How Dublin Keeps Businesses Growing

Jun 9, 2022 | News, Newsletter

Katiana Carmon
Columbus Underground


City of Dublin Management Analyst Kendel Kellog, and Economic Development Administrators Sara O’Malley and Jenna Goehring congratulate outgoing IEDC President Jeff Finkle on his Service Award at the annual OEDA conference in Bridge Park in October 2021. Photo provided by the City of Dublin.

City of Dublin Economic Development Director Jennifer Klus believes that the projects you work on today have a lasting, meaningful impact over time.

“There is a great sense of pride in being able to say you worked on a project for the betterment of a community and its residents,” she said.

Klus was announced as the city’s new economic development director in April, taking on the role that oversees the growth of economic activity in Dublin, currently measured at just over $7.8 billion per year from over 4,300 businesses.

“Dublin is always a leader in economic development efforts regionally,” said Economic Development Administrator Jenna Goehring. “For us moving forward it means that we can’t stop and we have to keep pressing forward with that innovation and that leadership here in Dublin.”

To achieve those goals, Dublin’s economic development department has maintained strong relationships within the community and the Columbus region. The department’s commitment to the profession plays a strategic part in Dublin’s development, along with setting successful conditions, according to Economic Development Administrator Sara O’Malley.

“We have a pretty concrete way that we approach companies to execute deals and I think that’s really played a great part in our success,” she said.

The division touts their “best-in-class” amenities as being unmatched, including WiFi-connected community parks, annual business recognitions, corporate wellness consultations, and an entrepreneur center hub contributing to efforts to make Dublin a value-proposition place to do business.

With 70,000 workers and millions of square feet of retail, medical, and industry space, Dublin’s team has been recognized at state and international levels for their commitment.

In 2019, the department started pursuing accreditation from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). With very strict guidelines and requirements, the IEDC awarded Dublin with accreditation in 2021, making them one out of 69 accredited economic development organizations in the world, and the only one in the state of Ohio. That year, the department was also named Economic Development Organization of the Year by the IEDC.

“Being accredited will just continue our noteworthy services by recognizing our commitment to strategy, execution and serving our companies and workforce with the best-in-class customer service”, said O’Malley. It’s a very collaborative development team at the city, that is essential in executing any type of economic development project from concept phase to completion”

The division is not only focused on recruiting new business, but also growing local entrepreneurial efforts from within.

“Around 80% of projects in our current pipeline are made up of retention and expansion efforts of companies that are already call Dublin home,” said O’Malley. “20% of our projects are new businesses coming to Dublin.”

Over the past two years, the economic development division has kept in contact with local businesses during COVID to make sure as many as possible were able to remain in operation throughout that time. The pandemic also showed the importance of economic development as a whole.

“We check in with [businesses] all the time, we celebrate their successes, we help them navigate challenges, we help them navigate opportunities to increase their brand awareness and we connect them to other like-minded professionals,” said O’Malley. “Moving forward, we’re focused on equitable economic development practices and making sure everyone has equal opportunity to high-paying, life-sustaining wages.”

With the largest economic development team in the region outside of Columbus, their collaborative efforts, community engagement and interactive practices keep Dublin’s businesses growing.

“I’ve been impressed with the city’s commitment to planning and execution,” said Klus. “Communities are both expanded and preserved as desirable places to live and work by identifying and building on core values and strengths. The team in Dublin has done an exceptional job of creating a premier community.”

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