©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Traverse City Named #1 Small Town in the Nation for Business Growth

Friday, February 28, 2003

Jennifer Owens
(517) 335-4590

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today that Traverse City is number one small town in the nation for new or expanded businesses, according to Site Selection magazine.

The city welcomed 45 new or expanded businesses from 2000-2002, beating out Statesville, NC for the small town growth title.This is the first time Traverse City has claimed this ranking.

“With this recognition, people around the country will know what we in Michigan already know – that Traverse City is a wonderful place to live, work and grow a business,” Granholm said. “For the past few years, Traverse City has been working its way up to top spot on Site Selection’s list, and this year I am proud that we can announce it is the Number 1 Small Town in the United States.”

The city has climbed Site Selection’s small town rankings for the past two years coming in third place last year and seventh place in 2000.

Ron Starner, publishing director of Site Selection magazine, based in Atlanta, Georgia, was on hand to formally recognize the community and tour some of its new development projects.

“It is a pleasure to be in Michigan today to recognize Traverse City’s impressive business growth,” said Starner. “The city’s small town success will likely pique the interest of our readers, leaders of fast-growing companies.”

Starner was joined by David Hollister, director of the Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services, at the city celebration.

“Traverse City has been so successful because of the strong partnership between local leaders and state officials to further the region’s development plans,” Hollister said. “I intend to work to encourage this same type of effective collaboration statewide.”

Some Traverse City business successes in 2002 include Great Wolf Lodge’s new $21 million resort and Graceland Fruit’s $15 million expansion project.

This recognition is a tribute to the many community leaders who 14 years ago designed a detailed strategy to make the area more attractive to corporate location and expansion while preserving the quality of life,” said Charles Blankenship, president of the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation. “Our celebration today marks the success of that vision.”

The small town rankings are part of Site Selection’s annual Governor’s Cup competition that recognizes states with the most major new or expanded businesses.The magazine takes the states reported numbers and analyzes the number of those projects that are located in towns with a population of 10,000 to 50,000 to determine the annual small town rankings.

Other Michigan small towns recognized in Site Selection top 50 national rankings include Coldwater and Cadillac (tied for 17th place) and Three Rivers and Menominee (tied for 46th place).

This year, Michigan was narrowly edged out by Illinois in the 2002 Governor’s Cup competition.Michigan reported 832 new developments, just three projects behind Illinois’ 835 new projects.

To qualify for the Governor’s Cup, projects must have at least $1 million in new investment or reinvestment, 20,000 or more square feet of new construction or create 50 or more new jobs.The projects cannot be retail or residential construction.

The annual Governor’s Cup rankings can be found in Site Selection’s March issue. Site Selection magazine delivers expansion planning information to 45,000 executives of fast-growing firms in 117 countries.To view the complete ranking, visit Site Selection’s Web site at www.siteselection.com.

Small Town Rankings 2000-2002*
# of New Expansions

1. Traverse City, MI45
2. Statesville, NC39
3. Plattsburgh, NY37
4. Mooresville, NC36
5. Bowling Green, KY34

*According to Site Selection magazine, March 2003