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Today's Question: Columbia population hits 100,000 mark

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | 11:12 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The population of Columbia has surpassed 100,000, according to growth data gathered in the 2008 census by the Missouri Census Data Center. The report says Columbia has become one of only five cities in Missouri to reach that mark, including St. Louis, Independence, Kansas City and Springfield.

One of the perceptions in the business world is that once a population reaches that "magic number," the market suddenly becomes more economically inviting to national businesses and chains.

"I don't know about the significance of the number, but the important thing is that Columbia has been experiencing continuous growth for 40 years," said Gary Markenson of the Missouri Municipal League.

The data indicates that Columbia has grown by nearly 2,000 people a year since 2000. This growth, however, could be beneficial or detrimental, depending on where you're situated in the city.

"The growth is good for consumers because it means there are more locations to shop at. It's bad for business owners because it attracts more competition to the market," said Brian Ash, owner of Bambino's Italian Cafe.

Johanna Cox-Littrell, executive director of Columbia Locally Owned Retail and Services, disagreed.

"The key to businesses thriving is competition, so (the growth) means more people are shopping at local businesses, too," Cox-Littrell said.

The recent decline in the national and local economies means that more businesses coming to Columbia would be good for generating sales tax revenue, as long as people are buying.

Read more in this Missourian report.

What does a population surpassing 100,000 mean for Columbia businesses?


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Comments

Charles Dudley Jr July 29, 2009 | 4:28 p.m.

The only thing with the figures though is that they are transient and in some ways that is no better than say a resort town in seasonal times/weather.

Just ask those business owners of any resort area around the country.

It is like what we called "snow birds" when I lived in the South West as in those who come South in the Winter and then return North in the Summer. That kind of transient population effects commerce locally more than most may realize.

Alot do realize that this goes with the school/college times but what about in the non school/college times?

Where are the bulk of your 1k population then or how much in a decrease in the real population figures do we see not just with schools but with Summer to Winter too?

Let's see and hear the other sides of this story Jim Holt.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 29, 2009 | 6:57 p.m.

"What does a population surpassing 100,000 mean for Columbia businesses?"

More big chains, perhaps. It'll depend on how fast the economy recovers.

Also, cities over 100,000 have emissions inspections, in addition to the regular auto inspection requirement. More equipment to buy and procedures to charge for.

DK

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr July 29, 2009 | 7:16 p.m.

>>> Also, cities over 100,000 have emissions inspections, in addition to the regular auto inspection requirement. More equipment to buy and procedures to charge for. <<<

Great point Mark and we do need those inspections here too. There are alot of smog belching vehicles in this city.

(Report Comment)

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