Seven Columbia companies make prestigious list

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COLUMBIA - A recently released national report shows some Columbia entrepreneurs are having a lot of success. 

Inc. Magazine, and Entrepreneurial web site based in New York City, ranks the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in terms of revenue growth every year. This year, seven companies from Columbia made the cut. 

Representative Stephen Webber (D-Columbia) said he believes this is a sign of obvious growth in Columbia's economy. 

“When you have businesses like this that are having nationally recognized success, it’s good for everyday Columbians," Webber said. "It means there’s more jobs for the community, it means there’s more money coming in the community, it means there’s more employment, more money for our schools.”

Columbia marketing firm Influence & Co. topped the local list with a 3-year-growth of 1,642 percent, and revenues reaching $4.2 million. One of the firms founders said it's a sign of what entrepreneurs can accomplish in Columbia. 

"We have incredible access to a lot of local talent here with the university, the top journalism program in the country, and the entrepreneurship community in Columbia is a very special thing," said Influence & Co. co-founder Brittany Dowell.

Regional director of Columbia's Better Business Bureau (BBB) Sean Spence said starting a business isn't an easy task, even in a market such as Columbia. 

“If you talk to ten entrepreneurs, probably eight of them are going to fail. Columbia has a wealth of resources, and this is just a great place to start and grow a business," Spence said. 

Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Matt McCormick said there are numerous resources for people looking to start a business in Columbia. 

“The business climate in Columbia is a strong one. We’ve got a great road map to help entrepreneurs. There are many resources for those trying to start their own business," McCormick said. 

Listed below are three resources McCormick provided for local entrepreneurs to use if they are interested in starting a business:

1. Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI)

2. Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (SBTDC)

3. Mid-Missouri SCORE

Spence said the seven businesses should be recognized because making the "Inc. 5,000" is extremely rare. 

"Getting on this list is kind of like setting a world record, it is something that is very out of the ordinary," Spence said. 

Influence & Co., Accurate Rx Pharmacy, True Media, JobFinders Employment Services, Woodruff Sweitzer, Division-D, and Bluebird Network all claimed a spot on the "Inc. 5,000."