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Local corporate icons facing key issues

Cincinnati has a wealth of corporate wealth. Jobs, taxes, philanthropy, and volunteers, but now, four of our corporate icons are facing big challenges. (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The possibility that Nelson Peltz may get a seat on the Procter & Gamble Board of Directors is reverberating across the region.

Thousands are touched by P&G, but it's not the only big local business facing challenges.

Cincinnati has a wealth of corporate wealth. Jobs, taxes, philanthropy, and volunteers, but now, four of our corporate icons are facing big challenges.

P&G could see Nelson Peltz on its board. GE already has a Nelson Peltz colleague on its board of directors. Macy's is facing competition from Amazon and Kroger is facing competition from Amazon.

The corporate “Big Four” have nearly 44,000 employees and many are well paid, but if there are cutbacks at these companies, it could trickle down.

“Some of the things we'll be looking for would be, not just direct head count reduction at those firms, but what that means for the entrepreneurial ecosystem around those companies. Because remember, there are a lot of companies in the local area that provide advertising, logistics, and market research support that are directly attributable to those companies,” said UC College of Business Professor Shaun Bond.

Bond says Cincinnati has a strong economy and while the Big Four may face challenges, other sectors are growing rapidly.

The University of Cincinnati has 10,000 employees and in health care. If you add up the number of workers at the major groups, there are actually more employees than in the Big Four.

“Cincinnati's entire economy is not driven by four big businesses. We're fortunate to have a diverse economy. We have all kinds of businesses and that's good for us. We can't underestimate the importance of those four. They are worldwide known brands and we're confident they'll continue to provide the kind of leadership that they have in the region,” said Bond.

So, the overall economy is healthy and ironically, one of the fastest growing businesses is a competitor to older firms: Amazon.

One potentially positive local development regarding GE: While the company is downsizing nationwide, aviation will remain a key component. GE Aviation is based in Evendale.

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