Bartholomew County business development already tops 2022

Jason Hester. Photo courtesy of Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp.

Columbus and Bartholomew County businesses already have plans in place so far this year for more than $51.3 million in expansions and to add 65 new jobs, more than all of 2022 combined.

Jason Hester, head of the the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corp. updated the Columbus City Council on the agency’s efforts this week.

Hester said that in the past year the corporation has received 147 inquiries from businesses interested in relocating to the community. Most are looking at existing buildings on more than 20 acres, with just over a third hoping to find sites of more than 100 acres. Those inquiries turned into 20 actual site visits and one company locating to the county — Sentry Biopharma Services.

Hester said that the community is currently actively recruiting companies in the fields of engineering and R&D services, next gen mobility, pharmaceutical manufacturing and food and beverage manufacturing.

Looking back at the past 10 years of efforts by the agency, Hester said the community has seen $915 million in capital investments and more than 15 hundred jobs created with an average wage of $23.13 an hour.

The city is the largest funder of the not for profit corporation, providing $107,000 of the nearly half million dollar budget. Hester pointed out that the city funding for the corporation is not a grant, but rather a fee for services rendered in recruiting new businesses to the community.