Economic report spotlights Ohio, Lima

By Mackenzi Klemann -

LIMA — Ohio and Lima are garnering national attention for their economic development efforts.

The state took first place in Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup, a national ranking of states with the most economic development projects that exceeded $1 million, created at least 20 new jobs or added more than 20,000 square feet of new space to an existing business.

Ohio claimed the highest number of those projects per person, coming in second only to Texas when it came to the total number of projects: Ohio qualified 448 projects, while Texas claimed 859.

It wasn’t just Columbus driving that growth either: dozens of Ohio cities were among the finalists, which were divided into separate tiers by population size.

Lima finished sixth in the nation among metropolitan areas with fewer than 200,000 residents, with 10 projects meeting Site Selection’s criteria in 2019.

The Allen Economic Development Group, which works closely with the Regional Growth Partnership in Toledo and JobsOhio statewide to attract new business to Lima, submitted 14 projects for consideration.

AEDG President and CEO Dave Stratton said those 14 projects together created 343 new jobs and retained another 2,000 jobs around Allen County, resulting in a combined $380 million in capital investment.

Stratton said AEDG met with 90 companies last year — including businesses looking for a new site and those that already claim a presence here — and attracted six businesses to the area in 2019.

“The fact that we’re at the intersection of I-75 and Route 30 is a tremendous advantage,” he said.

Other cities around the region made the Governor’s Cup too: Findlay claimed the top spot among micropolitans, with Van Wert coming in at 59 and Sidney at 14.

“We’re not just relying on one or two cities. A lot of good things are happening east, west, north and south in Ohio,” Gov. Mike DeWine told the magazine. “Every player on our team can score. We have a lot of cities and towns and regions that can score. Underlying everything is the strong work ethic. One of the things that I find when I talk to international or national companies is that they really like our workforce. They’re Midwesterners — they get up in the morning to go to work.”

By Mackenzi Klemann

Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.

Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.

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