Charleston a Hot Spot for New Business
Expansion Management, a business magazine for executives, released its 2007 “Best Cities for Business Recruitment and Attraction” rankings, developed with the National Policy Research Council, a non-partisan think tank dedicated to serving state and local policymakers. The magazine ranked Charleston eighth among other small metro areas for recruiting and attracting new business.
The rankings are based on analysis of the relocation activity of 19 million companies over the past eight years, which determined the most popular commercial relocation destinations. Charleston ranked eighth among other small metro areas such as St. Joseph, MO, State College, PA and Sioux Falls, SD. Other West Virginia cities included in the rankings include Parkersburg, 14th, and Wheeling, 17th.
Matt Ballard, President and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance, says that the ranking is an indicator of the work of many, “This is a “metro”-ranking, so it is well-deserved recognition for those in our region who are involved in the business of economic development. Our commitment to a long-term economic strategy is only beginning to pay off.”
Bill King, chief editor of Expansion Management, said the states that made the list should consider it a validation of a strong local economy. "When faced with the decision of where in the entire United States to locate a new facility or branch office, the consensus of millions of business executives was to choose these locations for significant business investment," said King.
Ballard also believes that the merging of the organizations which now make up the Alliance is an important reason for the success in recruitment and attraction. “The Alliance as a merged entity can utilize a holistic approach to economic development and this has led to more success for our region.” Ballard says the Alliance is fostering strategic relationships to build on the success measured in the study, “In the end, a business wants to know that when it makes its final choice on a new location there is a high probability of success, and that they will have an organization like the Alliance to help them all along the way. We’re building relationships with location consultants and businesses now which will bring us even more success in the future.”