PLATTSBURGH — The greater Plattsburgh area was high in a ranking of the nation's top micropolitan areas, scoring spot number 26 out of 542. 

The study was conducted by Florida-based economic research firm Policom and used figures from both the City and Town of Plattsburgh, as well as their surrounding municipalities. 

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said the region's annual ranking had jumped up 14 spots from 2019. 

"To be ranked 40 out of 542 last year was welcome confirmation that our economic development strategies were working," Douglas said in a release.

"To move up to 26 reflects outside assessment that something special is happening here." 

ECONOMIC STRENGTH

Policom Corporation, which was founded in 1995, analyzes the dynamics of local and state economies. 

In the independent firm's 25 years, its website says, Policom has studied conditions of more than 800 local economies and has created more than 200 community economic studies.

Each year, the firm ranks the nation's metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas for their "economic strength," which Policom defines as an area's long-term tendency to consistently grow in size and quality.

"The formulas used to determine economic strength measure how the economy has behaved, not what has caused it to perform," the Policom report says. 

The firm uses Regional Economic Information System data to create its rankings, which has been collected fairly consistently since 1969. 

MICRO AREA

To qualify as metropolitan, Policom said an area must have at least one urbanized area with a population of at least 50,000 people, as well as adjacent counties with high commuter rates. 

And, per the firm's data, as of early 2020, the U.S. had 384 of these statistical areas. 

"Once looked upon as quasi-rural areas, a micropolitan statistical area must have an urbanized area, or city, with a population of at least 10,000, but fewer than 50,000," the Policom report says.

"They must be at least one county, and most are." 

BEST IN STATE

It was the greater Plattsburgh area's economic strength that earned it its high micropolitan ranking, which the chamber said, could be attributed to local economic partnerships.

"As well as the commitment to collaboration by our workforce development partners and our county, city and town leaders," the North Country Chamber adds in its release.

Douglas said the ranking confirmed the area's ability to grow and attract investment. 

"(It) will certainly be another powerful tool in our marketing efforts as prospects want to be places that are succeeding and able to sustain their progress," he says in the release. 

City of Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read thought the achievement exciting, noting that the Plattsburgh area, though 26th overall, was the top of its kind in all of New York.

"For Plattsburgh to be ranked the highest micropolitan in the entire State of New York, in terms of economic strength, and higher than the top micropolitan urban areas in half the states and territories in the country, is quite amazing," Read said.

"It attests to our North Country resiliency and the good work of the chamber. Now, once businesses realize they can come to Plattsburgh and obtain 100 percent sustainable electricity at a fraction of the cost they'd pay anywhere else, I believe that there will be quite a bit of new interest in investing in our city." 

Policom rated Oneonta as New York's second micropolitan area, at spot number 75 of 542. 

'COLLABORATION IS KEY'

Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman said the region's aerospace and transportation clusters had a strong reputation on a global scale.

"Over the last several years, we have experienced historic investments," he said, adding that, similar to Douglas, he valued the region's teamwork.

"Collaboration is key to this igniting trajectory. That is why the town is excited to be partnering with Clinton County and The Development Corporation to revitalize the old county airport with critical infrastructure and planning for our region's future," Cashman said. 

"This public-private partnership will no doubt continue to elevate Plattsburgh. Together we are making our community a great place to live, work, play and invest."  

Email McKenzie Delisle: 

mdelisle@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @McKenzieDelisle

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