Necessary Ingredients

February 6, 2017

“A dynamic economy begins with a good education.”
-Bob Taft

I’ve written before about the balance sought in building an economy that is both durable and dynamic. Economic strength and diversity create durable economies that able to “take a punch,” and dynamic economies that foster technological growth and a high number of new firms are very rare.

A new report by the Economic Innovation Group, “Dynamism in Retreat,” points to the declining number of new firms being created across the country in all but a very few regions. Larger firms are dominant and getting more so. This points to declining entrepreneurship and the fact that larger firms have become exceptionally great employers by any historical standard. At issue is our ability to grow quickly and to create genuinely new jobs in the economy.

The Columbus Region is the home of CoverMyMeds, a fast-growing software maker founded in 2008 and recently acquired by McKesson for $1.1 billion. Drive Capital’s Chris Olsen called this “a seminal moment for the Columbus startup community.” While it is extraordinarily rare for such an outsized success to result from a startup, even modest growth by newly formed firms can yield big benefits for communities.

For economic developers, it is a reminder that their plans need to include a focus on fostering tech commercialization, startups and high-growth enterprises. This does not mean that efforts to grow existing companies and attract new operations should be halted. All of these activities help to create healthy communities and are necessary ingredients for a dynamic environment.

See and for more on how this works in the Columbus Region.

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Last week, three companies announced expansions in the Columbus Region. Automotive supplier Jefferson Industries Corporation is adding 20 jobs in West Jefferson, e-commerce agency Rocket Code is adding 30 jobs in Columbus and manufacturer West-Ward Pharmaceuticals is adding 65 jobs in Columbus. Congratulations to all three companies and their communities.
  • If you’re flying United this month, you’ll find this section on Columbus in United Hemispheres magazine. Thank you to the partners and businesses who participated to help to share the story of our region with millions of air travelers.
  • Next week, the One Columbus team will travel to Canada for a business development mission.