After 20 years of serving Mason County’s business community from their current location at the Mason County Airport, the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce and Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau have announced they will renew a commitment to the central business districts by establishing offices in both downtown Ludington and Scottville.
Through a mutual partnership, Smith & Eddy Insurance has agreed to sell its current downtown Ludington location on South Rath Avenue to the Chamber and CVB.
In addition, the Chamber and CVB will also be provided office and visitor-center space at the Smith & Eddy Insurance office in downtown Scottville.
“We are seeing, even throughout the pandemic, innovation and businesses flourish in our core communities, and we want to be there visibly supporting our member businesses, leading economic development and talent development efforts, as well as providing basic business services,” said Brandy Miller, president and CEO of the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We believe this partnership allows us to better serve both communities and all of Mason County.”
Smith and Eddy Insurance will be combining Ludington and Scottville operations into the Scottville office located on Main Street.
“The collaborative effort was one of the positive developments surprisingly brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Smith & Eddy President Scott Smith. “Through efficient means of doing business, technology, retirements, and the ability for staff to also work from home, this became the perfect opportunity to look into the consolidation of offices. Maintaining two offices less than eight miles apart was not a great business model for our future expansion plans and growth model.”
In 2012, the late Bob Smith opened the current Scottville office, which has never been used to its full capabilities, until now.
“Bob was dedicated to the Scottville community and had a vision to provide a great office environment in downtown Scottville. With this partnership, we can truly start to maximize this building’s potential and support the community by partnering with the Chamber,” Smith added.
“Scottville has a lot of momentum right now — and to have Smith & Eddy Insurance consolidating offices in downtown Scottville, and the Chamber re-establishing its presence — these are great indicators that more is to come,” said Joe Knowles, senior vice president of Smith & Eddy Insurance and Scottville DDA chair.
The Chamber and CVB are expecting to move into the new Ludington location at 119 S. Rath by January. Partnering entities, including the Community Foundation for Mason County and the Mason County Promise, will join the new downtown Ludington location.
Following the move, the Chamber will be undergoing a rebranding process.
“The Chamber has been part of the fabric of Mason County for more than 92 years,” Miller said. “Now is the perfect time to reinvigorate our mission, rebrand our organization and meet the business community and leaders where they are.”