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    Enjoying Supporting Small and Saving Local

    What is the face of small business in Columbia?

    Look no further than the Fig issue in your hands right now to see a varied and divergent array of locally imagined, locally inspired, locally crafted, and locally centered small businesses purposed to appeal to and directly meet the tastes and needs of our distinctive Midlands communities.

    What’s the magic formula for shepherding a small business in our great City of Columbia? Fig, the organic outgrowth of ByFarr Design, a locally owned company that truly exemplifies grass-roots ingenuity, is itself an illustrative model of successful small-business capability. The publication’s purpose, as well as its creative design, craft an engaging format that not only promotes our public-facing small businesses, but highlights the unique individuals whose talents, savvy, and determination offer products and services that drive Columbia’s economic engine.

    ByFarr Design has worked closely with Columbia’s Office of Economic Development to create messaging in support of our Support Small Save Local initiative, a project designed to further awareness of the vibrant small enterprises propelling the resilience and growth of our business community. A diverse and revealing cross-section of the variety of our local businesses can be seen in the #SaveLocalColumbia video featured on

    In addition to the businesses featured in Fig and in the video, there are other local entrepreneurs who have been able to realize both national and international operations, including Van Robotics, REsimplifi, DESA, ValidID, and TerraStride. The City of Columbia’s Office of Economic Development has played a pivotal role in the development of all of these business, and many more as well. Economic Development continues to be available to assist businesses with site visits, finding buildings and acreage, accessing start-up or growth funding, negotiating incentive packages, workforce, logistics, and transportation expertise. Equally, they work with service providers and government offices in identifying new opportunities, customers, and business partners.

    The principal element of a thriving city is the diversity of its economic ecosystem. Small, locally grown businesses are the fabric and creativity that make our City of Columbia unique, successful, and attractive, and we anticipate further expansion of our small business potential and growth.

    I can’t wait to see all the new development in the coming years, and also look forward to the variety of commercial ventures that myself, and my family, can call on and support.

    With great thanks and boundless enthusiasm for Columbia’s continued prosperity,


    Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin
    City of Columbia