Posted: Oct 3, 2013 6:44 PM by Melissa Helm, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Oct 4, 2013 1:45 PM
COLUMBIA - New businesses are popping up in Columbia with diverse sets of clientele.
Morgan Gohn decided to set up her mobile tanning business in Columbia after graduating from the University of Missouri in 2012. Tanbulance, Gohn's new business, caters to all different types of Columbia residents.
"Anything from sorority parties to stay at home moms who don't have a chance to leave the house to get a tan. So, we conveniently go to these people," said Gohn.
The entrepeneural growth in Columbia is something that is on the rise recently, said Matt McCormick, Columbia Chamber of Commerce President.
Current statistics for Columbia's employment rate show a 3.3 percent hike in more job creations, including more interest in entrepreneurial endeavors.
"The business diversity that we have in our city keeps the unemployment rate down and the employment rate up and helps weather those storms a little bit easier," said McCormick.
Although the state's unemployment rate is the highest it's been in the last year at 7.2 percent, it hasn't stopped new businesses from starting up in Columbia. Although the rate is currently very high, Columbia is normally a few points lower because of all the business diversity.
"We have all different types, so we're not just reliant on one type of industry. We're not reliant just totally on retail, or we're not just totally reliant on the service industry. We have a nice spectrum of all different types of businesses." said McCormick.
This type of business diversity is seen in Gohn's mobile business growth, too.
"We've been getting a lot of business lately. It's a lot of word of mouth, people really like the convenience that we offer," said Gohn.
According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Columbia is the 6th most entrepenurial city in the state and is expanding with every month.
"Columbia's a great market to get started in, just in the last few months, I've seen businesses grow a lot," said Gohn.
This growing rate of interest in setting up shop in Columbia is evidenced by the community's it drive to expand entrepreneur's businesses.
McCormick explains, "The more businesses opening, we're seeing good trends as they're able to grow because it is a business friendly community, so these businesses are able to grow their businesses and expand."