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PROGRESS: Metro Sioux City again crowned No. 1 for economic development

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SIOUX CITY | For the second straight year and six out of the last 10 years, metro Sioux City has been crowned an economic development king by Site Selection magazine.

The tri-state region landed on top of the national publication's 2016 list of the small metro areas with the most new or expanded business projects.

The metro area has now been No. 1 in the category of metros with under 200,000 population for four of the last five years, with the streak interrupted only by a runner-up finish in 2014.

Metro Sioux City had 26 qualifying projects in 2016, defined by Site Selection as an investment of at least $1 million, an addition of at least 20,000 square feet or creation of at least 20 new jobs. The publication does not track retail and government projects, or schools and hospitals.

Bowling Green, Kentucky was a distant runner-up with 15 projects in the category.

The 2016 list, released Wednesday, is featured in the publication's March issue — the largest print edition in the magazine's 63 year history — and on its website,

The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and Siouxland Initiative celebrated the milestone Wednesday with a news conference featuring economic development leaders and elected officials from Dakota Dunes, Le Mars, North Sioux City, Sergeant Bluff, Sioux City, South Sioux City and Woodbury County.

"I feel like I'm among old friends because you keep doing so well," Site Selection managing editor Adam Bruns said at the new conference. Bruns went on to present a plaque to leaders from The Siouxland Initiative that highlighted the metro area's latest honor.

Bruns complemented the city on its continued success in economic development and pointed out that a recent report from U.S. News & World Report ranked Iowa as the nation's 6th best state and Nebraska as 13th, which meshed with the data his publication has compiled.

"Companies are looking for a place to grow or expand and they like what they see in Siouxland," Bruns said.  

The record $2 billion expansion at CF Industries Port Neal site was completed in 2016, and construction continued on several other large industrial projects, including the $300 million Seaboard Triumph Foods plant in Sioux City.

"The projects per capita number is off the charts compared to numbers two, three four and five," Bruns said referring to the top five ranked cities in Sioux City's category.

Chris McGowan, president of the Siouxland Chamber and Initiative, credited the strong collaboration between the tri-state communities for the region's continued success.

"The Siouxland Initiative is very pleased to take a role in helping bring our tri-state together to drive and to help support economic development, but the Siouxland Initiative is one part of a very strong team, one link in a very important chain that includes economic development professionals and elected officials in all our tri-state communities," he said.

Site Selection also announced Nebraska has won the Governor's Cup for the state with the qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita. The Cornhusker state had 101 projects for the year. Iowa finished fifth with 93 projects.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts Ricketts said he wants to make Nebraska a low-cost state in which to do business.

"My goal," Ricketts said in the Site Selection news release, "is to do tax relief every year I'm governor."

Omaha-Council Bluffs topped the 2016 list of metro areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million.

Texas won the Governor's Cup for having the most qualified projects of any state.

Sioux City metro had previously taken top honors from Site Selection in 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2015.

Site Selection, based in Atlanta, has more than 48,000 subscribers who include professionals who help corporations find the right place to locate and expand.



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