In Cullman, Gov. Kay Ivey and Topre America President Hideo Shimizu cut the ribbon on Topre’s new building, and celebrated the company’s newly-announced $80 million expansion project, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. / W.C. Mann
CULLMAN – Site Selection Magazine has ranked Cullman as the no. 5 micropolitan in the country for 2017. The magazine released its list of 2017 Top Micropolitans this week. Cullman ranked fifth out of 550 micropolitans. This is the fourth straight year Cullman has earned a top 5 micropolitan ranking; in 2015 and 2016, Cullman ranked no. 2.
Since the rankings started in 2001, Cullman has been ranked a top 20 micropolitan 13 times. The Site Selection Magazine rankings are based on the number of projects that meet certain criteria. Cullman had nine qualifying projects in 2017.
Qualifying projects must meet one of the following requirements:
- 20 or more new jobs created
- 20,000 or more square footage added
- More than $1 million of capital investment
“Five out of 550 communities this size is remarkable,” said Cullman Economic Development Agency Director (CEDA) Dale Greer. “I think it’s a real positive statement about what we’re doing in our community.”
Top US Micropolitans
Micropolitan- Total Qualified Projects
1 Findlay, Ohio 21
2 Batavia, N.Y. 17
3 Wooster, Ohio 15
4 Shelby, NC 10
T5 Cullman, Ala. 9
T5 Richmond-Berea, Ky. 9
T7 Ashland, Ohio 8
T7 Manitowoc, Wis. 8
9 Jefferson, Ga. 7
T10 Cedartown, Ga. 6
T10 Angola, Ind. 6
T10 Bardstown, Ky. 6
T10 Danville, Ky. 6
T10 Frankfort, Ky. 6
T10 Tupelo, Miss. 6
T10 Kinston, N.C. 6
T10 Tiffin, Ohio 6
Cullman also had a large climb in the Economic Strength Rankings from POLICOM, rising 113 spots from no. 229 in 2016 to 116 in 2018 out of 550 micropolitans.
“Climbing the rankings so quickly indicates that our community is making great strides in providing (a) stronger economic base, a consistent economy that is healthier for business growth, and a higher standard of living for our citizens,” said Stanley Kennedy of CEDA. “Being a top 150 micropolitan indicates that our citizens have access to more opportunities and a better quality of life that nearly 80 percent of similar sized communities. These strides are made by bringing higher paying jobs, providing quality community services, and giving high quality community support to all types of local businesses.”
According to Kennedy, “POLICOM rankings are more than just a project count. POLICOM addresses the condition of an economy from the viewpoint of its impact upon the “standard of living” of the people who live and work in an area. POLICOM takes into account all economic growth including retail, government, construction, medical, and agriculture. Small business success is counted. POLICOM also considers the wages Cullman workers make compared to other micropolitans. Lastly, POLICOM considers negative economic factors such as amount of money spent and people on welfare and other government assistance, which reflects poor economic growth. The combining of these three factors and measuring how consistently the economy has grown over a 10-year average is how the rankings are determined.”
Link to Site Selection Magazine Top Micropolitans for 2017
Link to POLICOM 2018 Micropolitan Rankings
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