About Delaware County...
Entrepreneurship in Delaware County
Delaware County realizes the importance of small and entrepreneurial businesses. These play a unique, critical role in the economy and require specific economic development attention and support. These businesses serve two specific functions.
The first is that as new businesses are formed, they promote economic efficiency and growth through a process that economists call “creative destruction.”
As new firms introduce innovative products and services, they force existing firms to become more innovative as well in order to remain competitive. Those firms that fail to respond to this challenge will fail and cede their market share to the innovator.
On the other hand, if the new firm’s product or service is not what the market wants or is not delivered as effectively as by existing firms, the new firm itself will fail. Either way, this makes Delaware County a dynamic economy that effectively allocates scarce resources to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers and businesses.
The second function served by small businesses (particularly locally-owned, locally-serving ones) is that these businesses trap consumer and business spending within the local economy. Non-local businesses usually centralize distribution and other functions, so most of the dollars spent at these establishments leave the Delaware County economy immediately. Further, most higher-paid corporate executives are also at the headquarters rather than in the county.
In contrast, most locally-owned businesses source the bulk of their supplies and business services locally. Those purchases represent income for the suppliers; this income is spent in turn on purchases to support their own activities and on wages and salaries for their workers. This continuing circulation of spending within the economy is called the “multiplier effect” because a dollar of spending has greater than a dollar’s worth of impact as the dollar continues to circulate within the economy.
The consulting firm Civic Economics has quantified the extent of this impact: on average, sales at independent retail stores nationwide recirculate $0.477 of every sales dollar in their local economy, three and a half times the $0.136 trapped by national retail chains. Locally-owned restaurants recirculate $0.649, while national chain restaurants recirculate only $0.304.
The City of Delaware is currently planning three business incubators. These are entities that provide entrepreneurs with a variety of services that often include access to affordable space, shared business services and technology, business counseling and consulting, access to financing, and mutual support among the tenants of the incubator.
In the planning stage are a technological incubator, a general business incubator, and a manufacturing incubator (also called a “makerspace”). Academic resources are also available. Ohio Wesleyan University offers a course in entrepreneurship and the ability to concentrate a degree program in entrepreneurship. Columbus State Community College offers both degree and certificate programs in entrepreneurship.