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FDI Alliance Magazine - Sponsored by City fo Ruston - Louisiana

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Published by Courtneymargetson, 2018-04-26 13:07:49

FDI Alliance International Magazine | April 2018

FDI Alliance Magazine - Sponsored by City fo Ruston - Louisiana


Ideally situated in Southern California, 4,500 businesses call Moreno Valley home, including ALDI Foods, Amazon, Cardinal Glass, Floor & Decor,
Harbor Freight Tools, Karma Automotive, Phillips Electronics,
Proctor & Gamble, Serta Mattress, Skechers USA and more!
largest city in
largest city in
Riverside County
Moreno Valley
Population 2018
radius population 2,340,555
AGE: 31.6 Home to numerous
Fortune 500
annual growth
created in 4 years
moving at the speed of business | 951.413.3460 | [email protected]

Known as “The Crossroads of North Texas”, the City of Seymour can be accessed by several state maintained highways and offers a number of local and state incentives for new businesses. Coupled with our family-oriented leisure and recreation facilities and an established available housing market; Seymour, Texas is an attractive location and a functional infrastructure for new business.
City Of Seymour
Lauren Bush
Economic Development Director City of Seymour Texas Office: 940-889-3148
Cell: 940-256-0017 [email protected]

10 16 20 30 32 44 50 54 62 66 70 76
10 16 20
Economic recovey & resilience FDI in Canada Good karma
Rodrick Miller Chatham Kent Moreno Valley
30 32 44
Getting it done A resilient economy Concept to commercialization
Huntington County Indiana Maryland
50 54 62
Excellence made here Resiliency in today’s market Smoothing the path
City of Ruston - Louisiana St. Mary Parish - Louisiana Dayton - Texas
66 70 76
Seymour in your future Vision with action A New Era
City of Seymour - Texas Jacksboro - Texas Portage County - Wisconsin

2014 Money Magazine put
e Pines has been an economic development leader through strategic real estate transactions and creative public – private partnerships. The City’s takes a proactive approach to its development regulations and invested heavily in infrastructure improvements
and services community.
Over the past 57 years, Pembroke Pines has grown to the 11th largest city in the state of Florida with more than 160,000 residents spread over 34 square miles. The City has easy access to three major highways, major seaports and is home to millions of square feet of commercial, retail and industrial space.
Join Us and Discover Pembroke Pines
Pembroke Pines on their annual Best Place to Live list and the City has been praised for its diverse yet inclusive community. Families are well served with A-Rated schools including the City’s award winning
y owned and operated Charter School System as well as the south campus of Broward College. The City is also regularly recognized for providing outstanding programs
to the
601 City Center Way
Pembroke Pines, FL 33025
Charles F. Dodge City Center building. The 175,000 square foot facility was designed to accommodate conventions, banquets, meetings, tradeshows and performance events with maximum seating around 3,200. The unique venue is complemented
April 2017, the City moved into the
City Hall, gallery space, an outdoor plaza and 5 acre park. Adjacent to the facility is a 150 acre privately developed mixed use project with residential, hotel, restaurant, retail and entertainment uses. The rst 1,000 residential units have been delivered and the rst phase of the commercial
o support future growth. The City has seen a rise in new private development including nearly 1 million square feet of industrial / distribution space, approximately 500,000 square feet of commercial space and over 1,500 residential units.

As We Grow, You Grow.
Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who has continued to support our platform and participate in our first issue in 2018. This will be our very first interactive issue with video elements throughout the digital magazine as we also celebrate four years in the business. In the last four years, we have built an exclusive audience of international site selectors and C-level executives who are actively expanding international operations in the
United States and Canada.
In 2018, our main goal is to globally increase our digital distribution channels. FDI Alliance International magazine will now be seen across the entire Microsoft network such as Forbes , CNBC , the Wall Street Journal , Yahoo Finance and many more. This will also add great value to our readership and promises to be a great, exciting year ahead.
We are very happy to announce that we have the leading social media presence across all major platforms. This will strengthen our ability to connect economic developers with international site selectors and investors.
This promises to be an exciting year for our industry. We will showcase the most lucrative business locations in the United States and Canada as we continue to bridge the gap between economic development and site selection.
FDI Alliance International would like to say a special thank you to every organization, on a state and local level with your continued to support through the years. This has helped us effectively expand within the industry sector. I would like to thank our Creative Director - Gareth Julien, who has played a major role in the growth of FDI Alliance International and remains the creative force behind our platform.
As the publisher of FDI Alliance International magazine, I feel truly blessed to have built so many great long-term relationships. I feel very privileged to work with so many great executives from around the world as we continue to grow.
Courtney Margetson
CEO / Executive Publisher
Editorial / Production
CEO / Executive Publisher
Courtney Margetson
Creative Director / Editor
Gareth Julien
Director of Operations
Jacqueline Green
Business Development Director
Jacob Schmidt
Special Thanks to
Kristi Lumpkin
City of Ruston LA
Michael Burton
Invest Chatham Kent
Lauren Bush
City of Seymour TX
Larry Calhoun
Networks Sullivan Partnership TN
Rodrick Miller
Ascendant Global
Paul Willies
Appraisal Development
Amandia Craig
Change your life with beauty
Vinny Tafuro
Visionary Economist Follow Us On:

In search of your
Secret Garden
By Paul Willies
Special to FDI Alliance International
Things are looking good in the good ol’ USA – if you parse away the politics. Inflation is down, unemployment is reaching levels not seen in 17 years, job growth is up – the value of your home has surpassed the all-time high of 2008!
But how do you market your area to someone sitting in a corporate office in Frankfurt, London, or Paris?
Right now, the United States has a black eye politically, and talk of sanctions against foreign countries is not a good back drop for encouraging new inward investment. But nevertheless, the savvy investor knows that political winds change – and opportunity lies in the Secret Garden.
Secret Garden
Most Europeans equate the United States to the kitch of the tourist parks of Orlando, or the bustle of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles ... but have no
appreciation for the thousands of miles of country in between. When you live in a country or city where the language can change within a two-hour drive, where your dream of a family holiday is only a few hundred miles down the road – yet seems a distant thought – the idea that it might take 44 hours (2,983.6 miles) non-stop to get from Boston to Los Angeles by road is a bit daunting.
The game is to present your Secret Garden; that one place in the middle of nowhere that offers a nirvana of opportunity with the least risk.
If you build it, will they come?
Capital costs associated with constructing the infrastructure and buildings of tomorrow vary widely by location and remain hard to predict – the cost to construct in London or New York exceeds $3,200 per M2 (10.76 Sq ft.). Fluctuating currencies and commodity prices, and unexpected political developments, have added to a complex and dynamic mix over the past 12 months. These factors add further dimensions of risk to investment decision making, increasing the challenges associated with securing certainty of outcome.
Commercial industrial manufacturing has been experiencing a renaissance in the US, partly as a result of low energy costs and the increasing costs of imports from Asia, driven in part by higher wages. This is clearly a trend that will accelerate with renewed political support. Investors are able to consider manufacturing across sectors in the US due to further innovations in technology and sophisticated management systems in recent years.
There will be continuing investment in manufacturing if the pace of “reshoring” accelerates.
Ramping up your new manufacturing plant.
The availability of filling positions is critical in the process of developing a new production or distribution center. High unemployment actually offers a large pool of potential workers – albeit in need of training. Offering training programs to potential investors can take the edge off the concern of filling positions. Technology and distant training can attract hungry applicants to the Secret Garden.

Quality of life
Where the cost of one-bedroom apartment in New York hovers around $2,000 a month – as much as $5,000 in London – the idea that a similar apartment would cost less than $1,000 – or an entire house $2,000 - is appealing to those slaving away to pay the rent, let alone the opportunity of actually owning your own castle!
And for recreation?
The lure of the wilderness – tranquility, peacefulness - can be powerful against the bustle of city life, although the perks of a Starbucks (no pun intended) has its place. The cultural aspects of the community need to be played as hard as the financial gain.
If you live in London or New York there is a high probability you don’t own a car – you might not even have a driver’s license – you have no need. Bus, train and taxi services are less expensive options than parking a car in Manhattan or Paris.
However, living in the suburbs or rural districts of a distant county – a car is vital to your wellbeing – access to a nearby airport holds appeal. In attracting employees to far-flung corners of the state, offering
incentives for transportation could make or break filling a position.
OK so you have built the best mousetrap money can buy – now you need to get it to market. Availability of cost-effective distribution by truck, rail, sea or air becomes a factor in the decision process.
Facilitating economic growth and prosperity through efficient movement of goods is at the center of any comprehensive transportation plan. Assessing the most efficient means of freight movement requires careful consideration. Concerns for open and competitive markets for the shipment of goods are weighed against concerns such as congestion mitigation and road safety. Each mode provides certain benefits when compared to the other, however those benefits typically entail a trade-off for some other cost. Advocates for the movement of goods by road point to speed and flexibility factors. Advocates for the movement of goods by rail point to safety and energy efficiency factors - the interrelated elements of air and water movement of goods should not be ignored.
Counting your blessings
Taxation issues can take a bite out of the bottom line. The cost of concurrency fees, building permits, and re-zoning issues can bring a well-thought-out plan to its knees. Many communities offer incentive packages that can take the sting from the risk of placing your investment in their district. And for most, the taxation levels are lower in far-flung communities than larger built-up ones – so taking the county road to the far ends of the earth may pay dividends in the long-term.
Good luck finding, or marketing, your Secret Garden.
Paul Willies is a regular contributor to FDI Alliance, a commercial real estate appraiser based in Tampa, Florida, and the owner of Appraisal Development International, Inc ( and can be reached at [email protected]

