When driving home from the southern states many Cincinnatians feel pride from seeing that distinctive skyline on the Kentucky/Ohio border. So many are unsurprised that Forbes called the Ohio Valley “The Next Silicon Valley.” The magazine ranks Cincinnati the fifth most affordable metropolitan area and ninth best for raising a family. Contributor Peter Lane Taylor writes, “The Midwest’s overall business resurgence is also getting a big boost from a bourgeoning urban culture.” He goes on to say that the Ohio Valley’s pull rivals that of California or New York. Plus, the cost of living is considerably less. It’s a prime time to start a business in Greater Cincinnati.
What Cincinnati Offers
Cincinnati’s business-friendly climate is “owing to a state economy growing faster than the national average and a low cost of living,” says Journal-News. A lot of this economic growth stems from the boom in the digital and medical fields. For instance, Ozy reports that Cincinnati has seen 90% growth in biotech startup investment since 2012.
Local universities fuel some of that growth. With strongly-ranked universities like The University of Cincinnati, Miami University, and Xavier University, and Northern Kentucky University, the Greater Cincinnati area draws the best and brightest from around the world. Each school is well ranked for its business programs. The first three offer highly regarded, part-time MBA programs, too. What is more, according to US News, Cincinnati contains 4 of the top 5 best-ranked high schools in the state.
A Strong Startup Culture
Along with most of Ohio, Cincinnati has established a presence in the startup community. According to Cincinnati.com “Cincinnati saw a 74 percent rate of startup growth in 2016, measuring how much startups have grown five years after founding based on their number of employees.” CincyTech, a seed-stage investor in tech companies has in its portfolio, at the time of this writing, 41 companies. Their efforts represent more than $68 million in capital.
Startup Cincy is a collective that encourages venture capitalists to invest in Cincinnati’s economic growth and also get locals involved. They sponsor events and provide networking opportunities. They partner with local universities and other supporters. With the support of all of these companies and individuals, Cincinnati’s startup economy is growing rapidly.
Large, Established Companies
Cincinnati is already the home to large companies like Kroger, Macy’s, GE, and P&G. These areas employ thousands of Cincinnatians, which spurs economic growth. Some employees eventually spin off their own companies. In addition, these giants attract employees from elsewhere, allowing local neighborhoods to grow. Smaller cities like Sharonville, Blue Ash, and Loveland are experiencing strong economic growth.
Starting a Business in Cincinnati
Starting a business involves more than location. First, consider state laws affecting your industry. Then, make a solid plan. Cincinnati provides many resources to help you. Seek mentors like Hamilton County Development Company and The Queen City Angels. Many of the investors involved with these groups work for companies like P&G and GE.
If you’re considering starting a business here, the Cincinnati Chamber offers this advice:
- Identify why you want to start a business
- Evaluate your own personal skills, experience, and business knowledge
- Determine a niche to fill
- Identify the product or service you plan to sell
- Perform a market analysis
- Plan your start-up, including a name and legal structure, business premises, and merchandise
- Determine record-keeping systems
- Identify financial resources, including assets and liabilities
- Develop cost estimates of start-up and expenses for one month
- Create a forecast of estimated cash flow
Cincinnati is full of resources and support. If you’re thinking of starting a business of your own, take a look at it. Don’t hesitate to contact DCA CPAs for all of your accounting and bookkeeping needs. Their financial advisors have worked with local Cincinnatians for years and can provide the expertise you need.