A forward-looking new initiative announced at the Columbus Chamber's annual meeting last week seeks to draw new businesses to Central Ohio.

A forward-looking new initiative announced at the Columbus Chamber's annual meeting last week seeks to draw new businesses to Central Ohio.

Dubbed Columbus2020, the decade-long economic development plan consists of aggressive goals to attract and retain businesses. Organizers want to see expansion several notches above typical growth levels.

For example, the Chamber would like to see 180,000 jobs created in the next 10 years - double what would be projected to happen naturally.

"This is a movement with aggressive goals and benchmarks, an effort that is going to measure progress every single year against some extraordinarily aggressive goals," said Alex Fischer, the chair and president of The Columbus Partnership, a group of top CEOs in the area that is spearheading the project.

Fischer urged more than 1,100 community and business leaders to follow through on the "swagger" Mayor Michael Coleman's always talking about.

"We don't always tell our story well," Fischer said, running through a list of Columbus' assets. "We're modest at best, and at times, we're downright bashful."

And so many of the Columbus2020 efforts will be focused on positioning and branding the Columbus community as an affordable, entertainment-filled city, perfect for raising a family and enjoying life.

The Chamber plans to develop a tagline that describes Columbus' appeal, then create a marketing campaign to keep businesses here, help current employers draw out-of-town employees, and encourage national and global players to relocate here - or at least locate a branch here. Fundraising for the campaign will begin soon.