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Report: State of Iowa and Iowa Cities Lead in Economic Development

March 4, 2016

Mike Wells, president and CEO of Wells Enterprises, a company headquartered in the Sioux City metro and America’s largest privately-owned ice cream manufacturer, values his Iowa workforce. Talk to CEOs across the state, and you’ll hear the same refrain – Iowans make Iowa stand out.

Companies worldwide are recognizing the Iowa work ethic, and it's one reason the state of Iowa and five Iowa metro areas excelled in attracting economic development projects in 2015, according to a new report from Site Selection magazine.

Iowa ranked eighth in the nation in new economic development projects per capita in 2015, according to the magazine’s 2015 Governor’s Cup rankings. The Governor’s Cup ranks states by the number of economic development projects within their borders that include a minimum capital investment of $1 million, 20 or more new jobs created, or 20,000 or more square feet of new space.

The Sioux City metro area, on the banks of the Missouri River, led all metros nationwide with populations less than 200,000 in new economic development projects per capita. On the other side of the state, the Burlington metro topped the list of metro areas along the Mississippi River in new projects per capita, with Davenport also placing on the Mississippi River list.  

Also receiving recognition for new projects were Mason City and Muscatine, which placed along with Burlington on the list of top micropolitan areas (at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 people). In addition to our outstanding workers, Iowa’s low cost of business – one of the lowest in the country – makes it an appealing place for companies.

Major overheads for manufacturers, including payroll costs, construction costs, lease rates and commercial electricity rates, are more affordable than the national average in Iowa.



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