Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lake City among country’s hottest markets
Magazine rates area as No. 47 for doing business.


Lake City was named one of the top 100 small business markets in the south — coming in at No. 47 — in the April issue of Southern Business and Development magazine.Lake City was second on the list in the state of Florida behind Palm Coast.

This is the second time in the past decade that Lake City has been named one of the top small business markets by this magazine, said Jim Poole, executive director of the Lake City-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.“This is based on the number of actual deals or company locations within your community that has created a minimum of 200 jobs,” Poole said.

He said the scoring is done during the course of a five-year time frame, and new industries in Lake City such as Hunter Panels, New Millennium Building Systems, U.S. Cold Storage and Target helped Lake City place on the list again.Ranking businesses east of Texas and south of West Virginia, the magazine ranked communities similar in size to Lake City, Poole said, and noted that many of the communities were larger than Lake City and very few, if any, were actually smaller.

Lake City being named to the list could help future expansion, Poole said, as companies looking to relocate into the South or into Florida will see Lake City’s high ranking.

“The last time (we were named to the list), it definitely helped us because people began to realize where we were, and began to look and see who is here and what’s happening and why this community was emerging,” he said.“I think that will continue,” Poole said.

“The magazine goes out to site developers, company locators, people looking for new locations for businesses; when they go through the businesses on the list, they’ll see how well we did within the state and southern markets.”

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