Economic Recovery and Resilience:
Getting Ready for the Unexpected
New Orleans, Detroit, Newark, Northern California, Haiti, Greece...The list goes on and on. What do these cities, regions, and countries have in common? They have been ravaged by diverse disasters – man-made and force majeure. These calamitous events devastate communities, demand reinvention, and can encourage mass exodus of industry and population. As tragic as these events appear in the moment, they can present unique opportunities for communities to emerge stronger and better than before. The ability to mitigate the devastation of these types of events and position a community for a strong recovery is called economic resilience.
Economic Resilience is a term you may have heard before. But what does it really mean and why does it matter? The U.S. Department of Commerce describes it as “An area’s ability to prevent, withstand, and quickly recover from major disruptions to its economic base.” These “major disruptions”, shocks, or crises impede the prospects for economic growth, population stability, and the capacity of communities to provide basic services. Absent preparation, strong strategy, and a concerted response, these crises can threaten a community’s overall quality of life in the near-term and diminish its long-term trajectory for success. Economic resilience is about community readiness for crises by planning for the worst case scenario on the front end and being aggressive in the response on the back end during the recovery phase. Simply put, resilience is about a community’s ability to “bounce back” faster, stronger and better after a significant event has occurred. Crises present
a unique opportunity to aggressively fix flaws in the system and competitively reposition communities in the marketplace as leadership reestablishes order and economic growth. This perspective is essential to recognizing that crises present an opportunity to see the glass as half full and to finish filling it up with the needed components to make your recovery optimal.
Natural disasters and economic downturns are ever-present threats that cities and regions must be aware of and be prepared to manage. Most communities believe that their risks for crises are low. Unfortunately, this tends to be untrue. Crises happen unexpectedly and are rarely accurately predicted. The pace, quality, and sustainability of a community’s recovery post-crisis depends on the extent to which they have prepared. Central to viable economic resilience is coupling programmatic and project management capabilities to manage on-the- ground realities while fixing deeper foundational challenges to sustain and grow the economy over time. That is, communities must be nimble, assertive, and certain in their tactical immediate responses to crises while ensuring that policy and practice over the long-term is focused on economic competitiveness.
A crisis should not be wasted, rather it should be leveraged as a chance to do things differently and better. Taking inventory of the regional and local assets that drive quality of life and retain and attract residents to a specific geography is critical. For example, many companies are drawn to the Boston area due to its strong concentration of tier 1 research universities, to the metro Phoenix region for its sunshine and quality of life, DC for its concentration of federal jobs and national policy influence, and the list goes on. Communities must be thoughtful and honest about their core value proposition, determine how to protect it, and reinforce/strengthen it after a crisis. This requires understanding the core assets which support the value proposition, examining vulnerabilities, and exploiting capabilities to use market shocks as a platform for reform and growth.
The stressful environment of chaos, uncertainty, and doubt following a crisis highlights the need to develop a well-designed plan. Crises disrupt our norms; that is, the way people carry out their daily activities, how business and government deliver services, how people respond to one another are all impacted and could and, most likely, will completely change. Crises usually happen fast and at unanticipated times; they require an immediate response, create a high degree of instability and uncertainty, and dramatically change the status quo. Perhaps more importantly, they create an opportunity for even greater changes. In this environment, a playbook is necessary so that recovery can occur quickly and the next phase of economic growth can be set in motion.

Economic developers have the gargantuan task of driving economic growth. Normally, this is measured in terms of private investment, job creation, and wages. That said, economic developers are really marketing quality of life and opportunity for people. A fundamental premise of the United States is the ability to determine one’s own future based on work ethic, skills, and abilities. Crises threaten this ability in that they take this power away from individuals, families and communities. This sense of vulnerability can undermine recovery by wedging deeper divisions between different groups, impeding the ability of communities to find a shared message and vision, and often can lead to an “every man is an island” response. Leadership from government, business, and the civic sector must make sure that their responses to crises are ones that affirm a united front, address the needs of their constituents, and implement recovery priorities along the lines of impact to people’s daily lives. The recovery response may range from ensuring restoration of basic public services in the near-term to ensuring that affordability is maintained for residents over the long-term.
Have you ever heard the adage “A failure to plan, is a plan to fail”? A plan for recovery and resilience should outline a path to restored prosperity and growth with concrete deliverables, tangible metrics, and delineated responsibilities. Without planning for recovery, the allocation of resources tends to be more disperse, the focus on investments and restoration of key assets lack clearly defined objectives, and the level of coordination around a
myriad of decisions is nonexistent. One must note that communities rarely recover and return to exactly the same as they were pre-crisis, but with appropriate planning they can improve in some areas while maintaining the essence of their identity and lifestyle. To this point, communities should take a two-tiered approach to planning – development of a post-disaster response plan to return society to some sense of normalcy and development of a longer-term redevelopment, recovery, and revitalization strategy after a crisis has happened to figure out what the new normal is and ensure that it is at least somewhat better.
As communities develop their strategies for resilience and recovery, it is essential that they consider these concepts in tandem. Regions, cities, and organizations that have envisioned and planned for the type of community that they aim to be, can use the circumstances of the crisis to reposition themselves toward the long-term objectives that they have set. For instance, if a community knows that its infrastructure around transportation, water and sewerage, fiber optics, or electricity is inadequate to compete for our targeted industries long-term, a natural disaster might represent an
opportunity to rebuild with the desired technologies, environmentally appropriate materials, and serve to shift the value proposition to compete for targeted industries which need those resources. Or, if there is a mass vacancy of properties because of depopulation or industry flight, this may represent an opportunity to assemble land and construct new infrastructure to support large scale manufacturing or logistics opportunities. If communities have not engaged in some dialogue or has some objectives around these ideals before a disaster, it is very unlikely that they will reach some consensus about the prioritization of investments and opportunities after a crisis. The more prepared and thoughtful a community can be about a disaster before it happens, the greater the opportunity to use that negative occurrence as a catalyst for new possibilities. According to the Economic Development Administration, establishing economic resilience in a local or regional economy requires the following; the ability to anticipate risk, evaluate how that risk can impact key economic assets, and build a responsive capacity. In consideration of risks, communities should explore the potential for major disruptions caused by occurrences such as natural disasters such as earthquake, fires, and floods; financial difficulty resulting from corporate failures or governmental bankruptcy; and sociopolitical instability as evidence by strikes, riots or crime. These types of incidents cause communities to lose population, businesses to flee, government services to be suspended or significantly diminished, and critical physical assets to be lost. Perhaps equally as important is the reputation hit that communities

suffer after these types of occurrences. Some of this damage can be minimized by taking an honest assessment of the likelihood for these things to occur beforehand and taking measures to prevent or delay them. Clarity around the root causes and the ability to respond with specific actions that fix the systemic problems, address impacted areas (topically and geographically) with reinvention and a results-based orientation, and decreasing the likelihood for reoccurrence is essential. Doing this requires significant discussion between diverse stakeholders in the public, private and nonprofit sphere and establishment of some shared goals around the future of the community. Crises be- it manmade (financial, social, physical) or natural (climate or environmental) often visibly impacts housing, public services, safety, school systems, and major infrastructure. The impact also extends to a family’s financial stability while indirectly influencing a community’s self-esteem, sense of optimism, and propensity to be aggressive in developing the economy. Recognizing the full impact of these disruptions (physical and psychological) beforehand, makes responding to them much easier. That said, despite detailed planning and preparation, crises will inflict unforeseen harm and communities will need to adjust.
A popular misconception is that a crisis is the sole responsibility of government to manage negative events and the fallout resulting from them.
1. Assess and 2. Unify and Triage Unite
This is far from the truth, comprehensive and sustainable recovery requires that the response be inclusive of a myriad of public, private, nonprofit, community, philanthropic, education leaders and other partners. The quality of these institutions, caliber of market and labor policies, and level of integration throughout the business-civic-political ecosystem is a strong indicator of a community’s economic resilience. No one entity or individual has sufficient resources, perspective, or capacity to tackle economic resilience and recovery in a silo. Establishing rapport and a practice of collaboration prior to any crisis makes it easier for these types of institutions to work together after one occurs and move forward with precision and clear lines of responsibility and accountability.
3. Tell the Story 4. Identify Opportunity
and Set Vision
As one who has led economic recovery efforts in New Orleans and Detroit, the challenges of resilience and recovery are complicated. However, thinking about the path to recovery under the framework below can be helpful in figuring a pathway forward.
1. Triage – Assess immediate damages and stabilize the situation based on priorities.
2. Unify and Unite - Pull together business, civic, and political leadership and the broader community around the concept of recovery, cohesion, and shard goals.
3. Tell the story and challenge truthfully – Leverage the media to tell the story of decline, demonstrate a collective resolve, and paint a picture of the path forward and opportunity. These events will garner media attention. Your community needs to drive this message versus allowing others to tell your story.
4. Identify Opportunities and Set Vision – Secure the essential assets and economic elements as a foundation for rebuilding and create a clear executable vision through broad engagement with short- and long-term objectives and metrics
5. Drive strategic public and private investments in key infrastructure, institutions, and sectors that are foundational as well as those that present the greatest possibilities to increase a community’s competitive position. These
5. Drive Strategic
6. Execute Execute Execute

investments whether in targeted industry sectors, education system, transportation and other infrastructure, or civic institutions reflect the values of your market and project the message of who you aim to elevate in full recovery.
6. Execute!Execute!Execute!–Thequickest path between two points is a direct line. Many times, communities tend to become flustered and question how to move forward after a disaster has occurred. For economic developers, deviating from basic practice fundamentals will yield little reward. Execute programs encompassing business retention and expansion, corporate attraction, small business, and real estate well and the returns will be palpable and the possibilities greater than they might be under normal circumstances.
The fact is that none of us know what tomorrow will bring. However, we do know that threats to stability abound. Creating an environment that acknowledges these threats and putting in place measures, protocols, and strategies to rebound effectively are paramount to an area’s resilience. Hopefully, a disaster will not happen to your community, but if it does you should be prepared and ready to leverage it to thrive. This kind of planning is not something you do once, check a box and then move on. Rather it is a continual process that requires revision and flexibility. Circumstances and environments change and these changes must be reflected in the plan.
Flexibility throughout this process will ensure the most fluid response while a clear strategy and planning developed by a leadership collective will ensure a thoughtful and coordinated response. Focusing on people in the programming, investments, and policy will ensure that the actions taken reflect the values and priorities of the community - not only as they have been, but also as the community envisions them to be. That said, economic growth and external investment will not occur if that story is not trumpeted aggressively, collectively, and strategically. With thoughtful planning, partnership across different sectors and solid execution of a basic economic development program a community can be optimally resilient and turn their crisis into an opportunity. Crises are menacing, but an inevitable reality. With the appropriate steps, messaging, and commitment your resilient community will have a quality recovery and secure a successful economic future.
Ascendant Global (AG) is a boutique economic development consultancy. The company was formed out of a recognition that there is no specialized consultancy that has emerged as a clear leader across economic development topics. Increasingly, I was being called on as a colleague by other economic developers, think tanks, and politicians outside of my local region to bring perspective to the issues that they faced. At some point, I realized that there was a market need for a firm that brings depth of knowledge across numerous economic development topics. Most economic development consulting firms have very niche expertise or are generalists with limited depth. I wanted to bring world class leadership and expertise to provide our clients with comprehensive solutions that move beyond the fluff.
We firmly believe that the global economy is undergoing a significant transition as evidenced by technological disruption forging new industries and displacing established ones, domestic demographic shifts impacting the US’ global competitive position and local communities’ quality of life, and global demographic shifts impacting loci of power and demand. We specialize in solving tough issues which require deep thinking and a complex understanding of where local economies meet global challenges. Furthermore, we recognize that while state and federal policy sets the table for competition, the microeconomic activity at the local and regional level really determine how people fare over time. We exploit our understanding of the national and global landscape to craft practical solutions at the state, regional and local level which are sustainable, politically viable, actionable and results-oriented.
The ultimate mission of AG is to help economies position themselves to be as strong as they can be in terms of jobs, investment, and quality of life. Every market has its own path. We work with local leadership to design a path that aligns with the values, aspirations, and realistic options for growth and sustainability.
We help markets win in the global economy.
Ascendant Global Consulting
(202) 888-1763 [email protected]

