May 21st, 2012 by Kenny McDonald
Remember when you used to open up the hood of your car and see all of the small parts? I used to watch my older brother, a car buff and wannabe master mechanic work on his old cars constantly tweaking this or that to make the engine work. Each part had its role in making the engine work properly. Today’s engines are covered so that you can’t see the small parts underneath – usually with the brand name displayed to reinforce the name. All too often the major brands in our economy cover the millions of small businesses that “execute” the tasks of our economy. The manufacturing, moving and serving that has to occur for the larger companies to function.
This is National Small Business Week in the United States, a celebration and reminder of the small businesses that make our engine work properly. This video from the National Federation of Small Businesses reminds us that small business creates two of every three net new jobs. The Small Business Administration celebrates the 28 million small businesses in the United States that keep us working, moving forward, and display American innovation at its very best in our cities and rural areas.
There are great resources in the Columbus Region that advocate for and concentrate on helping small businesses succeed. The Columbus Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in the Columbus Region and lists a number of resources. The Columbus Region’s website lists our regional partners across our 11 counties – all of which are valuable resources for those seeking assistance. Finally, if you are a small business or sell to small business – a terrific private business headquartered here in the region — Manta.com — is a terrific resource for connecting and growing.
Let’s keep our economy growing, thanks to all of the small business owners and employees that deliver each and every day!
Columbus 2020 Update
Our team will be in Tel Aviv, Chicago, and New York this week spreading the word about the Columbus Region. We are also hosting our Quarterly Investor’s meeting at Columbus Crew Stadium this Wednesday at 8:00 am. If you would like to attend please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Congrats to New Albany for the proposed major expansion of Discover Financial Services highlighted this past week. Discover was the first company to place operations in New Albany Business Park in the 1990s. It is great to see their continuing commitment to the Columbus Region’s workforce!
May 14th, 2012 by Kenny McDonald
One of the best things about being an economic development professional is that we get to meet with hundreds of companies each year. Big, small, start-ups, foreign owned, public companies and private enterprises, companies led by consensus and those led by a charismatic founder. What a great way to gain insight about leadership and management. We are usually talking to them about the future of their business and their facility and talent needs.
Very quickly the discussion turns to the DNA of the company. What is driving your decisions about the business currently? What drives your company overall? In the best companies the answer comes quickly and is usually fairly simple. They are able to point to their core values and often they display an intense passion for developing the people that work for them. After many years of meeting with companies in this way, I can usually tell which companies have a clear direction and how we will be able to help them. Very quickly we can assess what’s under the hood, and how our team will be able to assist them in achieving their goals.
Turn this concept on its head. Our team also meets with community leaders from all over the Region. The process is much the same. What do you value? What is driving decisions in your community? What are the community’s core values? After many years of meeting with communities in this way, I can usually tell which have a clear direction, how decisions will be made, and how our team will be able to assist in these goals.
Let me say that I am usually very impressed with both the candor and the thoughtfulness by which both the company and community leaders answer these questions. I am often blown away by the creative ways in which they approach their business and their public duty. In seemingly mundane businesses and in small “places”, some of the most passionate leaders reside. As a business or civic leader – what’s under the hood of your organization?
Columbus 2020 Update
Congrats to Columbus for securing the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference and Expo to the Columbus Region in 2013. Thanks to so many for their leadership – especially Derrick Clay, Chairman of MORPC. Our team will attend the 2012 event in Chicago in one week. The Columbus 2020 team is back from the Northeast where another successful business mission was executed and more projects were identified. Deb Scherer, 2020’s director of International Business is off to Israel soon to attend the 2012 Bio-Med conference.
May 7th, 2012 by Kenny McDonald
An insightful and fact-filled story appeared in the Washington Post this Friday. The incredible shrinking labor force, by Brad Plumer is a must read for those scratching their heads about jobs numbers, unemployment figures and political statements on both sides of the aisle.
A few facts from the article include:
- The labor force participation rate is at a 30-year low (63.6%)
- It has been declining for a decade and is predicted to continue to drop because of demographic and economic issues
- There are 3.7 job seekers for every opening (and at the same time seemingly no applicants at all for some mission critical positions in manufacturing, information technology, etc.)
- Of the people that have discontinued their search for work, 65% do not want to return to the traditional workplace, 35% very much do want to return to the workplace
- 41% of those out of work have been out of work for more than 27 weeks
Memo to the public/private leaders – economic development matters. These are fascinating and challenging times for the Columbus Region, the State of Ohio, our country and the world. Honest dialogue about these challenges and how to meet them requires your attention, engagement and talents. We appreciate everything you continue to do for our team.
Columbus 2020 Update
Congratulations to Quantum Health and their employees for their continued growth, announcing 525 jobs in Columbus last Monday. Kudos to the State of Ohio, Franklin County and the City of Columbus for their hard work to assist with this project.
Our team attendedthe Offshore Technology Conference last week in Houston. The oil and gas industry is white hot around various parts of the world and much of that spotlight is on Ohio. Our team is extremely excited about the meetings held in Houston with companies considering investing in Ohio (jobs and capital investment).
Our team is off to the Northeastern United States this week to meet with more than a dozen growing businesses considering expansions. We welcome the Brookings Institute’s Global Cities initiative to Columbus May 8th and 9th. This great initiative sponsored by JP Morgan Chase, will bring leaders including JP Morgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon and the German Ambassador to the United States to our region.
Let’s have a great week.