Sidney excels in economic rankings


By Kyle Shaner - kshaner@sidneydailynews.com



SIDNEY – Two recent studies that measure economic strength of communities both ranked Sidney as one of the top 25 performing micropolitan areas in the nation.

Site Selection magazine ranked Sidney 11th on its list of top micropolitan areas by corporate projects in 2020 while POLICOM Corp. ranked Sidney 24th on its 2021 rankings of micropolitan statistical areas.

“If you look at the overall industry base in Sidney-Shelby County, it’s really not a surprise,” Jim Hill, ‎executive director of ‎Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership, said of the community’s strong rankings. “Over the last five years we’ve seen a little bit over a billion dollars, like $1.08 billion, in major projects and investments in Sidney and Shelby County.”

Both studies analyzed micropolitans, which the Office of Management and Budget defines as areas centered on an urban cluster with a population between 10,000 and 50,000 people.

Site Selection’s study focused on new construction projects in 2020 that created 20 or more new jobs, added 20,000 square feet or more, or invested $1 million or more.

Sidney was credited with six corporate projects from iVEX Protective Packaging, Lochard Inc., Plastipak Packaging, Detailed Machining, Edgewell Personal Care Brands and Hexa Americas. Plastipak is located in Jackson Center, which is considered part of the Sidney micropolitan area.

Advanced Composites, Cargill and Industrial Recyclers also made large investments last year, Hill said, but didn’t meet Site Selection’s parameters for inclusion in the rankings.

While Site Selection’s rankings look at communities’ corporate investments for a single year, the POLICOM rankings account for economic strength over a 20-year period. The POLICOM study ranks economic growth and quality of living during the past two decades.

“One’s just a very quick snapshot, and the other one is looking at a lot of economic indicators and the long haul, weighing that out,” Hill said of the Site Selection and POLICOM rankings.

The only two micropolitans in the nation that made the top 25 in both studies this year were both in Ohio – Wooster and Sidney. Wooster was seventh in Site Selection’s rankings with eight corporate projects and 14th in POLICOM’s rankings.

Sidney has consistently been ranked one of the top performing micropolitans in both studies. Site Selection has ranked Sidney in its top 100 each of the past five years. POLICOM has ranked Sidney in the top 110 each of the past 10 years, ranking as high as 12th in 2018.

Hill thinks Sidney, which has the most manufacturing jobs per capita in Ohio, is well positioned to continue its strong economic performance. Key to continuing the trends will be figuring out how to attract new companies and employees.

In the past people simply would follow jobs, Hill said, but now they’re picking a place to live and then looking for a job in that area. Affordable housing and offering things to do in the community will be crucial to attracting workers, Hill said.

“We need to continue to grow in order to be an attractive place for not only business investment but for other community and residential development,” he said.

As a whole, Ohio excelled in the Site Selection rankings. It finished second behind only Texas in most corporate projects with 419. Per capita, Ohio was the top ranked state in the nation.

Among micropolitans, Findlay was No. 1 in the Site Selection rankings with 22 corporate projects. Tiffin, Fremont and Greenville also were ranked in the top 20.

Bozeman, Montana, finished first in POLICOM’s rankings of 543 micropolitan areas for a fourth consecutive year.

For more information on Site Selection’s rankings, visit http://bit.ly/3vz8vpR.

For more information on POLICOM’s rankings, visit https://policom.com/rankings-micropolitan-areas/.

By Kyle Shaner

kshaner@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at kshaner@sidneydailynews.com or 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at kshaner@sidneydailynews.com or 937-538-4824.