Millenials At Home In Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is a home away from home for FDI Alliance International. Although we are based out of the U.K. we now call the Gulf Coast of Florida home. Tampa and its neighboring cities like Clearwater and St. Petersburg are part of the greater Tampa Bay area, and this area is booming!
In June 2017 TIME magazine published an article of The 25 Cities Where Millennials Are Moving. Three areas in Florida were among the top 25 with Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm at number 10, Jacksonville at number 17 and Tampa/Clearwater/ St. Petersburg ranked at number 21 with a 3.6% increase in the millennial population since 2010. In April 2017 Forbes released the article Why Have So Many Millennials Become Tampreneurs? According to the article and Tampa ranked as the number one city people moved to in 2016. Additionally Forbes pointed out that “‘Tampa ranks as the hottest city for start-ups’ according to Fortune magazine, ‘the most Pet-Friendly’ sites Reward Expert, and the ‘best overall city in the
Southeast’ says Money magazine.” More than 3 millionpeoplecallthegreaterTampaBayareahome, and according to U.S. News and World Report Tampa Bay is “one of the best places to live”. With a healthy housing market, no state income tax (which keeps more money in your pocket) and year round weather that is the envy of much of the United States it’s no wonder why so many young people are flocking to this area.AccordingtotheTampaEDCwebsiteTampais getting younger in age demographic. The site states “a quarter of the population is between the ages of 18-34. This contributes to the low median age of 37 years.” On June 13, 2017 Tampa held the First Annual Millennial Impact Forum where Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and millennial business leaders discussed the developments going on in Tampa including community, transportation, infrastructure, technology, health and wellness, and government.
What else could be attracting so many Millennials? Let’s take a look at some of the areas alluring aspects:
Tampa is a favorite destination for sporting events. We are the home to major league sports teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL). We have hosted the Super Bowl here four times, and are set to host again in 2021 according to the Tampa Bay Times. We are home to the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) and have hosted the NHL All-Star Game. We also have the arena football team the Storm. Neighboring St. Petersburg is home to the Tampa Bay Rays (MLB), and soccer team the Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL). In the springtime Tampa is also the second home to the New York Yankees for spring training at Steinbrenner Field. If it’s a game you’d like to catch you certainly have your pick of sporting events to attend in this region.
If theater is more to your liking, Tampa Bay can certainly entertain you. Tampa has The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Ruth Eckerd Hall is in Clearwater, and the Mahaffey Theater is in St. Petersburg, where you can see great Broadway style shows and musicals, amazing concerts,

comedy shows that will leave you in stitches, and performing arts shows. Be prepared to be entertained and amazed! Tampa is home to the famous Tampa Theater, built in 1926, where you can see classic movies and new releases as well as live and interactive shows – Rocky Horror Picture Show, anyone? The Gasparilla International Film Festival (GIFF) hosts movie releases and showings here during their 5-day festivities.
If you’re looking for fun activities to do with the kids then the greater Tampa Bay area has plenty to do and see. The Lowry Park Zoo, the Tampa Aquarium, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Busch Gardens, MOSI, the Glazer Children’s Museum and the Great Explorations Children’s Museum are all great fun for the whole family.
Want some fun in the sun? Trip Advisor has nationally ranked our beaches -Clearwater Beach, Fort De Soto and St. Petersburg Beach - as the best in the US. Looking for art and culture? According to
the Visit Tampa Bay website, Tampa was recently named one of the five most culturally diverse and integrated urban areas in the country by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Tampa EDC website states that Tampa Bay is a cultural hub where more than 40 languages are spoken. American Style Magazine awarded Tampa the honor of being one of the “Top Arts Destinations”. Tampa has the Tampa Art Museum, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Henry B. Plant Museum, Tampa Police Museum, Tampa Firefighters Museum, Tampa Bay History Center, and the American Victory Ship Mariners Museum. St. Petersburg has the world famous Dali museum, the Morean Arts Center, the Museum of Fine Arts and the St. Petersburg Museum of History.
Lover of music? How about catching a show at the Florida Orchestra in St. Petersburg? Catch a live concert at the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheater, the Amalie Arena and the USF Sundome. Big named artists like U2 and Taylor Swift have played at Raymond James Stadium. Concerts
are intimate at smaller venues like Jannus Live, The RitzYborandtheOrpheum.TampaproudlyhasThe Gasparilla Music Festival (GMF) every spring with well-known national artists as well as local bands.
Tampahasplentyofamazingplacestoeatandshop too. Our restaurants, like Bern’s Steak House is world-renowned. Shopping at the International Plaza will delight you with high-end apparel designers and 4 floors of beautiful home furnishings and décor from Restoration Hardware.
With so much to do and see here it’s no wonder Millenials and others are calling Tampa Bay home. The workforce in Tampa is talented and diverse and ready to take your business to the next level.
Bobbie Y. Kingsbury
The Fashion Authority Fashion Designer
813-312-6322 - cell

Foreign Direct Investment in Canada -
Global Business with a Small-Town Feeling
In this time of trade uncertainty and growing global protectionist sentiments, it can be helpful for an investor, and particularly a European investor, to know there is a viable, profitable and growing business location where the local business community welcomes you, government provides efficient supports and incentives, and international trade agreements are in place to provide you access to the entire North American marketplace. That place is the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, in the Province of Ontario, Canada.
Chatham-Kent has an extremely attractive and competitive proposition. Our Federal Corporate Tax rate, at 15 percent, is still well below the new rate of 21 percent recently set in the United States of America. Our Provincial Corporate Tax Rate, at 10 percent, is still well below most US State Tax Rates, which are often well above 30 percent. We offer an accelerated depreciation rate on new capital expenditures. We offer federal government ten-year loans at zero percent and provincial government grants currently at 10 percent for capital equipment investments. Our competitive currency exchange rate keeps production inputs of labour and materials at a marked cost advantage. Our easy transport access routes to both Canadian and US markets position us well for expansion. Our local tax abatement incentive for new or expansion facilities, at up to 80 percent of net new taxes for a period of up to 10 years, is also a great advantage. Chatham-Kent − it’s time to get to know us!
“Absolutely, Chatham-Kent is a good place to go because of its access to the markets,” says Tim Schinkel, CEO of Schinkel’s Legacy, a Canadian meat products processing company that has tripled in size since 2011 and has plans to double again in the future. Expansions to date are worth about $2.5 million, with development assistance from local, provincial and federal government programs. In fact, Schinkel’s Legacy is one of a dozen Chatham-Kent companies currently expanding their operations.
Schinkel’s Legacy is a family-owned company based in the local community of Chatham, part of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and located among the very fertile farmlands and charming towns of
southwestern Ontario, Canada’s most developed and populous province. Tim is part of the second generation in Canada of a European immigrant family that brought traditional methods with them to produce award-winning high-quality meat products. The third generation is now on the job as well.
For the Schinkels and their 25 employees, their marketplace is regional, and by that they mean the entire Province of Ontario with a population of 13.5 million people, Canada’s largest city – Toronto, and an overall geography bigger than France and Spain combined. Their highway to market is Highway 401, a major Canadian transportation artery. Schinkel is all for building the capacity of the local food processing industry by attracting foreign investors, saying there is another good reason such investors in the sector might be interested: “We are in a unique location. With the Great Lakes all around us, we are awash in water. We take that for granted because we live here.”
The Great Lakes are, in fact, the world’s largest accumulation of fresh water. They also form the international border between Canada and the
Tim Schinkel is part of the second generation in Canada of a European immigrant family that brought traditional methods with them to produce award- winning high-quality meat products.

