Location, location, location - the mantra proved true for a business in chaos caused by a lacking ZIP code. Columbus Chamber of Commerce comes to the rescue.
What does three years of running an expanding, large-scale manufacturing company with no established ZIP code look like? Unfortunately, a business in the area knew all too well that it is a huge issue with painful, expensive frustrations.
Before we tell you their story, let's give you the basics. There is a large-scale manufacturing company located within the Personal Care, Health and Beauty Park in New Albany. This business park is a 1.4 million-square-foot logistics hub that employs more than 12,000 central Ohioans. You would think this development would be impossible to miss, but without a ZIP code it seemingly fell off the radar.
Not having a ZIP code seems like a small detail, but it is a big deal -actually it is a federal issue. Without a clear mailing address, the United States Postal Service was unable to deliver packages to locations within this jurisdiction. This caused an unanticipated set of costly problems. For instance, an important document from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation was unsuccessfully delivered to them due to the ZIP code confusion. This led to a legal back-and-forth with the BWC that cost the company lots of time and money.
More than just mail got lost. Opportunities got lost, too. Visitors and prospective new hires were unable to locate the business park because it wasn't populating on GPS systems. Because they didn't have a ZIP code on file, it meant their information wasn't complete in Google maps or other geographic databases. The inability for job seekers to find them meant cancelled interviews and questions of their existence. As a result, this limited the company's growth because they were left with a decreasing pool of new talent.
They turned to several resources for help, but weren't getting any results. It seemed like nobody could solve their problem. With the realization that the lack of a ZIP code was damaging their credibility, hindering their productivity and handicapping their ability to grow, they candidly shared their story with their member resources specialist here at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for guidance. Little did they know we had the resources and know-how to resolve the issue.
As the local government relations department for the Columbus Chamber, it is our team's job to lobby on behalf of our member businesses, and this is a perfect example of how we can move the needle on issues impacting Columbus businesses. We believe there is no problem too big (such as functioning without a ZIP code) or too small, that we can't resolve by utilizing our vast connections and 131 years of experience in central Ohio.
In this case, we brought together leaders from the city of New Albany, the New Albany Company, the US Postal Service, and US Sens. Sherrod Brown, Rob Portman and US Rep. Pat Tiberi to draft a boundary change proposal on behalf of the company in question.
This federal application successfully went on to create a new ZIP code boundary for the affected jurisdiction. After nearly three years of problems and confusion for the businesses within the New Albany Personal Care, Health and Beauty Park, those businesses can rest easy knowing they're back on the radar.
On the surface, this story is about ZIP codes and missed opportunities; but the real story here is about how we can help your business. If you have a headache, call us at 614-221-1321. We'll solve your problems and help keep your business on the radar any way we can.
Kristen Easterday is the director of Local Government Relations.