August 20th, 2012 by Kenny McDonald
Approximately 80 days ago school ended for most kids. Over the course of the next 10 days it will begin again for tens of thousands of kids in the Columbus Region and across the country. Back to the routine of getting up early, hectic schedules, and homework. At stake – our future standard of living and economic success.
This past weekend was “move in” weekend for The Ohio State University. More than 10,000 college students will begin their freshmen year of advanced education in our region. The Ohio State University will welcome many of these students later today at Nationwide Arena downtown with the help of several community organizations. We want them to know that we appreciate their choice to make the Columbus Region their home for the next several years – and that we want them to fully participate as citizens and join in the fun of making this the best metro area in the United States.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, roughly 55 million kids (pre-k through grade 12) will attend school this year. Seven percent of 16-24 year olds will not be in school and do not have a high school degree (termed drop-outs) and total expenditures will exceed $600 billion dollars for public elementary and secondary education.
We’ve invested a lot in education. We want our youngest students to get started right, we have to hang on to those kids in the middle years, and help them finish strong from both high school and college to build the type of economy and healthy communities we have all come to enjoy. As our kids head back to school this fall, let’s consider what is at stake and what we can do to increase their chances for success.
Columbus 2020 Update
We had the opportunity to meet officials from VSP, who announced the addition of 100 jobs in Columbus last week. We appreciate their commitment to our community, with multiple facilities in the Columbus Region. And congratulations to Honda on today’s production launch of the all-new 2013 Honda Accord.
Last Friday the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, the Columbus Partnership and staff dedicated to Columbus 2020 participated in a one-day team building exercise at the Ohio Union. Thanks to all of our partners for making that a great day of learning about one another and our ambitious goals.
July 2nd, 2012 by Kenny McDonald
A recent visit to Washington, D.C. was both exhausting and exhilarating. The hum of power is all around the nation’s capital, and our team received great news that our region’s grant application had been funded for the critical east-west connector. This project will reduce congestion and accelerate commerce in the Columbus Region and for the entire corridor from the Port of Virginia to Chicago. The Columbus Regional Airport Authority, the Columbus Chamber, the City of Columbus, Franklin County, and many others advocated effectively and should be commended for their work.
The exhausting part comes when you realize how good intentioned and well-meaning our elected officials are, and how hard it is to get anything done. Our system of democracy is imperfect, but still the envy of so many. The Supreme Court’s decision last Thursday regarding the Healthcare law, provides a window of what America is all about. President Obama waited and watched with millions of other concerned citizens to hear the verdict from a separate branch of government. He didn’t hear it early and he didn’t know the outcome. Regardless of what you think of the outcome of that decision, it is a great reminder that we are all Americans, and as imperfect as our system is, it still provides moments that remind us that we are the greatest laboratory of democracy ever created.
Our team at Columbus 2020 wants to wish you a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!
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!
October 24th, 2011 by Kenny McDonald
Ten years ago few economic development groups had their eyes on China as a place to develop business. Now nearly all states and many U.S. metros are in China on a regular basis to develop business and open markets for their companies. Prior to China’s entry into the WTO, entire sectors of the Chinese economy were closed to U.S. companies and few Chinese companies were mature enough to invest and build in other countries. Things have changed! There is now a proposal to provide visas for foreigners (led by wealthy Chinese investors) who will buy homes in the U.S. to save our lagging housing sector. Just think how laughable that proposal would have been in 2001.
The implications of China’s market development, upward advancement and re-engagement with the world community impact our daily lives whether we work in retail, manufacturing, healthcare, or finance. 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the WTO’s decision to allow entry by China. The decision has stirred controversy since its inception and continues today, but one thing is not debatable – the decision has impacted our daily lives as U.S. citizens and Ohioans.
Just last Wednesday seven U.S. solar manufacturers filed a complaint with the Obama administration to impose duties of more than 100 percent on Chinese imports, which they said were unfairly undercutting prices and destroying jobs in the US. This is but one of the implications of China’s business prowess and is not just an issue for the solar industry, but many other products. On the other hand, U.S. exports to China have increased rapidly since China’s WTO entry, jumping from more than $19 billion in 2001 to nearly $92 billion in 2010. Entire sectors of the Chinese economy were opened to U.S. companies through the agreement and we have benefited from China’s emerging middle class.
Last week President Obama signed into law the long-awaited free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. What impacts will these agreements have upon the U.S. economy and our daily lives 10 years on? What assumptions are we making that we should question?
The Intelligent Community Forum has announced that the Columbus Region is being Recognized as a Smart21 Intelligent Community of 2012. Take a look!
Our Columbus2020! team will be in the Dallas-Ft. Worth this week to call upon businesses and we are actively preparing for another visit to Germany and another trip to Southern California. We hosted three clients last week and are quickly building out our capacity to call upon local businesses through development of the ColumbUS Chamber’s Existing Business Services Team led by Patty Huddle.