The time to come together is now

Happy New Year! As we head back to work in anticipation of the many opportunities that I hope await us all in 2020, I wanted to let you know about some exciting news at Smart Business. Beginning this month, we have merged our Cleveland and Akron-Canton publications into a single edition that will serve all of Northeast Ohio.

Why the change? We have been considering combining these publication for a couple of years now. The two business communities have grown more interconnected with Akron-Canton companies expanding into the Cleveland market and vice versa. As a result, we have seen an increasing number of readers receiving both publications, which is inefficient for them and for us. Likewise, many advertisers want to reach decision-makers in both markets, but the cost of doing so in two separate publications can be cost prohibitive. 

Combining the editions will make it more affordable to reach both markets.

Through the years, Smart Business has always taken great pride in being pro-jobs, pro-economy and pro-business. That was true in the early days when we told the stories of small businesses on the West Side of Cleveland. And it’s true today, as we focus on middle-market companies and the dynamic role that M&A and dealmaking plays in shaping our region’s economy.

Our weekly email newsletter, Smart Business Dealmakers, follows the same principles. It’s undeniable that one of the factors that will determine Northeast Ohio’s economic viability in the next decade is the ability of business leaders to step out and take risks by making big deals. My hope is that you’ll find content in both our magazine and our newsletter that supports this effort and inspires you to be part of the next wave of growth.

Despite the constant speculation about a recession, many local business leaders, including Dix & Eaton CEO Chas D. Withers, are optimistic about the year ahead.

“Looking at the past 30 years of M&A data collected, you’ll see that demand for deals remains intact, even in the face of looming downturns, rate uncertainty, global macroeconomic murkiness or seismic changes at the federal levels,” Withers wrote in his most recent Dealmakers Insider column. “Companies still need to win market share, create synergies, gain talent and drive growth, and metrics from 2002 and 2008 — representing the last two major pullbacks — tell us that smart, targeted and highly strategic deal activity will remain very much intact.”

Here’s to the best year yet for Northeast Ohio — and for your business.

Fred Koury is president and CEO at Smart Business Network