The City of Columbus, Ohio is dedicated to facilitate the endeavors of entrepreneurs in its city.
Entrepreneurs contribute greatly to the economic vitality of Ohio. According to the Ohio Development Services Agency website, 98% of all businesses in Ohio are small businesses and more than 50% of the private sector workforce is employed by small businesses.
Recognizing the important role that entrepreneurs have in the economy, the city of Columbus created the office of the Small Business Concierge, which is currently held by Ryan Schick. This position serves to maintain a direct line of communication between the small business owners and the city. According to Mr. Schick’s letter to the public on the city’s website, his position advocates for entrepreneurs in the city government and works to change conditions that impede entrepreneurs from pursuing their business goals.
The goal of this position is to aid entrepreneurs in as many ways as possible. Describing this holistic approach, Mr. Schick states:
“My singular goal is to get you from point A to opening your doors for the first time and turning on your open sign. From developing your business plan, connecting you with Department of Development resources, assisting with the Building and Zoning process, or simply seeing to it that any question you have is answered, we are here for you.”
To further increase support, the city of Columbus strives to find partner organizations that provide services to the small business population. It has already partnered up with agencies to provide assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs in the early stages of their business. For example, the partner organization of SCORE, comprised of volunteer business professionals, gives free, confidential business advice to entrepreneurs.
More information about these programs and the contact information for Mr. Schick can be found here.