COLUMBUS, OH – Progress on jobs and other economic development activity is strong as Columbus 2020, the 11-county regional economic development entity, approaches the mid-year mark. Since January, approximately 5,000 jobs have been attracted or retained in the Columbus Region, and the organization’s overall activity level is up nearly 40 percent over last year’s pace.
“We’re proud of the growth that has been achieved so far in 2012, with the help of local, regional and state economic development partners,” said Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer, Columbus 2020. “With aggressive 10-year goals regarding job growth and new capital investment, momentum is headed in the right direction.”
Of the jobs added or retained in the Region since January, 75 percent can be attributed to existing business growth. Additionally, existing business projects now make up 30 to 40 percent of active projects at any given time, compared to just 10 to15 percent in 2011. Much of this trend can be attributed to the addition of Columbus 2020’s Business Retention and Expansion team, and increased collaboration with local, regional and state partners.
Although the Columbus Region saw blockbuster announcements from companies like Zulily and Quantum Health, both committing more than 500 jobs and increased capital investment, approximately 61 percent of the Region’s announcements so far in 2012 noted job increases of fewer than 100 – with the majority coming in at the 30- to 40-job range. Examples include CallCopy, Inc., a leading call recording and contact center solutions provider committed to investing $300,000 to renovate its Columbus facility over three years and generating 60 additional jobs.
“It’s important to recognize the smaller, but no less impactful, job creators that keep the Columbus Region thriving,” said McDonald. “Along with a steady pipeline of existing businesses growing and expanding, these smaller wins deepen the supply chain and make up the majority of job creation within the Region.”
In terms of economic development activity, the catalyst that often leads to job creation, the Region’s 40 percent increase in overall activity included 30 first-time company visits to the Columbus Region year-to- date, more than double the 2011 pace. The Columbus 2020 team has also maintained a strong business development travel schedule, visiting 15 U.S. cities and three countries abroad so far in 2012. In all of 2011, the team visited 30 domestic cities and six foreign countries.
About Columbus 2020
Columbus 2020 is a bold public-private partnership that leverages the strengths of the Columbus Region’s talented workforce, small and large businesses, research and academic institutions, and international connections to ignite economic growth and build a healthier, more sustainable future for Central Ohio. The initiative grows our economy by ensuring that our existing companies are growing and thriving, that the world’s leading companies are attracted to the 11-county region, that innovations are cultivated and commercialized, and that our civic infrastructure is continually improving to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving world economy. For more information, visit ColumbusRegion.com.