The U.S. Census defines a “micropolitan” as a rural county whose largest city doesn’t exceed 50,000 population. The United States has 576 micropolitan areas. Iredell County’s micropolitan area consists of Mooresville, Troutman and Statesville.
Mooresville-Statesville finished the year with 20 qualifying projects, surpassing second-place Findlay, Ohio, which had 19 projects, and third-place Lexington-Thomasville.
To qualify, a new or expanding industry project must meet one of three criteria; capital investment of at least $1 million, creation of at least 50 jobs, or new construction of at least 20,000 square feet.
Robby Carney, executive director of the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp., says “there is no silver bullet” for why his community has been so successful.
“It is more of a patchwork quilt of items,” he says. “Our public and private sectors understand the value of being an employment center. We all highly value growing jobs and tax investments in the community. That is the foundation.”
Another advantage is the fact that “Mooresville has only a few large businesses. Lowe’s is our one big corporate headquarters, but for the most part we have smaller businesses that are flexible and diversified. They can adapt to market trends. They have the ability to transition quickly and shift to meet the market demand.”