United States of America. Beside them is Chatham- Kent, a geographically large community of 102,000 people with easy Highway 401 access, as well as rail, air and water highways for right-on-time delivery. Seven major border crossings and competitive land costs have made Chatham-Kent a popular location for businesses. They appreciate the wide range of developed or certified-ready greenfield business sites, as well as a skilled workforce and low business operating costs. In addition to agriculture and food processing, Chatham-Kent encourages investment in biofuels, alternative energy, information and communication technologies, and the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors. Cross-border commerce has a long history here.
“We’re a border city in a rural community adjacent to the nation’s trade superhighway with a highly dedicated workforce. That gives us a tremendous advantage over other jurisdictions in Ontario,” says Gunther Haas, the intense and confident CEO of Waltron Trailers, another growing Canadian company. Waltron specializes in the design and production of custom heavy-haul trailers for industries as diverse as agriculture, energy, marine, oil and gas.
“We have a lot of resources that work in our favour in Canada, based mainly on our engineering skills, finances and tax structure - so we have all that expertise behind us,” says Haas, adding, “We have a very unique niche market and that market is not as vulnerable to the changes in the economy.”
Waltron and its team of 40 skilled professional designers and builders are based in the Chatham- Kent community of Ridgetown. They make good use of their location on the international border to serve all of North America and have also sold products to Europe: “We are fortunate to have a large part of our revenue in US dollars and so I maintain US bank accounts,” says Haas. “I don’t have to hedge on the dollar. I can sell US dollars - I never have to buy them, and so I always have the advantage.”
Waltron Trailers has just added a new hi-tech paint shop, part of a three-phase expansion over the next two to three years. Gunther Haas is confident it’s the right move. He is also confident that foreign investors will find opportunity as well: “Absolutely - there’s a very positive attitude in the country as a whole,” he says, adding, “If you look at where Canada is - of all places to be, we are the place to be. We have an economy that is going to grow. We have a huge country.”
Amid the changes affecting world trade, Canada has remained steadfast in maintaining and expanding its international trade commitments. Canada, the United States of America and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, creating the largest free trade region in the world at that time. A fully integrated automotive sector is a major part of the agreement. Renegotiations at the time of this writing are considering such areas as labour, environment, and electronic commerce, among others. Daily headlines aside, Canadian officials are confident that an updated NAFTA enjoys broad business support among the three member-nations.
“We are one of the three largest country merchandise export markets for 48 US states,” says Chatham-Kent’s Director of Investment Attraction and Government Relations, Michael Burton, “and all those states want to ensure that trade between us carries on. That will influence the federal administration in the US in their negotiations with Canada. We expect a positive outcome in those talks.”
Canadian government information points out that, overall, Canada is the largest merchandise export market for the US. In 2016, the US exported nearly US$266 billion of merchandise to Canada while the US was Canada’s number one destination for merchandise exports. Nine million US jobs and 1.9 million Canadian jobs are related to this trade. Canada is also the main foreign supplier of energy to the US and the fifth largest source of foreign direct investment.
Canada has also reached out to the Pacific Rim countries, being one of 11 countries to recently sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership. When eventually ratified by at least six nations to implement it, and with more nations to come, this trade pact could potentially cover up to 500 million people.
However, it is the Canada European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which came into effect in September 2017, that will most immediately lead to new foreign investments in Chatham-Kent.
Michael Burton says, “This agreement with the European Union is an excellent vehicle for investors from Europe to access Canada and the USA and for US investors to access Europe, all through Canada. We are one of the few countries, at the moment, that have a free trade agreement with the European Union. It puts us in a particularly positive position for European companies. For instance, European food processors that want to bring food or production here can ship materials to their Canadian operation in bulk, and process, package and label it, and then serve the North American market.”
The EU is already a key investor in Canada, second only to the United States, and CETA’s provisions are designed to provide more protection for investors as new opportunities are explored. The review threshold for acquisitions of Canadian businesses by EU investors has been raised by 50 percent, from $1 billion to $1.5 billion. This will facilitate investment, as fewer EU companies will need to
Waltron Trailers has just added a new hi-tech paint shop, which Gunther Haas says is part of a three-phase expansion over the next two or three years.

Geoff Wright stands by the newest construction site in the Bloomfield Business Park, a part of IAT Global’s $20M investment in the border region - the company is a leader in high precision machining and assembly of machine tool details and work holding fixtures.
undergo a net benefit to Canada review process under the Investment Canada Act.
For a European investor who wants to enter the North American marketplace, it can be a complex task to calculate where to locate a new operation, and why. Getting reliable information from multiple sources is difficult at the best of times. So, why Chatham-Kent, in the Province of Ontario, in Canada? The Municipality of Chatham-Kent’s Economic Development Services has addressed the need for reliable answers and commitments.
Acting Director Stuart McFadden says, “When a company reaches out and says they are interested in talking about expanding or moving here, it is a privilege that we don’t take lightly. We need to understand what they are looking for and then think how we can get them to where they want to go as quickly as possible. We understand that they also have to operate their business while all this is going on.
“Our approach is to make it as easy as possible for them. We have a team in place at the municipality called the Smart Growth Team, and that has representatives from the various departments. We invite clients to talk with them about what they see for the future and what exactly success looks like. Then we put together an action plan for the company. This approach has proven to be very successful.”
The approach is called “one-stop shopping”. Chatham-Kent assigns one administrator who expedites all information and responses from utility providers and local, provincial and federal governments about marketplace and workforce details, services, incentive programs, funding and
potential agreements. This relationship continues from the discovery period, though set-up, and into full operations.
One such administrator is Geoff Wright, an Economic Development Officer for Business Development. Wright is well versed in the incentive, funding and other assistance programs offered by the federal, provincial and local governments. For example, Wright points to one local program called the Employment Community Improvement Plan: “Chatham-Kent Council adopted a by-law that allows us to abate taxes on a new facility or an expanded facility for a period up to ten years. Eighty percent of property taxes for a period up to ten years can be abated.”
Another local and provincial joint initiative is the Ontario Certified Site Program. Wright is happy to show potential investors to the Bloomfield Business Park, which is 100 acres/40 hectares of prestige industrial land with visibility on NAFTA Highway 401.
“These sites are already serviced with municipal water, sanitary and storm sewers, three-phase electrical, natural gas and fibre cable,” says Wright.
Pre-qualified properties in the program are free of major development constraints, and include environmental, archaeological and environmental assessments, if applicable. Investors and site selectors can access ownership and title details, a property survey, detailed information on zoning and permitted uses, road and rail, utilities and servicing, and developable area and surrounding uses. The provincial government assists in marketing the properties to investors and site selectors worldwide.
International trade agreements, government supports and an enterprising local business environment are all good attractions. Another is the great quality of life and family-friendly community that Chatham-Kent offers to both its existing workforce and to newcomers.
“There is a small-town environment in every one of our 23 communities,” says Wright, “and it effectively supports the workplace. Employees know each other very well. They play sports together or against each other! They were educated by the same teacher, celebrated at the same gatherings and grieved the same losses. It’s a major reason why companies that locate here remain and prosper. People here care about each other and that shines through in the quality of workmanship.”
Bill Gillier, Location Head, Continental Tire Canada, Inc.
On the outskirts of Chatham, where urban blends

Recruitment of employees from Canada and around the world has been helped by Chatham-Kent’s sense of community.
On the outskirts of Chatham, where urban blends into rural, there is a handsome industrial building built in the 1970’s that serves a team of people who have affected the lives of countless motorists around the world. It is an automotive research and development centre of Continental Tire Canada, Inc. (Continental).
At this site, 140 people work on developing and improving automotive components. “Anything to control emissions - and that’s what we still do today - we’re still here because we have a lot of history and knowledge,” says Bill Gillier, Location Head. Researchers at the site work closely with US colleagues in Auburn Hills in Michigan and Deer Park in Illinois.
A chat with Bill Gillier reveals the important environmental, safety and fuel efficiency roles of exhaust gas recirculation valves, and of the solenoids and actuators that control the reburning of evaporative gasoline emissions. After that, it gets technical. “And then, there are other devices,” says Gillier. “Leak detection - if you have a ‘check engine’ light or if the gas cap is loose, that’s likely to be our device telling you that.” Then there are the car door handle sensors and wheel speed sensors. “We do those throughout the world,” he says. “There are so many different components we are involved with.”
The worldwide reach and resources of this research and development centre in Chatham- Kent is explained by its well-connected place in the
parent company. Starting as a rubber manufacturer in Germany in 1871, Continental AG is now a leading global supplier of automotive and other components and services. It employs more than 227,000 people in 56 countries and operates production sites in 35 of them.
A quick tour of the site reveals pristine laboratory conditions and a wide variety of computers, machines and chambers putting prototype auto components through their paces. Busy people in lab coats include mechanical, electrical and software engineers, technicians, machinists and a variety of other related professions. This is a diverse, well-educated and influential group, constantly in touch with colleagues and clients in different time zones around the world. “And you get to do a lot of travelling as well,” says Gillier. “You are dealing with Europeans and Asians, and going to Mexico, and so there is a lot of travel. It is interesting that way and, when you do come back to Chatham-Kent, it is relaxing to come back to your family and a nice, settled environment.”
In fact, Gillier says employees’ quality of life is one important ingredient in Continental’s continued success. Recruitment of employees from Canada and around the world has been helped by Chatham- Kent’s sense of community. “Many people come here because they want to raise their family in this region. It’s a nice environment to be in - more convenient, close to their family - people don’t have to travel an hour or two to get home.
“The cost of living, I feel, is much less. Housing is inexpensive... and we’re fairly competitive on wages. It’s a less stressful environment. Some people go home for lunch. We’re also close to all the lakes and golf courses it’s very good that way in summer.
“I have great roots here. It’s all family... I have always enjoyed it.”
Like other local industry leaders, Gillier agrees that a strong sense of community appeals to global companies. Of local companies, Gillier says, “They’re very supportive in this area. We’re dealing with some people in Wallaceburg right now trying to develop a new component system as well as supplying us with new prototype builds.” Local universities help with research, he adds. “We also recruit. We’re up to seven or eight students every semester to work with our engineers, and that helps to develop our talent pool for the future.
“The municipality has always tried to help us... they’ve always responded very quickly and supplied any information or contacts we need... in fact, they are constantly sending us notes on the latest things coming up for meetings.” The support of Mayor and Council is appreciated as well. “Yes, he has been here before and it’s been good for us. Especially for the employees to see that the municipality is involved with us and interested in the location... it really does help.
“I think there is a lot of good opportunity here and it’s a great environment to live in,” Gillier concludes. “We offer a world-class global business in a small- town environment.”
To find out more, contact:
Economic Development Services Municipality of Chatham-Kent 315 King Street West, Box 640 Chatham, Ontario, Canada N7M 5K8
Telephone: 1.519.351.7700 Toll free: 1.866.542.5994
E-mail: [email protected] Website:

