By John Bush  –  Staff reporter, Columbus Business First

Mar 6, 2023

Ohio is No. 3 in the United States for overall economic development project wins and major investment projects per capita in Site Selection magazine’s 2022 Governor’s Cup ranking.

The Buckeye State had 479 project wins and the same number of projects per capita, according to the ranking. The only states that beat Ohio in project wins were Illinois, which came in at No. 2, and Texas, which took the top spot. For projects per capita, Ohio was bested only by Kentucky (No. 2) and Kansas (No.1).

Site Selection, a corporate real estate economic development magazine, also ranked the Buckeye State at the top of its list on a regional level. Ohio took the No.1 spot for per capita investments and was No. 2 for overall project wins among Midwest peers. Illinois came in first in the latter ranking.

The magazine has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988. Rankings are based on new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the Conway Projects Database. Corporate real estate analysts regard Site Selection’s yearly analyses as “the industry scoreboard,” according to a news release.

The ranking reflects Ohio’s ability to attract significant business projects, including corporate headquarters, manufacturing plants, research and development operations and logistics sites, state officials say.

“Ohio is the premiere location for new development projects of every size,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in the news release. “Site Selection has recognized the good work that is being done in our state to attract new businesses and help our existing businesses thrive.”

According to Site Selection, two of Ohio’s metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1 million, Columbus and Cincinnati, have stood out in the state’s economic success. Columbus ranked No. 7 for investment projects per capita, while Cincinnati came in at No. 3. Cincinnati also ranked No. 9 for overall economic development projects.

Beyond the major metropolitan areas, many of Ohio’s “micro cities” with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 also are thriving, the ranking shows.

Four micro cities ranked in the top 10 nationally, including Findlay taking the No. 1 spot. Another 21 Ohio micro cities ranked in the top 100 in the nation for attracting new businesses and investments.

“Ohio offers everyone from large enterprises to entrepreneurs, new graduates and military veterans the ideal balance of growth opportunities and an affordable quality of life,” JobsOhio CEO J.P. Nauseef said in the release. “As a result, Ohio is soaring to new heights in terms of capital investments, new job creation and payroll growth as vital industries commit to building their futures in the Buckeye State.”

A complete list of Site Selection honorees can be found here.