The “Roadshow for Growth” bus tour came through Pittsburgh Wednesday in an effort by GE Capital and Slate Magazine to focus on the importance of middle market businesses, those with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion.
There are 200,000 middle market businesses in the U.S., less than 3 percent of the total, but they contribute one-third of GDP and create one-third of the jobs, according to Mike Pilot, GE Capital’s Chief Commercial Officer. Similarly, he said Pittsburgh’s 1,600 middle market firms are responsible for 29 percent of business revenues and employ one-third of all workers.
Not only did the middle market sector perform better than the broader economy in coming out of the financial crisis, but also such firms in Pittsburgh grew 7 percent last year, according to Pilot.
“We see Pittsburgh as a place that is playing a primary role in the rebirth of American manufacturing basically through adoption of what we would call advanced manufacturing techniques and tools and technologies,” he said.
Stops in Pittsburgh included McKesson Automation, which makes automated pharmaceutical distribution equipment, Accro Tool & Manufacturing, a custom metal fabricator, and the RAPID Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
GE Capital founded a research center, the National Center for the Middle Market, at Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business in 2011. Pilot said middle market businesses comprise GE Capital's main customer base, but not much is known about them because they're not usually publicly traded.
The roadshow ends in late October.