Columbus, Ohio: a growing mecca for small business

From Kate Rogers of CNBC:

The Columbus metro area ranked in the top 15 nationally for start-up activity on the Kauffman Foundation’s 2015 and 2016 start-up indexes, with nearly 72 start-ups for every 1,000 businesses in the area.

Local resources are helping fuel small business growth in a wide range of industries — from retail to food and beverage and technology.

We at Ohio CDC Association love this.

According to ODSA, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.1% in March 2016, which increased slightly from 2015 and was slightly higher than the national rate. Small businesses not only create more vibrant and prosperous communities, but they create jobs too. In Ohio, small businesses employing 1 or more workers account for 20% of all firms and employ 48% of the workforce. In fact, the US Small Business Administration states that since 1995, 2 out of every 3 new jobs created have come from small businesses.

According to the 2016 CFED Assets & Opportunities Scorecard, Ohio is still behind in small business development, particularly for LMI individuals, who, even with a strong business plan, may struggle receiving financing. More than a quarter of Ohioans are un or underbanked and about half do not have prime credit.  LMI entrepreneurs that work with a member of OCDCA’s Ohio Microbusiness Development Program (OMDP) receive the financial education and skills training to overcome some of these barriers. More importantly, the OMDP organizations make loans that are not predatory, but fair so that these small businesses can thrive, and thus the community can grow in prosperity and local pride. Because the OMDP organizations are typically housed in LMI communities, they work very closely with their clients to help them become the strongest business possible.

OCDCA members do a lot to help create jobs in their communities. According to the recent OCDCA Economic Impact survey, in 2015 Ohio CDCs helped over 36,000 households with job training and small business development, resulting in over 500 new or expanded local businesses, which created nearly 2,000 jobs in LMI neighborhoods.

Read the whole article from CNBC here. It references ECDI, an OCDCA OMDP member based in Columbus.

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