Site Selection Magazine has named Sanford the fifth best micropolitan area in which to do business in the United States.

Sanford was tied with Auburn, Indiana for fifth place in the rankings, behind Findlay, Ohio, Jefferson, Georgia, Cullman, Alabama, and Tiffin, Ohio. A micropolitan area is defined by the magazine as “having a population between 10,000 and 49,999.” Sanford’s population as of the last Census in 2010 was 28,518 (the 2020 Census numbers are expected later this year).

From the article:

Sanford, North Carolina, has seen a steady hum of projects in Lee County from companies such as GKN Driveline ($2 million, 15 jobs); Audentes Therapeutics ($109 million, 200 jobs); and Kalyani Group’s Bharat Forge, which is creating 460 jobs and investing nearly $171 million in a project first announced in 2019 that came to fruition in 2020. Kalyani Group is a $3 billion conglomerate, and this is its first U.S. facility, which will serve automotive clients.

“We are delighted to make our biggest overseas investment in North America, in the state of North Carolina, which offers excellent advantages and a strong talent pool,” said Amit Kalyani, Bharat Forge Ltd. deputy managing director, at the 2019 announcement. “Importantly, this also brings us closer to our customers in North America. This investment will help us create a strong global manufacturing footprint as part of our aluminum strategy, spanning Europe, Asia and the United States.”