The State of California is governed by Edmund G Brown Jr. California is the sixth largest economy in the world, and the world’s capital to industries including clean energy, biotech, and new cutting edge technology still in the conceptual and research and development phases. California is the third largest state in the US and the geography is incredibly diverse. Everything you could want, from beaches to the mountains to the desert is all right here.
The Governor’s office is dedicated to supporting business attraction, expansion, and job creation in California for years to come. Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Developments (GO-Biz) main areas of concentration include:
California’s IBank (Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank), California Film Commission, California Commission of Travel and Tourism, and the CA Competes Tax Credit.
The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to come to California, or stay and grow in CA. Tax credit agreements are negotiated by GO-Biz and are approved by a statutorily created committee consisting of the State Treasurer, the Director of the Department of Finance, the Director of GO- Biz, and one appointee each by the Speaker of the Assembly and Senate Committee on Rules. The state is establishing policies to create a cleaner environment, which gives incentives to companies for the development and commercialization of
emerging clean technologies in California.
The Governor’s office has set the goal of five million zero emissions vehicles on the road by 2030, and they are working with companies like Tesla to establish zero emission vehicles manufacturing in California. California’s (GO-Biz) has worked with companies building solar panels to wind turbines, recycling and re-using waste and manufacturing goods using advanced technologies and equipment that reduce energy consumption, giving these companies resources and incentives to expand production and create new jobs.
The Governor’s proposal to expand workforce readiness opportunities aligns with the top priorities of businesses, which is to locate near an available and skilled workforce - matching employers skill needs with the training that Californians receive. Businesses in California have access to a highly skilled workforce, thanks to the state’s world-class universities, community colleges, and workforce training providers. The state offers incentives to encourage hiring including the California Competes Tax Credit, the New Employment Credit and the Employment Training Panel.
California is extending its California Competes Tax Credit in the 2018-2019 proposed budget. To date, nearly 900 businesses have been awarded tax credits throughout the state and are projected to create over 80,000 new jobs and invest nearly $16 billion in California. According to the California’s Governor’s
Office of Business and Economic Development the proposal also includes new resources to support entrepreneurs and small businesses in addition to expanding the New Employment Credit for businesses that hire individuals with barriers to employment.
California is a leading destination state for foreign direct investment. The state has one of the largest concentrations of international banks, foreign consulates, and bi-national chambers of commerce in the United States. The GO-Biz California Business Investment Services (CalBis) unit helps enterprises and entrepreneurs seeking locations for new business establishment or expansion. Services include site selection and logistical assistance; demographic, wage, tax and utility cost data; quality of life facts for your workers, their family and your business; networking with local government officials and private businesses.
The California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) invests in economic growth and global competitiveness through industry- specific education, training, and services that contribute to a highly skilled and productive workforce. They promote the states international trade and competitiveness, assist exporters and importers, and advance economic and job growth, help colleges become more globalized, and help California businesses to expand internationally.

Irvine businesses are thriving. Grow with us.
Irvine was master planned to be an economic powerhouse. A strategic location, 21st century university and colleges, business-oriented governance, a high quality of life and rich diversity energizes us and helps us attract
and retain the best talent and the brightest companies in the life sciences, technology, digital arts & media and advanced manufacturing.
We are your gateway to investing and establishing an operation in southern California. Contact us today about our resources, talent, capital and incentives!
36 Executive Park Suite 100, Irvine, CA. 96214949.660.9112
(population over 100,000)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Sometimes the address says it all.

There’s Good Karma in
Moreno Valley,CA
When luxury electric hybrid auto manufacturer Karma Automotive decided to locate a new site for its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, executives knew there was only one choice: the City of Moreno Valley, California. Supported by Moreno Valley’s second-to-none pro-business environment, skilled and motivated workforce, strategic location and affordable lease rates, the US automaker shipped the first units of its $130,000 luxury vehicle, Karma Revero, last year.
“Moreno Valley had the right attitude and was very proactive for our interests here. The City, right up front, was interested in how they could support us from a hiring perspective. They were a partner from day one to the point when we actually started producing cars,” said Dennis Dougherty, President and Chief Operating Officer of Karma Automotive.
4,500 Businesses & Growing
Karma Automotive and other Fortune 500 and international companies are thriving in Moreno Valley. At 4,500 businesses strong, Moreno Valley is home to:
Hottest Market in Southern California
Situated in the fastest-growing region of the United States, Moreno Valley in the Inland Empire is only an hour away from Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties and less than three hours to Nevada, Arizona and Mexico.
At an annual growth rate of 5.04%, Moreno Valley’s population of 210,000 is booming. 2.3+ million people live within a 20-mile trade radius and form a strong workforce of 1.1 million. This solid growth has propelled the City to become the second largest population in Riverside County and the twenty-first largest in California.
Moreno Valley led the region in absorption of more than 8.4 million square feet of new industrial corporate facilities in the past two years.
The newly-approved
World Logistics Center
offers an additional
40.6 million square feet –
the largest industrial corporate business campus in California.

Moreno Valley, CA provides ample shopping opportunities with two regional shopping destinations and 40 shopping plazas. Major tenants include Costco, SuperTarget, Home Depot, Macy’s, Burlington, TJ Maxx/HomeGoods, Ulta, BevMo and more. There, restaurant chains outperform the national average by as much as 25.6%.
Riverside County’s hospital headquarters (Riverside University Health System) is located in Moreno Valley, along with Kaiser Permanente. Both campuses are expanding their facilities to meet strong regional demand.
“We’re growing in Moreno Valley,” says Corey Seale, Chief Operating Officer of Kaiser. “The concierge approach has been really positive. We encourage any other company who is looking for a great city to join us here.”
The housing market is booming, too. Residential construction is adding new housing opportunities with more than 6,300 single and multi-family units under construction.
Moreno Valley offers some of the most affordable corporate lease and land values, as well as the best housing value and cost of living, in all of Southern California. The average home value is in the low $300,000s.
The City’s ideal Southern California location makes it simple to access sophisticated and convenient transportation systems. Moreno Valley’s own March Inland Port Airport, part of the March Reserve Air Force Base, allows for air cargo and private corporate flights, while passengers choose from five international airports within an hour’s drive. The City also offers multiple highway, rail and bus options.
Three colleges – the University of California, Riverside, California Baptist University and Moreno
Valley College – attract more than 40,000 students each year. In total, 44 universities and community colleges educate 225,655 undergraduates within 50 miles of the City.
“One of the great things about the way Moreno Valley addresses the business community is to bring a team to present various offerings which shows what kind of value the City is offering,” says Dr. David Poole, Vice President of Cal Baptist University. “I have not seen a City work so closely in developing those kinds of partnerships.
The City has a strong workforce of more than 88,000. March Air Reserve Base is the City’s largest employer with 9,600 employees. The second largest is Amazon, with 7,500. Many of the largest employers work closely with the City for their hiring needs, including Waste Management. Says District Director Ken Maxey, “Waste Management employs 210 people. Moreno Valley has a readily available workforce that will add to the value of any business.”
In Moreno Valley, time is money. They’ve formed a special concierge service and a quick-response strike team to assist developers and businesses with needs as they happen. And the City’s plan check turnaround times are unparalleled – they consistently beat other agencies in the region.
With its city-owned electric utility company, Moreno Valley offers attractive electric rate discounts that range from 7% to 26.5%. Businesses may receive an additional two percent discount for hiring 20 percent of their workforce from Moreno Valley residents or an additional four percent discount for hiring 40 percent of their workforce from Moreno Valley residents. Additional rebates exist for solar power and energy efficiency upgrades.
The City also developed the “Hire MoVal” program, which offers business license fee waivers and access to small business development resources. Together, the City of Moreno Valley and the County of Riverside run the popular Employment Resource Center, offering businesses free workforce recruitments, employee training, business consulting, workshops and job postings. Under certain criteria, businesses receive incentives for hiring recent graduates, as well.
“We had several areas of consideration to place a Hyundai dealership,” said owner Mike Brown, “and Moreno Valley was most favorable. The City has been amazingly easy to work with. They helped facilitate a Hire MoVal program for our recruitment needs.”
It doesn’t stop there. For businesses operating in imports and exports, Moreno Valley is a designated foreign trade zone. And under the Time and Materials program, businesses may be eligible for cost savings on post-entitlement Planning, Building & Safety, Land Development and Fire Prevention plan check, permit and inspection fees.
Accelerating Opportunities
Moreno Valley’s ideal location, business friendly atmosphere and motivated workforce are why Karma Automotive and so many Fortune 500 companies have made it their home. For more information on what Moreno Valley can do for you, visit
t: 951-413-3460
e: [email protected]

Georgia is located in the southern corridor of the United States. The terrain is made up of coastal beaches, mountains and farmland. Atlanta is the capital, and it is known as the Peach State. The Governor is Nathan Deal. Georgia is one of the nation’s top states for business.
Businesses headquartered in GA include 17 Fortune 500 headquarters and 33 Fortune 1000 companies. Georgia is diverse in business ownership with 40% of minority firms - which exceeds the national average, and GA ranks #5 in the US for number of women-owned firms. The state ranks #10 in growth entrepreneurship according to Kauffman Foundation 2015, and scores an A rating for top 5 small business friendliness (Thumbtack, 2016). Georgia’s ranked as the number 2 state for infrastructure and global access (Area Development magazine 2015) due to its superior land, sea and air transportation that sustains business growth in an increasingly global economy. Georgia is an international epicenter for air travel as it is home to the worlds most frequently traveled airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Access to 80% of the US market within a 2-hour flight, and direct flights to 70 international destinations in 50 countries make this a very busy airport indeed.
The Georgia Port Authority (GPA) facilitates global trade through deepwater ports in Savannah and Brunswick with inlaid operations in Bainbridge and Columbus. The port of Savannah is the most efficient seaport operation in North America due to its large
single-terminal design. It’s the fourth busiest and fastest growing US container port and it moves 20% of the east coast’s overseas containers. The Brunswick Port is the busiest seaport for automobile imports, and 6th largest for automobile processing in the world. It’s the 2nd largest grain facility on the east coast, and handles cargo for 21 domestic and foreign auto manufacturers.
Georgia has the most extensive rail system in the Southeast US with two Class I railroads, CSX, and Norfolk Southern with 4,680 miles of track. It has superior rail accessibility for intermodal, bulk, automotive and every type of shipment.
Georgia has an extensive interstate highway system facilitating the efficient movement of more than $620 billion of cargo by truck each year with 6 interstates connecting 80% of the US population within a 2-day truck drive.
Year after year Georgia ranks as one of the top states for doing business and the state has one of the top pro-business environments nationally. State statutes, economic development practices, business support, fiscal conservatism, community leadership, and a progressive business community create the right blend of competitive advantages for businesses. Among Georgia’s strategic assets is it’s low state taxes, high bond ratings, a balanced budget, top-ranked workforce development, and its best-in- class business development support through the Georgia dept. of Economic Development (GDEcD). Lifestyle and standard of living are two reasons why Georgia continues to attract Fortune 500
companies and the skilled, educated workforce those businesses need to succeed. The states diverse population, the blend of city and country atmosphere, and the widely varying topography all contribute to a better than average lifestyle and an array of experiences that other states can’t match. Georgia’s key industries include advanced manufacturing, aerospace, agribusiness, arts, automotive, contact centers, data centers, defense, digital entertainment, energy and environment, film and television, fintech, food processing, headquarters, information technology, life sciences, logistics and transportation, and tourism. Businesses choose to relocate to Georgia for its 6% corporate income tax rate which only applies to the portion of income that is earned in GA. Plus GA doesn’t use the “Throw Back Rule” which is a measure that states can adopt to ensure corporations pay state taxes on 100% of their profits. Georgia is the top job market in the US for attracting young, well- educated workers, and the home of the nation’s top workforce training program. Businesses wishing to relocate in Georgia have a wide range of grants and loans available via specialized public programs that foster business development. Georgia’s unique culture of private-public partnerships helps to accelerate industry growth and guarantee the strength of Georgia’s economy. The Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) sites program is one reason Georgia ranks among the five states nationwide for site selection.

