Louisville named a Top 5 U.S. Metro for Economic Development by Site Selection Magazine

March 06, 2023

In 2022, Louisville Metro Government’s Department of Economic Development worked on more than 50 economic development projects that brought nearly 3,700 new jobs to Louisville-Jefferson County with an average annual wage of $61,910. The 50-plus projects also brought a record-setting $2.09 billion in new capital investment. The work of the metropolitan region’s economic development partners first gained national recognition in January when an analysis by Gusto Inc. found that Louisville was the No. 4 U.S. metro for year-over-year job growth.

Site Selection Magazine, the nation’s leading publication for corporate expansion and area economic development, named Louisville a Top 10 U.S. Metro for Economic Development. As a metro with a population over 1 million people, Louisville moved up from No. 7 in 2021 to No. 5 in 2022 in the projects per capita category, beating out Charlotte, Nashville, Indianapolis, Columbus (Ohio), Richmond (Va.), St. Louis, and Kansas City. Only Austin, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Chicago ranked higher than Louisville. Read the full announcement from Site Selection Magazine HERE.

"Louisville's reputation as one of the best cities and regions in America continues to gain national and international reputation with Site Selection Magazine naming our region as the No. 5 U.S. metro for economic development per capita,” said Mayor Craig Greenberg. “Our community has long punched above its weight as the hometown of international icon Muhammad Ali and running of the world-famous Kentucky Derby.

“Louisville's local, regional, and state economic development partners are integral in promoting our community as one of the best places to live, work, visit, and do business in the United States,” continued Mayor Greenberg. “I would like to personally congratulate our business community for their continued commitment to growing in Louisville, and the region's countless economic development partners for their work in sharing our region's pro-business mindset, competitive cost of living, and inclusive, welcoming people with the world’s top businesses."

Quotes from regional economic development partners celebrating Louisville’s ranking

“I am proud of the work that our team has done to further economic growth and opportunity in 2022, and we are excited to continue the momentum throughout 2023,” said Benjamin Moore, director of Louisville Metro Government’s Department of Economic Development. “This recognition by Site Selection Magazine further proves that Louisville is America’s next breakout city, and our community offers new and existing companies a place to grow and thrive. I applaud our team at Louisville Metro and thank all our partners throughout the region for our strong, cooperative partnership in cultivating a strong economy.”

“This ranking proves that the Greater Louisville region continues to be one of the top places in the U.S. to relocate, expand, or start a business,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. “The diversity of resources here and the quality-of-life aspects that Louisville has to offer make this an excellent market for new business. We will use this momentum to encourage more investment in the years to come.”

“As Louisville’s energy provider, LG&E and KU’s energies go to powering businesses and empowering growth in Metro Louisville and throughout the commonwealth,” said John Crockett, president of LG&E and KU. “Initiatives including our Opportunity Kentucky grants and sustainability programs help the Louisville community with site development for new or expanding businesses and help customers in launching investments. With competitive electric rates, excellent reliability, a focus on the customer, and a business-friendly climate, there’s no question that Louisville is the place to do business.”

“Louisville Water is an anchor in the region for businesses to operate and grow,” said Spencer Bruce, president and CEO of Louisville Water Company. “We provide some of the highest-quality drinking water in North America to more than 24,000 businesses. And it’s reliable with rates that are some of the lowest you’ll find. Water grows the economy and we’re proud to be part of Louisville Metro’s success.”

"Safe, clean waterways – especially in a river city – play a big part in a community’s livability, health, and safety, as well as attractiveness for companies to do business and locate their employees. MSD’s three-utilities-in-one approach brings efficiency and effectiveness to wastewater, stormwater, and flood-protection services, and we are proud to partner with our utility counterparts and Louisville Metro to position the community for continued economic growth," said MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott.

“Our region’s continued growth and competitiveness has been accelerated by ongoing strategic investments in our workforce and infrastructure on both sides of the Ohio River. From scaling industry workforce partnerships with high schools and post-secondary institutions to capitalizing on the $2.5B Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project completed in 2016, we continue to build capacity and connectivity. We are thrilled to see the growing impact of our collaborative long-term regional strategy.” said Wendy Dant Chesser, President and CEO of One Southern Indiana Chamber and Economic Development.

The momentum from 2022 continues into 2023

Building off the success of 2022, Louisville Metro’s Department of Economic Development is working hard to reach higher in 2023. Louisville-Jefferson County has already secured 10 economic development projects totaling nearly $140 million of new capital investment, including four companies who received preliminary approval for state and local incentives through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in February.

  • 29th Street Property Management - $2.2 million capital investment and 61 new jobs
  • AP Electric - $2.2 million capital investment and 30 new jobs
  • Fort Dearborn Company (Multi Color Corporation) - $22.9 million capital investment and 90 new jobs
  • Houston-Johnson Inc. (HJI Supply Chain Solutions) - $14.7 million capital investment and 76 new jobs

“We are thrilled to see so many companies interested in expanding in and moving to Louisville,” said Moore. “When we travel and meet with site selection consultants, they consistently mention that workforce, abundant and affordable utilities, and community partnerships are the keys to continued growth and success in a new market. Thankfully, Louisville ticks all of those boxes and we are eager to continue assisting in the growth of existing companies while attracting exciting new opportunities to our community.”

Louisville continues to rank as a top place to live and work, receiving numerous accolades and recognitions:

  • Ranked as the No. 4 U.S. metro for job growth in 2022
  • Recognized as the No. 3 housing market to watch in 2023
  • Ranked as the No. 5 U.S. metro for economic development in 2022
  • Recognized as a "Next 25" Tech Talent Market by CBRE for the fourth year in a row
  • Ranked 11th most affordable large metro area in the nation
  • Recertified as a Welcoming City by Welcoming America
  • Received a perfect score on the Human Rights Commission’s Municipality Index for eight years in a row
  • Ranked No. 1 in the Ohio River corridor for economic development
  • Ranked No. 14 on list of best cities for new college grads
  • Rated the overall best city for coffee in the U.S.
  • Ranked No. 3 out of all U.S. metros in Q1 2022 for worker confidence

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