Economic development activity is growing at a fast clip in
, a northern suburb of Columbus.
In three years, the town has welcomed 19 new businesses and four existing companies have expanded. Four additional companies, including Bob Evans, which is building its new headquarters here, are slated to put down roots in 2013.
“We’ve created more than 3,500 new jobs since 2009,” says Jennifer Chrysler, New Albany’s Director of Community Development. She attributes the city’s success to a combination of good planning and strategic partnerships.
New Albany planted the seeds for its growth back in 2007 when it partnered with TechColumbus to create TechStart New Albany. “TechStart helped 51 New Albany-based companies benefit from more than $458,000 in TechGenesis and Pre-Seed Funds, about $310,000 in Ohio TechAngel Funds and more than $1 million in grants and debt financing,” Chrysler notes.
New Albany has specifically made a strong commitment to attracting smaller, entrepreneurial businesses and technology startups, she explains. “We subscribe to the cluster theory of economic development, which translates into diversification within our business park.” The park, which Chrysler says is the fastest-growing such venue in the region, comprises four clusters – research and information, retail, medical office and personal care and beauty.
“Each of the clusters has experienced significant growth,” Chrysler notes. “Our beauty and personal care campus alone has now attracted more than 1,300 new jobs and realized $144 million in new investment during just the past year.”
In 2011, the city launched two new programs in its business park to stimulate and support entrepreneurial activity. Innovate New Albany is geared toward encouraging public-private partnerships and increasing the number of knowledge workers employed in the city. INC@8000 is a business incubator for startups and entrepreneurial activities, including classes and seminars.
Source: Jennifer Chrysler, New Albany
Writer: Lynne Meyer