• Come Grow Globally • LIBERTY COUNTY, GEORGIA
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• $3,500 Opportunity Zone credits
• Subzone of Savannah FTZ 104
• 1,400 acre park less than 1 mile from Interstate 95
• 30 minutes to Port of Savannah
• 200,000+ workforce includes Fort Stewart labor pool

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Indiana has methodically created a business environment where conditions are set for success. Whether it’s minimizing operating expenses or delivering the workforce training and infrastructure businesses need to grow, Indiana is one of the most business-friendly states in America.
On February 1, 2012 Indiana became the 23rd state in the nation and the first state in the industrial Midwest to pass right-to-work legislation. This new status creates an even more attractive environment for businesses and entrepreneurs alike to move their operations to the Hoosier State. There is strong evidence that the economy is indeed growing, with companies small and large expanding operations and hiring new workers. With the support of the legislative and executive branches of government, businesses can be encouraged by Indiana’s move to join other right-to-work states to better compete for and win America’s business.
Indiana is a proven leader in advanced manufacturing. From motor vehicle production to innovative electronics, leading manufacturing firms from across the country and around the world have chosen Indiana for their plants and corporate offices. Indiana’s key advanced manufacturing industries are: motor vehicles, parts and transportation equipment, metals, machinery, plastics and rubber, chemicals, food products, furniture and computers and electronics.
Indiana combines traditional production with progressive technology to create an attractive environment for manufacturers. The state’s central location, the nations’s second-lowest workers compensation rates, one of the lowest electricity rates in the United States, and excellent transportation network – combined with a skilled and dedicated workforce – solidifies Indiana’s position as a worldwide manufacturing leader.
Indiana’s defense and national security industries are not only helping to keep America safe in the 21st century, they’re also strengthening our national economy with ground-breaking new technologies that are providing the jobs of tomorrow. By identifying areas where the public, private, military and civilian sectors have a common business interest, Indiana is able to maximize opportunities for everyone at the table.
Indiana’s academic and industrial partners have created an environment that encourages and sustains growth in the clean technology sector; Indiana’s clean energy jobs grew by nearly 18 percent between 1998 and 2007, ranking the state first in the industrial Midwest in overall job growth in the clean energy industry.
As a national hub of renewable energy, Indiana companies include all sectors of the clean technology sector, including wind, solar, nuclear, smart grid, geothermal, and lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle supply chains.
Indiana is a global logistics leader and offers companies a strong competitive advantage when it comes to reaching North American and world markets. Known as the “Crossroads of America,” Indiana ranks in the top 10 in 46 significant logistics- related categories across the U.S. Indiana is a national leader in pass-through interstates, home to the 2nd largest FedEx air hub worldwide, and 3rd in total freight railroads. With three maritime ports that together rank 7th in waterborne shipping, Indiana provides the only statewide port system with direct waterway access to two U.S. coasts. These assets support any logistics-related enterprise and encourage companies to expand or locate their operations here in Indiana.
Indiana has a very competitive business tax structure, including a flat state corporate tax rate on adjusted gross income and no gross receipts tax or inventory tax. Indiana’s corporate income tax is decreasing from the current 6.5% to 4.9% by 2021. The tax rate will drop each year as the decrease is phased-in.
Indiana also offers many business tax incentives, corporate tax credits and economic development programs for companies creating jobs and raising income in Indiana, including tax credits based on job creation and capital investment, workforce training grants, and public infrastructure assistance.

Indiana is a state that works because it’s about more than just good business sense. It’s about building something that will last. It’s about the freedom to set our own terms. It’s about the place we call home. We draw our strength from vibrant cities and towns, beautiful state parks and trails, a bold history of sport and culture, and some of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet who are delivering craft, passion and brilliance to Indiana. Together we’re building something amazing that we can pass on to the next generation of Hoosiers. We’re managing our resources, paying our bills and investing in our future. Most importantly, we remember how we got here, what we want, and why we plan on staying in a state that works.
At a time when other states are raising taxes to keep up with mounting state debt, Indiana’s long history of smart fiscal choices, balanced state budgets and cash reserves in a rainy day fund puts the Hoosier State in a position to actually lower taxes. Indiana’s corporate income tax rate is steadily decreasing each year, from the current 6.5% to 4.9% by 2021.
Economic development bonds:
Cities and counties provide tax-exempt financing for businesses through economic development commissions. Interest rates and terms are negotiated at the local level. Bonds are issued through loan, lease or sale agreements. The bonds can finance facilities for manufacturing and certain other projects.
Infrastructure financing:
The state-funded Industrial Development Grant fund supplements the funding of local units of government to pay for offsite infrastructure projects in support of new business development. The grant award is based on new job created and is not to exceed 50 percent of any project.
Customized training:
Businesses can apply for reimbursement grants to subsidize the cost of training and retraining employees through the state’s Skills Enhancement Fund grants program. This program covers up to half of eligible training costs, which include instructor wages, tuition, training materials, and travel costs associated with attending.

Getting It Done!
We’ve all seen the iconic image, used in nearly every “personality test” or “leadership style assessment” on earth. It’s the age old drawing, which depending on your perspective, is either that of an old woman looking sadly down to her left; or the same image, can be that of an elegant, youthful woman looking wistfully up to the sky off her right shoulder.
Economic development as a process, in an era of low unemployment rates and high occupancy rates; a generally sound economy, is a bit like that image. Success or failure can be in the eye of the beholder and its definitions are often a matter of perspective. It is a great image to consider as we evaluate the economic vitality of a Community or Region. The same picture communicates different messages and it all depends on your perspective.
The Community Leadership in Huntington County,
Indiana, is able to see both images. They appreciate the good, while embracing the challenges as opportunities, not obstacles. That’s why we continue to be bullish on the County’s industrial base and economic development efforts.
It’s also why we believe the best definition of “economic development” is the one promoted by the International Economic Development Council. They believe economic development is ...”a systematic effort to preserve and enhance the economic vitality of a defined community...the idea being to help promote job opportunities and capital investments which result in a better quality of life...”
Not that long ago, unemployment was high, as was the industrial vacancy rate in Huntington County. The industrial base is now restored. It’s amazing what a small County, 35,000 people, can accomplish
when working together to make their lives better!
Last year, the City of Huntington was awarded not one, but two grants from the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative; one to be used to develop multi- use recreational trails and the other to transform a portion of downtown Huntington into market-rate loft apartment living complimented by creative arts and culinary studios and a center for entrepreneurial development. The nearly $12 million investment in those projects will significantly transform the quality of life in downtown Huntington.
The City’s Parks Department built a new “pump track” for bike enthusiasts and made major improvements to the City’s Veterans Memorial Park with the opening of a new Vietnam Veterans Monument, while the Street Department approved the repaving of over eight miles of streets in the

Community. Huntington Municipal Airport (KHHG) recently completed a multi-million expansion of its apron while adding 2 new corporate hangers, supporting both an avionics service facility and engine service facility. Charter passenger flights are also conveniently and affordably offered via KHHG.
Huntington County, with the help of the Indiana Department of Transportation, recently cut the ribbon on a new $30 million road corridor providing the final connector linking the U.S. Hoosier Heartland Corridor of U.S. 24 (Lafayette, Indiana to Fort Wayne, Indiana) to the Fort to Port Corridor of U.S. 24 (Fort Wayne, Indiana to Toledo, Ohio).The Community boasts a new $1.4 million vocational learning center to help improve the skills of the local workforce and encourage youth to pursue careers in industry. In fact, the local high school robotics team routinely is ranked in the top ten nationally.Huntington County is a very impressive small market to consider. They have benefitted from significant FDI projects.
• Brazil – Gerdau Steel
• Canada – Onward Manufacturing Company • France – Schneider Corporation
• Germany – Knorr-Bremse/Bendix Commercial
Vehicle Systems
• Japan – Marubeni/Helena Chemical
• Japan – Teijin/Continental Structural Plastics
That’s a very impressive line-up of investments, regardless of the size of the Community. In fact, over the last ten years, the Huntington County Economic Development Corporation has facilitated 109 industrial projects to prove the market’s ability to attract investment and talent.
Is Huntington County simply another small market, or an exciting opportunity? Or both? Well, it depends on your perspective. Whether we’re considering award-winning wine from the TwoEE’s Winery of Huntington County ( or craft sodas from Antiqology (www.facebook. com/Antiqology) or surgical instruments from Incipio Devices ( or other world class products made by in Huntington
County, it genuinely seems to be a Community where, regardless of the challenge, the residents and their governmental leaders work together to get the job done.
Getting It Done!
for further information, please contact:
Mark Wickersham
Executive Director
Huntington County Economic Development 8 West Market St. Huntington IN46750
t: (260) 356 5688 e: [email protected]

Northwest Indiana-Chicago, Illinois Gateway – Interstate 94
A resilient
economy makes
Indiana prime
for investment.
By Joseph S. Pete
Northwest Indiana, a low-cost, business-friendly corner of greater Chicagoland, has proven its resiliency time and again.
With the advantages of a central location that’s within a one-day drive of 80 percent of the U.S. population, a skilled workforce and a wealth of infrastructure, Northwest Indiana has adapted over and over to changing marketplace demands.
After a Pullman Standard factory that once produced 15,000 railroad freight cars a year in downtown Michigan City closed, the property was later turned into a thriving outlet mall. The former Blaw-Knox factory in East Chicago stopped cranking out tanks but recently lured Hoist Liftruck, a global forklift maker that planned to invest $40 million and employ 500 after relocating from Chicago’s western suburbs to take advantage of Indiana’s lower taxes and cost of doing business. After the Woodmar Mall shuttered in Hammond, the city stepped in to build a $17 million Sportsplex and Community Center meant to be a major tourist destination. When the Fieldhouse youth basketball gym in Merrillville shut down, the South Korea-based pharmaceutical company UKDO-i invested $6 million and hired 50 people there.
As the world changes, Northwest Indiana evolves.
That’s how the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, Indiana helped bring 25 projects between 2015 and 2017 that resulted in $54 million in investment, 350 new jobs and the retention of 750 jobs. That’s how the Northwest Indiana Forum, which represents the wider seven-county region, lured 17 companies in 2017 that pledged to create 1,493 jobs and $661 million in investment.
“Northwest Indiana is home to numerous international companies that are diverse in nature and contribute to our vibrant economy,” Economic Development Corporation Michigan City Executive Director Clarence Hulse said. “Michigan City has attracted large international investments in the past few years and we welcome their continued confidence in our community’s economic future. Our strategic location in Northwest Indiana with proximity to Chicago and the State of Michigan gives us great access to consumer markets.”

