Batavia has been ranked second among the nation’s 575 micropolitan areas by Site Selection magazine. It was the only city in New York State to crack the list’s Top 40.
Micropolitan areas are regions containing an urban core population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000. A metropolitan statistical area, like Rochester, has an urban core of at least 50,000 people.
Batavia, the seat of Genesee County, had previously tied for fifth in each of the last two years of Site Selection’s list. Batavia had 17 qualifying projects signed in 2017, the magazine’s ranking criteria, and scored 16 project “wins” that generated roughly $240 million in investment.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment, and it once again demonstrates the commitment and collaboration among the public and private sectors to bring new investment and jobs to the region and just as important to assist companies that are already here in expanding and retaining jobs, said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, in a statement.
Findlay, Ohio— the home of Cooper Tire, Marathon Petroleum and Whirlpool dishwashers —ranked as the top micropolitan area this year, having held the top spot for the last four years.
Site Selection noted that Batavia has the luxury of being located within 30 miles of the New York Power Authority’s Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant, which generates 2.4 million kilowatts of renewable energy. A 2005 law allows qualifying businesses to use that power at cost, which translates to a highly competitive rate of less than 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour.
The magazine also noted Batavia’s largest employer, O-AT-KA Milk Cooperative, which qualifies for the discounted electricity, and cited incentives and available property that helped the micropolitan area achieve its No. 2 ranking.
Since 2003, the GCEDC has provided assistance and incentives for 449 projects that have generated $1.3 billion in capital investment and the creation or retention of more than 4,500 jobs.