By LOU WILIN
For the fourth straight year, Findlay was ranked first for business growth among 575 small cities nationwide in 2017, according to Site Selection magazine.
The magazine each year ranks business growth among “micropolitans,” cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000.
“Four years in a row as top small city in America is an emphatic endorsement of Findlay, its favorable business climate and its aggressive approach to economic development,” said Gary Daughters, senior editor of Site Selection magazine. “The Findlay formula is a model that other cities, big and small alike, would do well to emulate.”
The Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development office boasted 21 projects last year that met Site Selection’s criteria.
Among those were ongoing construction of the $44 million, 740,000-square-foot Campbell Soup Distribution Center, south of Hancock County 212 and the McLane distribution center. It will employ more than 200 people and should open this summer.
Valfilm, a maker of films for food packaging, automotive and construction, is completing a $6 million, 49,478-square-foot expansion. It is expected to be operational this summer. Valfilm last year increased its workforce by 47 percent, or 42 people.
Autoliv Nissin Brake Systems America is building a $14 million, 194,400-square-foot industrial warehouse and production facility at the southwest corner of Bigelow Avenue and Bright Road.
The facility is expected to open this fall. The company’s approximately 250 employees will move from the Nissin Brake Ohio campus, at 1901 Industrial Drive, to the new building.
The new building has the capacity to employ up to 500. Workers will be hired over the next three years.
“The Findlay formula has resulted in a pro-business environment making it easy for companies to invest,” said Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik. “The fact we have been ranked No. 1 four years in a row demonstrates to investors that we are ready for them.”
Last year “was a record year for job creation and construction by Site Selection magazine’s metrics,” said Tim Mayle, economic development director. “Findlay also saw the construction of two hotels, a 100,000-square-foot spec building, two multi-family residential communities, and a new business school at the University of Findlay.”
Brian Robertson, a Hancock County commissioner, said “2018 is shaping up to be another outstanding year. For the first time in many years a spec building is under construction in our community. We will be prepared for future investments with infrastructure and available buildings.”
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