CINCINNATI - As Cincinnati prepares to say goodbye to Chiquita, Chris Kemper of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber reminds us why Chiquita came here at all.
"I think it is important to remember that Chiquita was not a homegrown company," said Kemper Tuesday on Fountain Square.
Kemper who is spokesperson for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber said that Chiquita's arrival in 1987 was due to Lindner.
"Since then they've been a great corporate neighbor but it was largely due to Carl Lindner's commitment and passion for the city that they came here," said Kemper.
Lindner's ownership interest ended in 2002 and it was this October that the local billionaire passed away.
"You never want to lose a company, any company, especially a company that has such great name recognition as Chiquita. However, this is a part of doing business," said Kemper.
The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber points out that, while everyone wishes Chiquita would have stayed, Cincinnati's urban core has roughly 2.6 billion dollars in commercial investment which include:
- The Banks
- The School for Creative and Performing Arts
- Great American Tower
"That's about $1,200 per person in the region. So really there's a lot of growth," said Kemper.