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Our Region's Competitiveness

Franklin County sits at the heart of the 11-county Columbus Region. Home to the City of Columbus, the 15th largest City in the United States, and 15 other municipalities, Franklin County is one of the most dynamic and diverse metropolitan counties in the Country. Franklin County contains several economic assets that are useful to consider when deciding whether or not to do business in our region:

Our Economic Drivers:

  • Our economic base sectors include banking, insurance, medicine, advanced manufacturing, science and technology, logistics, fashion, and international business.
  • Our County is considered to be a major hub of innovation in the fashion, retail, grocery. logistics, healthcare, and insurance services sectors.
  • Our economy is exceptionally well balanced - no single industry sector accounts for more than 18 percent of total employment - which gives us a  competitive, diversified, and stable economic base. If you are looking to do business in Franklin County, chances are our region has the partners you need to make your venture a success.

To review some additional useful summary statistics describing our County, please view our County profile.

Explore further to discover:

  • Reasons why Franklin County can give your business superior Access to markets all over the world.
  • An understanding of the workforce Talent you will find in our region
  • The Value of our region to your bottom line, both through our competitive economic cost structure and our plentiful local and state incentives.

Access

Proximity
Home to the City of Columbus, the 15th largest City in the United States, Franklin County and the Columbus Region offers a number of high quality logistics infrastructure and amenities and convenient access to major population centers in the U.S. and Canada. With easy access to a highly-connected interstate highway system, Franklin County is within a one-day drive by truck to 47% of the U.S. population and 29% of the Canadian population - greater access than any other major metro.

To learn more about the benefits Central Ohio’s proximity to major markets can provide, please visit Columbus 2020.

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Infrastructure and Amenities
In addition to our central location in the State and region, our county is also home to a variety of high quality logistics infrastructure and amenities.

A number of major highways pass through Franklin County, including I-71, a major north-south interstate, and I-70, a major east-west interstate. Combined with a regional network of state highways, Franklin County has easy access to the five other major interstates in Ohio, including I-75, I-76, I-77, I-80, and I-90. In addition, our superior regional network of national highways, state highways, and major state routes, including I-270 and I-670, both exclusive to Franklin County, create an average commute time of just over 20 minutes, one of the best in the nation.

Major airports in Franklin County include the John Glenn Columbus International Port (CMH) and the Rickenbacker Inland Port (LCK). John Glenn International offers over 150 direct flights, ensuring the Columbus Region has access to critical business markets around the country. Rickenbacker International is one of the world’s only cargo-dedicated airports and offers two parallel 12,000 foot runways and a Category II Instrument Landing System for all-weather landing capabilities.

The Rickenbacker Inland Port is also serviced by two of the largest rail providers in the U.S., Norfolk Southern and CSX. The Rickenbacker Intermodal Terminal, just south of Franklin County, is capable of handling more than 400,000 containers annually and has access to roughly 21,000 route miles linking Franklin County to major East and West Coast ocean ports.

The Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which oversees John Glenn International, the Rickenbacker Inland Port, and the Bolton Field Airport is Grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone #138. As Grantee, the Airport Authority is responsible for the administration, marketing and oversight of FTZ #138, the 10th most active FTZ in the nation. The FTZ covers a 25 county region, including all of the Columbus Region and is legally considered outside of Customs territory, so goods may be brought into the site duty-free and without formal customs entry.

To learn more about Central Ohio’s Logistics Infrastructure and Amenities, please visit Columbus 2020 and the Columbus Regional Airport Authority.

Talent

With access to 36 college and university campuses and several world class institutions devoted to research and development, our business community is able to draw from a high quality regional labor pool. Led by the The Ohio State University, Franklin County has one of the highest concentrations of college students in the nation. Our county includes 9 public universities, 15 public university branch campuses, and 12 private for-profit educational institutions, and all stand ready to assist you find and hire the workforce talent you need.

As a community with one of the nation's highest concentrations of millennials, our workforce is young, highly educated and diverse. Our population is exceptionally well educated - 37% of Franklin County’s population holds at least a Bachelor’s Degree, which exceeds the National average by 7% and the State average by 11%. Franklin County is also home to the largest concentration of PhDs in the Midwest, and has more PhDs than the national average.  To view some additional statistics on our region’s workforce, visit http://columbusregion.com/Workforce-Talent/Compare-Our-Workforce.aspx.

Franklin County is also home to several science and technology research organizations, providing businesses with access to an emerging innovation hub and the brightest minds in science and technology research:

  • The Ohio State University
  • Battelle
  • CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service)
  • IBM Client Center: Analytics Solutions Lab
  • The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital
  • OCLC (Online Computer Library Center, Inc.)

To learn more about these institutions, and to explore how you might be able to partner with them to start, grow, or expand your business, visit http://columbusregion.com/About-the-Region/Research-Innovation.aspx.

Value

In addition to great market Access and an abundance of high quality, well educated Talent, Businesses in the Columbus Region benefit from one of the lowest tax burdens on new investment in the Midwest.

  • No personal property tax
  • No inventory tax
  • No state corporate income tax

In addition to tax savings available to Columbus Region businesses, state and local governments offer tax incentives, credits, loans and grants to new businesses, small businesses and expanding companies. We in Franklin County offer our own incentives (see the next section), and a list of available state incentives can be found here: http://columbusregion.com/About-the-Region/Tax-Structure-Business-Incentives.aspx.

John O'Grady President
Marilyn Brown
Kevin L. Boyce