The Local Economy
Columbia is a great place to start or buy a business. Our
central location in the state and nation makes it easily accessible
by road, air, rail, and water. Columbia has a low tax structure
and a comfortable quality of life to offer employees. Columbia's
well-educated workforce is attracted from nine surrounding
counties with a labor force totaling more than 186,000.
Columbia is constantly growing with a strong economy based on
the education, health, and insurance industries. Columbia works
to attract new business to our area and diversify its economy
in order to assure a prosperous future for our community. Columbia
has also been called a recession-resistant community due to our
diversity and stability.
Columbia has grown over 20% since the 1990
census. Nearly 90,000 citizens live in the city and 140,000
in the county. In addition to the census, students not living
in Columbia year-round are not counted in the population.
These additional students total over 17,000. The Columbia
trade area is a 50 mile radius.
Columbia is home to the corporate headquarters of Shelter
Insurance Companies, as well as the regional offices of State
Farm Insurance Companies. Several Fortune 500 company branches
are located in Columbia including Dana Corporation, 3M, and
The business community benefits from services available
through a wide variety of financial institutions. State-of-the-art
operating systems offer a variety of financial services such
as, discount brokerage, cash management, and electronic funds
transfer. Together these institutions provide an extensive
range of savings, investments, and borrowing programs.