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Published: Tuesday, 3/5/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Findlay 2nd best for expansion

Toledo out of top 10 for projects generating jobs, growth

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Findlay was the nation’s second-best micropolitan area for business-expansion projects in 2012, according to Site Selection magazine rankings released Monday.

Site Selection annually tallies the number of new businesses or expansion projects that create at least 50 jobs, add at least 20,000 square feet of floor space, or involve a capital investment of at least $1 million.

Findlay had 19 qualifying projects last year. That’s up from 2011, when Findlay ranked 6th with 10 qualifying projects.

Officials in Findlay praised the news Monday.

“We really like to think of ourselves as being a business-friendly community,” said Tony Iriti, economic development chief of the Findlay-Hancock County Alliance.

The alliance said Findlay-area projects last year included a $20 million investment at Nissin Brake Ohio Inc. that created 125 jobs, a $14.5 million investment at Ball Metal Beverage Container Corp. that created 30 jobs, and an expansion at Whirlpool Corp. that created 114 jobs.

The 19 projects total an investment of more than $120 million, and created 722 jobs, the alliance said.

Mr. Iriti said all of the projects were expansions of businesses already operating in the area.

“From an economic development standpoint, we try to go above and beyond to help those companies, because we know 80 percent of job creation is going to come from the companies you have in your community,” he said. “We really place a high value on making sure we get out to our companies each year.”

Site Selection said Statesville-Mooresville, N.C., was best among the micropolitan areas. The magazine defines micropolitan areas as cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 people.

Two other Ohio cities also placed in the top 10 among micropolitan areas. Wooster was 4th with 13 qualifying projects, and Ashtabula tied for 7th with eight.

Site Selection ranked Dayton No. 1 among metro areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million people, counting 53 qualifying projects. Akron was No. 8, with 25 projects. Grand Rapids, Mich., was No. 10, with 23 projects.

Toledo didn’t rank in the top 10. A spokesman for Site Selection said the magazine doesn’t release rankings below the top 10. Toledo tied for seventh place in 2011.

Among metro areas with more than 1 million people, the magazine said Houston had the most development, with 325 projects last year. Detroit was fifth, with 144 projects. Cincinnati placed eighth with 103 projects, and Columbus was 10th with 81 projects.

Ohio and Texas have dominated Site Selection’s rankings in recent years, with Ohio finishing atop the rankings from 2006 through 2009, and 2011. Texas ranked first in 2005, 2010, and last year.

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at: tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.



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