The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 8, 2013

Magazine: County 7th for businesses

By CARL E. FEATHER - cfeather@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

JEFFERSON —  Ashtabula County has been ranked seventh among the 576 micropolitan communities surveyed by Site Selection Magazine for business growth and investment in 2012.

Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County made the announcement this week. The ranking is up six spots from Ashtabula County’s 2011 ranking, said Brian Anderson, Growth Partnership executive director.

“This recognition confirms that Ashtabula County remains a great place to do business and is a testament to a diverse and growing base of employers,” Anderson said.

A micropolitan area is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a “rural county whose largest city does not exceed a population of 50,000.”

Ashtabula County had eight “qualified” projects, that is projects that meet Site Selection Magazine’s standard of an investment greater than $1 million for building and equipment. The project also must have square footage of at least 20,000 in new or expansion construction or add 50 new jobs.

Anderson said Thursday that he submitted more than eight projects so he was unable to comment on which specific projects made the final cut for the magazine’s selection.

Ashtabula County Commissioners have made economic development a priority; the board spearheaded the formation of an economic development steering committee and last year contracted with Growth Partnership to provide a business service representative to area industries.

“It’s really good that we’re making it into a national publication,” said Commissioner Dan Claypool. “It’s good to be recognized nationally.”

“The local economy has rebounded over the last three years,” Anderson said. “The Growth Partnership looks forward to another successful year in 2013 working with our existing companies and working on new business opportunities.”

Anderson noted that the entire Buckeye State did well in the rankings, coming in at second place.

The entire story and rankings are online at www.site selection.com