Northwest Indiana has proven to be a magnet for foreign direct investment from companies like Luxembourg-based steelmaker ArcelorMittal, London-based energy giant BP, Austria-based solar panel maker Fronius, Paris-based customer experience management provider Teleperformance, Australia-based paper products maker Pratt Industries, and Russia-based steel supplier NLMK. It’s also received significant infusions of capital from MonoSol, the Tide Pod film-maker that’s headquartered in Merrillville but owned by a parent company that’s based in Japan, and Sullair, the Michigan City-based air compressor manufacturer that’s owned by the Japanese conglomerate Hitachi and distributes its products all over the world.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. estimates the Hoosier state received $5.1 billion in foreign direct investment between 2009 and 2011, creating 11,800 new jobs.
The U.S. International Trade Commission determined that foreign-owned countries employ about 170,800 workers in Indiana, with the largest employers being based in Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany. Roughly 6.6 percent of the state’s workers are employed by foreign companies. And foreign direct investment continues to flow into the Hoosier state. Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business’s Stats Indiana data project reported Indiana had 127 FDI announcements valued at $4.6 billion between 2012 and 2014. The projects were expected to create nearly 13,300 new jobs.
“All of these companies come with different needs, whether Fronius or Hitachi or MonoSol,” Northwest Indiana Forum President and Chief Executive Officer Heather Ennis said. “They need different things and different locations for their different types of investment, but we’re diversified here in the Region.”
Arcelor Mittal, Burns Harbor IN
One of the most heavily industrialized places on earth, Northwest Indiana started to develop around the turn of the century when hulking integrated steel mills were built around the southern shore of Lake Michigan.
While the five major steel mills in the Region no longer employ 30,000 workers each, Northwest Indiana remains a hub of steelmaking with half the nation’s blast furnace capacity. Due largely to the enormous mills in Lake and Porter counties, Indiana has led the nation in steel production since 1982 and accounts for about 26 percent of America’s steel output, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Northwest Indiana also is home to the BP Whiting Refinery, the largest refinery in the Midwest and a major source of gasoline for seven states that single- handedly produces 5 percent of the country’s asphalt.
Though Northwest Indiana remains a major hub of manufacturing, its economy is now more diversified. The Trade, Transportation and Utilities and Education and Health Services sectors have long since supplanted the Manufacturing sector as the biggest employer in Northwest Indiana, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Woodruff Business Park, Michigan City, IN
Northwest Indiana boasts world-class assets and infrastructure
Northwest Indiana has a highly diversified economy.
The Region is home to massive steel companies like U.S. Steel, and auto parts suppliers like UGN in Valparaiso and Lear Corp. in Hammond, which makes seats for the top-selling Ford Explorer Sport Utility Vehicle. It also has a vibrant tourism industry with major attractions such as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Fair Oaks Farms, Pierogi Fest, Albanese Confectionery, the Shrine of Christ’s Passion, and casinos along the lakefront in Hammond, East Chicago, Gary and Michigan City.
Michigan City’s popular lakefront Washington Park is home to a zoo and the Old Lighthouse Museum. Nearly 4 million people visit the scenic windswept beaches at the Indiana Dunes State and National Parks, according to the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.
Healthcare also is booming in Northwest Indiana. Franciscan Health for instance is building a new $242 million hospital at the intersection of Interstate 94 and U.S. 421 in Michigan City with a 130-bed inpatient hospital, state-of-the-art emergency room, and cardiac catheter, MRI and imaging departments. It’s slated to open in January 2019. Franciscan Health Crown Point and Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary became the first hospitals in Northwest Indiana designated as trauma centers by the American College of Surgeons, enabling them to treat emergency trauma victims 24/7.

Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus recently wrapped up a $12.1 million renovation of its emergency room and intensive care unit to add private patient rooms and updated monitoring systems.
Community Hospital in Munster made a $20 million investment in its surgical department, increasing the capacity of the neonatal unit, as well as for stroke and heart care. And Northwest Oncology, one of the largest independent oncology practices in the Region, recently broke ground on a new $10 million, 30,000-square-foot cancer center in Dyer.
“We continue to have great investment and significance investments,” Ennis said. “We have significant assets that other regions can’t compete with. We need to tell the great story of Northwest Indiana.”
Northwest Indiana boasts a population of more than 845,000 residents and borders Chicago, the third-largest city in the country with a gross metropolitan product of more than $563 billion, making it the 20th largest economy in the world, bigger than Argentina, Sweden and Poland.
Northwest Indiana possesses a skilled workforce of more than 412,600 residents, nearly 30 percent of whom have bachelor’s degrees, according to the Northwest Indiana Forum. The Region’s workers also have a great deal of experience in manufacturing everything from soap to automated welding machines.
“Our workforce is one of the hardest-working in the world,” Ennis said. “We have proximity to the city of Chicago and are at the crossroads of America, with distribution points to which the end products are going. The cost of doing business is low. The work ethic is strong. Those are key drivers. All those assets and being located in the third largest economy in the nation make us a great place to do business.”
The Region also has robust infrastructure that includes Three Class 1 railroads, more than 700 miles of active rail, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor that traffics with international markets through the St. Lawrence Seaway connecting the
Grand Prix Race – Lake Michigan
Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean and the barges that run up and down the Mississippi River, the Porter County Regional Airport and the Gary/Chicago International Airport. Home to Boeing’s corporate fleet and many private jets, the Gary airport just underwent a $174.1 million runway expansion that lengthened the main runway to 8,900 feet so it can handle bigger planes. Long Beach, California-based Metro Ports just took over as the bulk materials stevedore at the port, which is expected to boost cargo at a time when it’s already at record highs.
“Northwest Indiana’s proximity to Chicago, one of largest economies in world with all its amenities, gives us the location factor plus Indiana’s positive business climate and lower cost of doing business continues to attract companies to our area,” Lake County Economic Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Lauerman said. “Access to workforce and infrastructure—road, rail, port, air, fiber and utilities—are the other top draws.”
Some of the country’s most traveled interstate pass through Northwest Indiana, including Interstate 65, Interstate 94 and Interstate 80/90. The massive highways, coupled with Northwest Indiana’s central location in the Midwest, helped make the Region a hub for warehouses and distribution centers, including Carl Buddig, Dawn Foods, and Land O’Lakes.
Northwest Indiana is planning for the future
Washington Park Pier, Michigan City, IN

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, IN
A commuter rail line has run from the Region to Chicago for more than a century, and projects currently in the planning stage aim to expand the service. The South Shore Line is looking to double the tracks between Gary and Michigan City to speed up trips into Chicago, and add a southern branch that would reach faster-growing areas in southern Lake County, eventually extending all the way to Valparaiso. The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District aspires to invest $1.2 billion over five years to make train service into the city faster and more convenient.
Northwest Indiana is making investments in itself and continues to adapt, such as to population shifts south and east. “We’re growing in resilience,” Ennis said. “We’re diversifying more. We realize the marketplace is evolving faster and faster. Necessity is the mother of invention. We’re still in an area where we continue to attract investment and need to be thinking more outside the box, about how to be more resilient.” The Portage-based Northwest Indiana Forum, a private organization funded by area companies, recently launched the “Welcome to the middle of everywhere” marketing campaign to promote Northwest Indiana and its amenities.
The economic development agency also raised more than $200,000 in donations to hire Seattle- and Austin, Texas-based consultant TIP Strategies to devise a sweeping five-year economic plan. The group is gathering information from local governments, big businesses, residents, planners and various economic development agencies to figure out what’s next for Northwest Indiana.
Northwest Indiana will garner guidance about what industries and sectors it should pursue, such as if it should recruit more food-processing businesses given its key logistic location between the highly productive agriculture in downstate Indiana and the international markets that are accessible through the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, Ennis said.
The deepwater port on Lake Michigan posted 8 percent growth in cargoes in 2017, posting the highest four-year stretch in its history and brought in its single most valuable piece of cargo, the Icarus liquid argon particle hunter that journeyed from Switzerland to the Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois.
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor is now investing $20 million in an expansion that will include two rail yards, a new shipping berth, a 1,200-foot dock expansion, a truck marshaling yard and a new bulk cargo terminal to handle transfers between ships, barges, rail cars and trucks.
“We have so many assets in such close proximity to Chicago,” Ennis said. “But our last few administrations have been working on the cost of doing business, tax structure and those types of issues. We’re nationally ranked in a lot of publications as a great place to do business because of our general cost of doing business, rail, fiber and other assets.”
Indiana has earned a number of national accolades, including that the Pacific Research Institute deemed its regulatory structure least burdensome in 2015. CNBC ranked Indiana infrastructure second in the nation in its America’s Top States for Business 2017, and also said the Hoosier state has the second lowest cost of doing business nationally. Workers’ compensation claims can be a significant business cost, particularly in manufacturing and logistics. Indiana placed second in the workers’ comp premium rate rank, according to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

Chicago skyline viewed from Michigan City IN
In addition to low business costs and reasonably priced utilities, Indiana is known as a haven for low taxes. State lawmakers recently slashed the corporate tax rate, which will fall to 4.9 percent by 2021. The Washington D.C.-based nonpartisan think tank The Tax Foundation found Indiana had the fourth lowest property tax rate in the country, and the Hoosier state ranked eighth in business tax climate. Such high marks for business-friendliness have piqued the interest of companies from neighboring Midwest states and around the world.
The Lake County Economic Alliance for instance was pursuing nearly 80 different economic development projects at the start of 2018, about 18 or 19 more than the previous year, and that included a massive e-commerce distribution center of up to 3 million square feet that could employ as many as 3,000 workers once fully built out. The top 20 projects alone would bring in $700 million in investment and 3,500 to 5,000 jobs.
“In recent months, LCEA has fielded a marked increase in the number of inquiries for Lake County locations for manufacturing, e-commerce, warehouse/ distribution, healthcare and food-related operations,” Lauerman said. “While each industry sector has its own nuances, the top 10 decision-making categories are typically the same for every company.”
Northwest Indiana has shown resilience
A push has been underway to enhance Northwest Indiana’s quality of life, especially by beautifying the Lake Michigan shoreline and adding more lakefront attractions, including restaurants with sweeping views of the big bright Great Lake that gets compared to an ocean.
Michigan City built the North Pointe Pavilion where the new Fire & Water restaurant offers sweeping rooftop views of the lake. The city is planning $5 million in improvements to the lakefront Washington Park and has approved a new cruise ship that would take people out on sightseeing trips and sunset dinner cruises.
Gary revamped its scenic Marquette Park where many wedding receptions are held, and the beachfront Miller Community came together and raised funds to install a replica of early flight pioneer Octave Chanute’s glider at the Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium, not far from when it first took flight, helping inspire the Wright Brothers. East Chicago has installed new state of the art piers in its marina, a permanent stage on the beach, and a new harbor walk with benches and public sculptures, and it’s looking to offer jet ski and paddle boat rentals. Whiting invested tens of millions into revamping its Lakefront Park and added the Whoa Zone inflatable water park that’s drawn visitors from as far away as Germany. Now it’s looking at expanding the attraction in only its second year and adding 2,000-foot-long zip lines that would let thrill-seekers soar over Lake Michigan.
The city’s also been working to bring a fine-dining restaurant and hotel to the lakefront.

