Our Illustrious Industrious Cincinnati

From the beginning, Cincinnati was destined to be a great place to do business. Once the U.S. Congress opened land for settlement west of the Alleghenies and east of the Mississippi in 1787, John Cleves Symmes applied for and won a grant for land between the Great and Little Miami rivers, later known as the Miami Purchase. Settlers wasted no time, streaming westward down the Ohio River, aptly named as it means beautiful in the Native American tongue. One of the earliest settlements was Losantiville in 1790—later renamed, Cincinnati.

Cincinnati in 1800

Cincinnati in the year 1800, population 750, when only about 30 structures had been built. Many of these structures and some streets are identified by number in the print. Lithograph by Strobridge Litho. Co., Cincinnati, based on a painting by A.J. Swing. Public domain.

Within 20 years, Cincinnati had prospered and the locals were already referring to it as The Queen City of the West. Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorialized our nickname in his tribute to the city’s vineyards:

Catawba Wine
And this Song of the Vine,
This greeting of mine,
The winds and the birds shall deliver,
To the Queen of the West,
In her garlands dressed,
On the banks of the Beautiful River.

From Fountain Square’s “Genius of Water” built in 1871 and moved to its present location in 1971, to the cherry red pressed brick of Music Hall with its many carvings and symbols built in 1878, the early business leaders of our Queen City expressed visions of excellence. The original Chamber of Commerce building at the SW corner of 4th and Vine built in 1889 was destroyed by fire in 1911, yet shortly thereafter Cincinnati played a significant role in 1914 when 1,000 chamber of commerce executives from all over the country gathered here to form ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. President William Howard Taft, a Cincinnati native, is credited with the formation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

Today, Cincinnati ranks higher in the “Top 10” of Fortune 500 headquarters per million residents, higher than New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles. In fact, 9 Fortune 500 and 15 Fortune 1000 companies call Cincinnati home. (Source)

Cincinnati’s top 5 employers are Kroger, UC, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, TriHealth, and Proctor & Gamble. Together, these 5 employ close to 76,000 people.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 55% of the nation’s workforce and 63% of net new jobs come from small business. In 2014, Cincinnati was named one of the best cities for small business in the United States. These companies are invested in the health care, banking and financial management, education, manufacturing, and consumer products, to name a few. The survival rate of our 6,000+ small businesses is on the rise.

As one of Cincinnati’s small businesses, we are proud of our beloved city, its heritage, and people. By the way, as we write this, President Trump is delivering remarks on tax reform in Cincinnati and we’re pretty sure that the choice of venue is not by accident.