also gives us the opportunity to provide readers information that is more in-depth regarding business and business issues, and the people involved in business, than general news stories,” Gaasch explained. “It is important — at a time when jobs, business growth/stability and tax base are of crucial concerns — that we have a publication like The Business Times that is focused on those issues.”
The first issue of The Business Times of Northwest Ottawa County focuses on educational initiatives. It will feature articles on the Educators Working for Relevancy program, Grand Haven ArtWalk, the Chamber’s Leadership Connect class and Athena Award program, and a roll call of new Chamber members.