Site Selection Magazine Names
Shelby-Cleveland County, North Carolina as

#1 Top Micropolitan in North Carolina for 2022
#9 Top Micropolitan in the United States
Cleveland County, NC - March 1, 2023

Shelby-Cleveland County, NC has been named as the #1 Top Micropolitan in North Carolina and the #9 Top Micropolitan in the United States by Site Selection Magazine. Site Selection Magazine is a well-known trade publication for site-selection consultants, corporate decision-makers, and economic developers, and the annual rankings are based on qualifying new or expanding projects that create a minimum capital investment of at $1 million, create at least 50 new jobs or add at least 20,000 SF of new floor area.

In compiling its list, Site Selection considered 543 micropolitan communities across the United States. Site Selection Magazine writes that "micropolitan is a fancy word for a small town. The U.S. Census Bureau provides an exhaustive definition, but when it comes down to it, a micropolitan statistical area (MSA) is a geographic region of one or more counties with one city of 10,000 to 50,000 people. Micropolitans are sprinkled throughout the United States, and some are right out of a work by Norman Rockwell."

Shelby-Cleveland County's continued place at the top of this national ranking is indicative of the economic development success that the community has had over the years. "CCEDP announced 11 projects in 2022 that resulted in a capital investment of over $395 million and the creation of 367 new jobs", stated Kristin Reese, Executive Director of the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership (CCEDP).

Reese credits this prestigious ranking to the collaborative efforts between CCEDP, local government partners and their staff. "No single individual is responsible for the economic development success that Cleveland County has achieved. These economic development wins have come to fruition because of the massive team effort that has been transpiring behind the scenes for many, many years now. I want to give kudos to the City of Shelby, who laid the initial foundation by investing heavily into infrastructure improvement projects that could support future manufacturing operations. Additionally, Cleveland County and the City of Shelby strategically partnered to develop business parks and construct shell buildings, which have served as important economic development catalysts for our community."

Johnny Hutchins, Economic Development Liaison for the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners noted, "this ranking is a true reflection of the strategic focus that we have on economic development within our community, as well as the unique spirit of collaboration and innovation that exists within our local leadership."

“It’s great to see that we’re getting this top recognition year after year,” said Shelby Mayor Stan Anthony. “As people are looking at Shelby and Cleveland County and what all we’re doing here, they’re taking note and saying that we’re doing it right.”
For more information or media inquiries contact:
Kristin Reese | Executive Director, CCEDP |