Most baseball games are won by doing the small things – clutch hitting, smart base running, solid defense and excellent pitching.

Most baseball games are won by doing the small things – clutch hitting, smart base running, solid defense and excellent pitching.

Although they're exciting, home runs are rare and aren't a benefit many teams can depend on, excluding the Yankees. It's often a series of small actions pieced together that build momentum and change the outcome of the game.

The same is true for economic development. We love to tout the high-profile attraction and expansion projects that net hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in new capital investment, but we can't forget to pause and appreciate the smaller, albeit no less significant, job creators that keep the Columbus region thriving. Together, these smaller projects deepen the supply chains and make up the majority of job creation within central Ohio.

Of the 47 attraction and expansion announcements coming through thus far in 2012, 61 percent represent fewer than 100 jobs, with the majority coming in at the 30-40 net jobs range. In total, the region has attracted or retained nearly 5,000 jobs since the beginning of the year. About 75 percent of that total is attributed to existing business growth.

One good example of this modest but effective growth is CallCopy Inc., a leading call-recording and contact-center solutions provider committed to investing $300,000 to renovate its Columbus facility over three years and generating 60 additional jobs, nearly doubling its existing workforce. Like many other companies, CallCopy weighed such factors as client proximity and incentive options when making the decision to expand in the region. Another existing company, Manifold & Phalor Inc. in Canal Winchester, also is doubling its 30-employee workforce and adding a $6 million, 60,000-square-foot investment to its metal-fabricating and machinery-rehabilitation facility. Consider Yachiyo Inc. in Marion, a key supplier of automotive gas tanks for Honda. Yachiyo will increase its workforce by 17 percent and invest $10 million to expand its plastic-fuel-tank production facility. Although the majority of growth has come from existing companies, the attractions sector also has had some key successes. A fine example is FIMM Italia SpA, the world's leading manufacturer of metal broom handles. FIMM chose central Ohio for its new production facility. The Italy-based company will add 25 full-time jobs and invest in its manufacturing operation. Closed Loop Refining & Recovery, a fast-growing electronics recycling company, considered other locations in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee before choosing the Columbus region for its Midwest hub and 55-person expansion. As these lesser-known ann-ouncements prove, the credit for economic growth doesn't always come from the walk-off grand slam. Any team, including the organizations responsible for economic development in central Ohio, must embrace the singles and doubles to end up on top at the bottom of the ninth. Kenny McDonald is chief economic officer for Columbus 2020. Email McDonald at km@columbusregion.com or visit ColumbusRegion.com for more information.