| Mansfield News Journal
MANSFIELD – Mansfield has been named No. 7 in the nation among small cities for new business investment by Site Selection magazine.
“It speaks very well about Mansfield and what we’re able to do in a year that was really, in a lot of areas, a catastrophe,” said Tim Bowersock, economic development director.
Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Mansfield metropolitan area had six economic development projects last year that met one or more of Site Selection’s criteria for inclusion in the Conway Projects Database: a minimum investment of $1 million, creation of 20 or more new jobs or 20,000 square feet or more of new space.
Bowersock said Old Dominion Freight Line recently opened a new service center, 84 Lumber renovated its plant, a 160,000-square foot spec building around Airport West Road is being built, K.E. McCartney Associates is expanding and building a new garage and Dan Niss is building a new hangar, providing 24/7 fuel service and improving parking at Mansfield Lahm Airport.
“Considering the economy in 2020, I think it really speaks well for where Mansfield is at and where we can go from here,” he added.
Mansfield was ranked among metropolitan areas with populations less than 200,000. Lima was ranked No. 2 with eight projects, second to Sioux City.
Bowersock noted Site Selection’s ranking doesn’t include “day-to-day investments” made by larger companies in Mansfield, such as Newman Technology, Jay Industries and Gorman-Rupp to update and modernize their equipment.
“They continually invest millions of dollars each year into their facilities to improve their productivity, ensure that they’ve got properly working equipment and so forth,” he said.
Mayor Tim Theaker said Mansfield’s inclusion in the magazine’s rankings puts the city on the map.
He credited Bowersock, Jodie Perry and Barrett Thomas of the Richland Area Chamber and Economic Development, in addition to State Sen. Mark Romanchuk and former county commissioner Marilyn John, who was recently elected to the Ohio House of Representatives.
“We have a lot of land out at the airport or in that area that has been developed to have the infrastructure, to have the streets, water, sewer, power,” Theaker said. “It’s something we can offer so that all they have to do is break ground and start to build.”