Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ohio's Future Rests on Success of its Suburbs

Amazing.  Over 94% of Ohio's major manufacturing projects in 2011 occurred in Ohio's smaller cities, suburbs, and rural areas.  That's according to a recent review of the Ohio Private Investment Survey from the Ohio Dept. of Development.

The Private Investment Survey report was used to win Ohio the top spot among states for economic development prowess and the coveted "Governor's Cup" from Site Selection magazine this past March.

Ohio has gone after this award every year for the last 20 years and won it many times.  It's a benchmark for states to measure their success in economic development. 

A deep dive look at the report shows just how heavily-weighted Ohio's economic development success is on the shoulders of Ohio's non-urban areas.  The report tracks private capital investment projects in manufacturing, distribution, office, and R&D.  It does not include retail and pure service sector investments. 

A further review showed that more than two-thirds (over 68%) of all 468 Ohio projects in 2011, including those other than manufacturing, where occurring in Ohio's 85 smallest counties, sustaining a pace that has been the same for at least four years in a row.

Without a doubt, the win is, again this year, owed to Ohio's suburbs.  Clearly, it further validates the premise that Ohio's future rests on the success of its suburbs.

Here's the facts:
  • The report indicates 261 projects listed involved manufacturing operations.  The volume of manufacturing projects is higher than past years but the percentage, at 58%, is slightly down.

  • Of those 261, 247 of them occurred in areas outside of Ohio's three largest cities--Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, otherwise known as the 3C's.  That's 94.6% from Ohio's smaller cities, suburbs, and rural areas.

  • That's up from 2010 when 92% of the manufacturing-related projects were outside the 3C's.  See last year's review.

  • Despite two very large investment projects in Cleveland in 2011, the 3C's manufacturing projects accounted for only 3% of the total private capital investment touted in the report.

  • Here's how past years have looked comparing all projects happening inside and outside of the 3C counties: 
    • 2011:  68% from counties outside of Franklin, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton counties.
    • 2010:  71%
    • 2009:  73%
    • 2008:  74%

Columnist's Note:  Lest one thinks I'm attacking cities, bear with me.  Tomorrow is the summation.  Tune in at 7 a.m.

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