Study Ranks County High for Economy
For the fourth consecutive year, the Southern Pines-Pinehurst micropolitan area has achieved a national top-30 ranking in terms of economic strength.
The 2008 Economic Strength Ratings completed by POLICOM, a Florida-based independent economic research firm, ranked the Southern Pines-Pinehurst area 27th out of 577 micropolitan areas in the country. A "micropolitan" area is defined as having a population between 10,000 and 50,000.
Ray Ogden, the executive director of Moore County Partners in Progress, a nonprofit organization that aims to boost economic development in the county, said the study affirms the strong economic standing of the region.
"[The study] is a testimony to what we believe about the area," Ogden said. "This is a great place to do business."
POLICOM specializes in analyzing local and state economies and determines if they are growing or declining and offers solutions to improve them.
Ogden said the study was based on a number of criteria, such as personal earnings and the strength of small businesses. High amounts of welfare payments can negatively affect an area's score. Ogden believes that the study offers a fair snapshot of the region.
"I think it's a pretty good measurement of economic activity," he said.
A high ranking indicates an area having a stable but consistently growing economy. As a result, the area's residents enjoy a higher quality of living.
"Thanks to a strong local economy, we have an exceptional standard of living in Moore County, and it's a great place to start, relocate or expand a business," he said.
Ogden said the area's ranking has fluctuated over the past four years, but has been consistently ranked above 30 nationally during that time period. He attributes that to the statistics being used in varying ways from year to year.
"Southern Moore County's economic strength has been a catalyst for the growth occurring in both residential construction and retail," Ogden said. "Plus, we are targeting industry sectors for the development of the Southern Pines Corporate Park and Aberdeen's Iron Horse Industrial Park, among other initiatives. These opportunities, in turn, make the area more attractive to entrepreneurs and business owners looking for a progressive location for their companies," Ogden said. "This activity in addition to all of the exciting revitalization going on in Robbins in the northern part of the county is creating a lot of positive economic opportunities for our communities."
Southern Pines-Pinehurst is ranked second in North Carolina behind only the Statesville-Mooresville region near Charlotte. It is ranked ahead of all other neighboring micropolitan areas, including Sanford, Rockingham, Lumberton, Dunn, and Albemarle.
Contact John Krahnert at 693-2478 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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