Franklin County, Ohio – named after Benjamin Franklin – is the second largest county in Ohio, and the largest in the Columbus metro area. Columbus is the county seat and the largest city in Ohio.
During the most recent recession of 2007, the economy in Franklin County – specifically, Columbus – was not impacted as badly as the rest of the US, thanks to the work of business and political leaders who created a diverse economic base that includes insurance, banking, aviation, food, logistics, energy, medical research, retail and technology.
The county also reaps economic benefits from state initiatives which aggressively court business. While the world suffers through a global recession, Ohio voters recently – and overwhelmingly – approved a $700 million extension of the state’s successful Ohio Third Frontier economic development program into the year 2015.
This initiative, created in 2002, has successfully supported industries who want to transform their business with new, globally-competitive products. It also attracts and fosters new companies in emerging industries. The intent of the Ohio Third Frontier program is to support a seamless transition of innovative ideas from drawing board to marketplace.
Part of the program includes perfecting the entrepreneurial environment; to that end, Ohio Third Frontier is funding Ohio’s New Entrepreneurs Fund, or the ONE Fund. To retain and attract the best and the brightest talent to Ohio, the ONE Fund has partnered with The Ohio State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship at Fisher College of Business to focus on the development of young entrepreneurs. Candidates submit proposals and concepts, work under the guidance of seasoned industry experts, and then pitch their ideas to potential investors to launch a new Ohio business venture.
Columbus was ranked as one of the top 10 “best big cities in the country” in 2010 by Relocate America, a real estate research firm.