A Year of Growth
2022 has been a great year for the Grand Rapids business community. So far, the Grand Rapids Chamber has celebrated 49 ribbon cuttings this year. That’s 49 businesses celebrating their grand opening, and expansion, or a remodel.
“We are onboarding solid businesses,” said the Chamber’s Retail, Retention, and Attraction Specialist, Richard App. “Everything builds off of each other. The more businesses we bring in, the more business and excitement we bring.”
An Active Future
App sees the future of our city as an active lifestyle city. With the opening of Gazelle Sports’ downtown location, the Amway Grand Plaza’s new pickleball courts, and projects like the Grand River Greenway, that vision is becoming a reality. App sees the potential in making Grand Rapids an outdoor recreation destination:
“We are the perfect four season city. With social zones, the lake, the rivers. We are in the perfect environment for an active city.”
Last month, HOLO footwear relocated to downtown Grand Rapids from out of state. July also saw the Beer City Open at Belknap Park, one of the country’s largest pickleball tournaments. Add in events like Relax at Rosa and a variety of concerts and music festivals happening in the area, and it’s easy to see that Grand Rapids is embracing the outdoor lifestyle.
Grand Rapids is home to businesses with connections all around the world. This year we’ve celebrated our diverse community with many festivals on Calder Plaza including the Asian Pacific Festival in June and the upcoming Hispanic and Polish Festivals.
“I think it shines a better light on a part of our community that you may or may not have known about,” said App. “It’s important that we give attention to people who might not have felt seen. The more we talk about them the tighter our community comes.”
In addition to the many festivals and events, we’ve seen many diverse-owned businesses coming to downtown Grand Rapids in the last year. One Business that App has worked to help expand is A Taste of Cairo. The Egyptian style restaurant based in Detroit has expanded to downtown Grand Rapids. App is proud to have been able to help their team into their Ottawa Ave. location.
“We were able to find them an optimal spot, now they’re downtown and they seem to be doing quite well,” said App.
With so many new businesses popping up, the Chamber’s team is looking forward to helping these new businesses grow in the coming months and years. All of this growth leaves one tough question to answer question: What business should you check out next?