Columbus Business Group Seeks Ways To Boost Employment

Listen to the Story

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce seeks job growth among region’s existing businesses, helps form non-profit to boost area’s exports. WOSU’s Tom Borgerding reports.

At last count, the Central Ohio economy provided 900,000 jobs.The Columbus Chamber of Commerce wants to build on that number. But,the business advocacy group is taking a slightly different tack. Rather than aggressively recruiting new companies to the region, new president Michael Dalby says the organization will focus its efforts on retaining existing jobs and helping existing businesses expand.

“We understand how to overcome maybe bureaucratic issues that they’re dealing with, with their taxes. Maybe issues that they’re dealing with in terms of suppliers, financing, dealing with service industries, supporting vendors. All those kind of things sometimes can overwhelm a small business person.” Says Dalby.

Longer term, the chamber and the non-profit group Columbus 20-20 has started an effort to create more new jobs by boosting exports from Central Ohio businesses. Spokesman Kenny McDonald just returned from a trip to India and China. He says protecting a company’s intellectual property and patents is increasingly important in global trade.

“Its obviously a big issue in some parts of the world and we have to be careful about how we expand and grow.”

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce earlier predicted Central Ohio’s economy will add 2,500 jobs this year. That compares to a net loss of 800 jobs last year.

Tom Borgerding WOSU News