New guide helps new businesses

Establishing a new business in Marietta can be a bit daunting if you don’t know how to find a suitable location, obtain the necessary permits, or where to go to have the utilities turned on. But over the last several months the city has developed a New Business Start-up Guide to help address those issues.

City development director Andy Coleman said the guide has been available in packet form since August, and as of Wednesday the same information is posted on the city’s website.

“We provide the guides anytime we get a call from businesses interested in locating in Marietta,” Coleman said. “The packets were initially developed last summer, and we’ve handed out several since then. But we’ve just now put the guide on our website.”

He said Mayor Joe Matthews came up with the idea in order to provide new businesses with a “road map” to follow if they want to locate in Marietta.

“The mayor wanted to help make the city more business friendly, and working with (former city council president) Walt Brothers, we developed the idea of a business guide packet,” Coleman said.

The guide includes information about starting up a new business, what permits are needed and where to get them, and how to get utilities hooked up. Also included is information about the city’s tax increment financing (TIF) program and certified redevelopment areas that may qualify for tax incentives.

“Coming editions of the guide will include a downtown business inventory, showing where existing businesses are located and storefronts that are available in the downtown district,” Coleman said. “And we’ll be linking with Main Street Marietta who will help provide a liaison between the property owners and businesses interested in locating downtown.”

He said the packets and online versions also include links to the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, Southeastern Ohio Port Authority and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for more information on establishing a business.

Matt Herridge, a managing director and owner of Charton Management, Inc. that operates the new Qdoba Mexican Grill at the intersection of Seventh, Pike and Greene streets, said the new business guide is a good idea.

Charton also operates the Burger King restaurant on Pike Street.

“We worked very closely with the city to establish our new restaurant at that location, and they were extremely helpful,” he said. “In our past experience in Marietta the city’s regulatory requirements are much tighter than about any other city we’ve worked in, so a business guide can be very helpful.”

Charlotte Keim, executive director of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce said a new business guide was “absolutely needed.”

“The chamber and local Small Business Development Center provide a lot of information that’s generally state-oriented with broader information for new businesses,” she said. “And for the city to have that local information is a terrific complement to our programs.”