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Published: Monday, 3/3/2014 - Updated: 6 months ago

Ohio’s business climate lauded

Magazine: State is nation’s No. 2 for ’13 capital investment projects

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

For the second consecutive year, Ohio has finished second in the rankings by Site Selection magazine of states with the most capital investment projects last year.

The 2013 rankings, announced Monday, were led by Texas for the second straight year. Ohio last headed the list in 2011.

Texas had 657 capital investment projects, compared to 480 for Ohio — 11 fewer than the Buckeye state had in 2012. Those two states were followed by Illinois (383 projects), Pennsylvania (348), and Michigan (312).

Qualifying projects must meet at least one of these criteria: a minimum investment of $1 million; 20,000 square feet of new construction; or creation of 50 or more new jobs.

Site Selection added a second category for states this year, ranking them by number of qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita.

Under that formula, Nebraska topped the rankings; Ohio again placed second. Nebraska had 109 qualifying projects to Ohio’s 480 projects, but far fewer people. Louisiana, Kentucky, and Kansas rounded out the top five.

“It’s really good news for Ohio,” said Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection, said. “To be in both listings would be really good, but to be second in both is very impressive.

“There’s a lot of good news for Ohio all around [in the report],” Mr. Arend added.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, said he was glad the magazine attempted to recognize economic development efforts of all states, not just the ones with the largest populations.

“I really appreciate this new methodology, because if it’s only based on the number of projects, the big states will always win,” Mr. Heineman said.

Mr. Arend said of the second formula, “By either measure, the states ranking at or near the top are to be commended for fostering business climates that are most conducive to attracting capital investment and creating jobs.”

While Ohio overall fared exceedingly well in both total number and per capita of investment projects, northwest Ohio also made its presence felt in the report.

Under the magazine’s more detailed data of 576 micropolitan areas, Findlay finished fourth with 15 projects. Fremont and Tiffin tied for 10th on the micropolitan list with seven projects apiece. Wilmington, Ohio, also had seven projects.

Wooster, Ohio, headed the micropolitan list with 27 projects.

Mr. Arend said Cincinnati and Columbus made the magazine’s top 10 for metro areas with more than 1 million people, while Dayton and Youngstown made the top 10 for metro areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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