The Association for Corporate Growth on Oct. 5 received the prestigious “Power of A Summit Award” for its GrowthEconomy.org research project. The Summit Award is the highest awarded by ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, given to associations that make exemplary commitments to “solve problems, advance industry/professional performance, kickstart innovation and improve world conditions.”
GrowthEconomy.org was originally developed to give visibility to the impact third-party capital investment in private companies makes, resulting in more U.S. jobs and revenue; it demonstrates that companies with this backing typically outperform privately held companies lacking such investment. More important, GrowthEconomy.org helps ACG tell the story of private capital in a compelling way, showing that private equity is a major driver of jobs and sales growth in nearly every region of the United States.
With the help of University of Wisconsin-Extension Director Mark Lange and researcher Gregg Cole, along with staff at ACG and PitchBook, which tracks private capital transactions, GrowthEconomy.org was born. Using a powerful database of 50 million business establishments and cross-referencing it with PitchBook data, GrowthEconomy.org draws a correlation between private capital investment and growth in jobs and revenue in nearly every U.S. Congressional district.
The 17th annual Summit Awards dinner was held in Washington, D.C., at the National Building Museum. Accepting the award before a crowd of more than 1,000 was ACG Global President and CEO Gary A. LaBranche.
“This ground-breaking research has helped ACG for the first time take a leadership role in advocacy for ACG members,” says Gary A. LaBranche, president and CEO of the Association for Corporate Growth. “Today, ACG is directly—and successfully—engaged with Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission and others to ensure that the voice of the middle market is heard in Washington.”
GrowthEconomy also serves as an education tool for policymakers about how private equity is helping their communities thrive and why they need to carefully weigh legislation that could harm that growth.
“This ground-breaking research has helped ACG for the first time take a leadership role in advocacy for ACG members,” says LaBranche. “Today ACG is directly—and successfully—engaged with Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission and others to ensure that the voice of the middle market is heard in Washington.”
ACG was one of six Summit Award winners among 147 entries, ASAE said. The awards are part of The Power of A campaign, which ASAE launched in 2009 “to increase awareness about issues that impact associations and to spotlight the expertise and resources available in the association community for policymakers and other key audiences.”
The middle market accounts for nearly 200,000 companies in the United States and 44.5 million jobs, or one-third of total private employment. According to the Center for the Middle Market at The Ohio State University, if looked at as in individual market segment, the middle market would represent the fifth-largest economy in the world.
The first version of the Growth Economy project in 2013 was intended to show the power of middle market investment through a huge, glossy printed book, known affectionately for its “thud” factor when it hit the desks of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. The second iteration of the project focused on a dynamic website that housed updated, customizable data that can be parsed by time, location and a host of other variables.
So if a user wants to find out how many jobs were added from private equity backed investments between 2004-2008 in Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District, he can do so in real time on the website.
Updated GrowthEconomy.org data through 2015 is now available.