With mile after mile of sun-soaked beaches and the quality of life that comes with being just outside one of the country’s largest and most culturally dynamic cities, it’s little wonder that foreign companies continue to invest in Northwest Indiana.
Austria-based Fronius chose the AmeriPlex at the Port business park in Portage for the site of its 400,000-square-foot U.S. headquarters, where it makes solar panel inverters and welding equipment for clients like the electric car maker Tesla. It’s the same business park where Japan-based Kuraray Group opened a new $95 million, 300,000-square-foot DuneLand plant for its subsidiary MonoSol to make water-dissolvable film for blockbuster products like the Tide Pod and Cascade Pod.
Australia-based Pratt Industries has pumped nearly half a billion dollars into operations in Valparaiso, where it employs 500 and is one of the city’s largest private employers. Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt described Indiana as “the greatest manufacturing state in the United States of America” when he opened a new recycled paper mill to make corrugated boxes for corporate giants like Amazon, 3M, Nestle, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.
Foreign investment has flooded into Northwest Indiana in recent years, with the multinational steelmaker ArcelorMittal snapping up three of the big mills along the lakeshore during the 2000s. The Luxembourg-based titan, the largest steelmaker in the world by volume, has been investing $200 million over the last few years into updating its Indiana Harbor mill, where it for instance installed a new caster in the No. 3 steel shop to produce a full range of advanced high- strength steels automakers have been using to make cars lighter and more fuel-efficient.
A resilient market, Northwest Indiana weathered the storm of the Great Recession because London-based BP spent $4.2 billion to upgrade its BP Whiting Refinery in what’s still the largest private sector investment in state history. The multi-year project, which wrapped up in 2013, employed as many as 14,000 skilled tradesmen, prompting Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce President Dave Ryan to proclaim that it “saved the Region.”
BP was adapting the Northwest Indiana facility, the largest in its global profile, to changes in the oil business. The former Standard Oil Refinery, which dated back to the 19th century, had mainly refined Texas sweet crude but was converted for heavier crudes piped in from the oil sands region of Canada and the Dakotas. Northwest Indiana is like that, always adapting to what the market needs. “Maintaining a resilient economy with a diversified and competitive business environment is critical and Northwest Indiana, Lake County in particular, weathered the previous economic downturn due to a number of major expansion projects in key industry sectors,” Lauerman said. “Economic development professionals in Northwest Indiana work to avoid and prevent significant disruptions by engaging in a variety of business retention programs, fostering strong relationships with local employers, and keeping open lines of communication with community leaders. When we can foresee, adapt to and leverage change to an advantage, we are better positioned grow existing and attract new businesses, retain and add jobs and continue to thrive on the local and regional level.”
For further information, please contact:
Clarence L. Hulse
Executive Director
Economic Development Corporation - Michigan City
Two Cadence Park Plaza, Michigan City, IN 46360 Phone: 219.873.1211 Fax: 219.873.1595 Email: [email protected]

Missouri is home to 10 Fortune 500 companies and just as many of America’s Largest Private Companies as designated by Forbes. Missouri has maintained a solid business environment over a period of time and this has helped companies new to the state plan for growth even before they get arrive. These three key strengths are putting the state on the short list of today’s companies: labor, logistics, and long-term business benefits.
The high quality of Missouri’s infrastructure gives
it’s businesses an edge over the competition, insuring efficient accessibility to major markets for all their distribution and telecommunication needs. No state is more perfectly centered than Missouri. Not only is the country’s population center located in Missouri, the state is also within 600 miles of 52% of all U.S. manufacturing plants.
With more than 3 million educated workers, Missouri has a greater talent pool than 20 other states, including most of its neighbors. And it’s not
just a quantitative thing. Missouri’s workers have a higher level of educational attainment than the national norm, many having studied at one or more of the state’s nearly 140 post-secondary degree- granting institutions. Educational partnerships and customizable training programs bolster what is already a key asset for growing businesses. Others attribute their prosperity to the state’s low business energy costs, low corporate income taxes and skilled workforce.

America’s other ‘Bay Area’ poised to direct the knowledge economy.
Instead of betting on specifics, Tampa Bay is positioned well to upgrade economics itself.
With hundreds of billions in cash the technology sector has the ability to vastly improve society and in 2014 the U.S. supreme court cleared the way for corporations “to provide protection for human beings.” While the pieces are in place for a renaissance in human understanding, innovation, and achievement the technology sector’s luminaries are woefully misinformed by antiquated economic policy.
A new economic center
The field of economics is in need of disruptive and innovative new ideas. Ideas nurtured in an environment better suited for the knowledge economy than the last century’s industrial centers. Since the 1950s millions of people have relocated to Florida because of the warm climate and quality of life. Floridians understand there is more to life than the grueling toil found in the Northeast and Midwest.
Tampa Bay’s unique mix of outside investors like V. M. Ybor, Henry Plant, and Jeff Vinik have illustrated the power of private investment. From the resulting historic mutual aide societies and cigar factory lectores to the disruptive innovation of Wikipedia founded in Saint Petersburg and the burgeoning ecosystem of social enterprise, this is a place that deeply values community. That understands that without community there is no economy. As a community Tampa Bay can come together using these combined experiences to deeply understand and subsequently direct the twenty-first century economy.
Vinny Tafuro is a visionary thinker, writer, entrepreneur, communications theorist, and economist. Author of two books, Corporate Empathy and Unlocking the Labor Cage, he is a pioneering advocate for the twenty-first century economy that is disrupting society’s most rigid institutions and beliefs.
His economic theories explore the societal and economic shifts being catalyzed by corporations as a result of technology, corporate personhood, and evolving human cognition.
Communities everywhere are trying to pinpoint where to invest time and resources to best prepare for the quickly changing global economy. Instead of betting on specifics, TampaBayispositionedwellto
upgrade economics itself.
The economy is an operating system that evolves over time with civilization. Over the past three centuries only a few places and people have deeply understood and subsequently provided broad direction of it. The first was Scottish philosopher Adam Smith whose 1776 book The Wealth of Nations created a modern discipline to study economics. In the early 20th century economic philosophy shifted south to Cambridge where Keynesian economics promoting government stimulus developed in the midst of two World Wars and the Great Depression. Finally, in the 1960s Milton Friedman planted the economic flag in the United Sates, ushering in our current age of neoliberalism dominated by the Chicago School of Economics.
The U.S. manufacturing machine born in Detroit, the financial wizardry of Wall Street, and the seismic technological disruption of Silicon Valley have been directed by Frankenstein-like economic policy. The chaotic mix of Keynesian stimulus and Friedman’s deregulation have created a crony capitalistic monster, incapable of long-term and complex holistic planning.
While other communities are chasing Silicon Valley, blaming Wall Street, or reinventing Detroit there is no region better situated than Tampa Bay to update the industrial age economics that direct how the first three operate. Some fundamental flaws in industrial era economics are the inability of GDP to measure a majority of economic value, the limited economic paradigm of people existing as labor in competition with automation, and an exclusive focus on public sector policy recommendations.
From chaos, comes opportunity
Today’s economic institutions and think tanks, regardless of political ideology, focus entirely on writing policy recommendations for the public sector, namely Washington D.C., to influence the private sector. Liberal groups recommend increased government regulation and conservative groups recommend deregulation. This focus has divided the nation while simultaneously providing shelter to the economic community. Economists are able to blame politicians and the electorate for a miserable economy without acknowledging their willful contribution.
Today’s global economy requires global economic policy that respects the environment and national sovereignty while promoting human agency and freedom. Economic policy focused on a single nation cannot address global challenges.
The lost luminaries
The luminaries of the technology sector are in need of guidance. Former Facebook president Sean Parker recently stated he has become “a conscientious objector” to social media while Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg believes “we should explore ideas like universal basic income.” Tech sector founders Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin have all acknowledged that automation is eliminating jobs and not one has a realistic recommendation for a way forward.
The only sizable movement coordinated by the world’s richest individuals to improve society has been the recent adoption of the The Giving Pledge to guide philanthropy based on the 1889 urging of Andrew Carnegie in The Gospel of Wealth.
While impressive, the movement cannot scale and is unsustainable due to long-term funding availability. TampaBayobservedfirsthandthechallengesfaced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant for improving education in Hillsborough County.

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Located roughly halfway between Boston and Atlanta, London and Los Angeles, Maryland’s Mid- Atlantic location off ers proximity and access to key U.S. and international decision makers, partners and agencies in the technology, biosciences, fi nance and manufacturing industries. Proximity to Washington, D.C. provides easy access to over 400 agencies - federal, academic and private research sectors and 50 federal agencies such as the National Security Agency, the National Institutes of Health and NASA. More than 600 foreign-based businesses have a presence in Maryland. In 2012, foreign-controlled companies employed 106,100 Maryland workers, or 5.1 percent of the state’s total private sector employment. The Netherlands, U.K., France, Canada and Japan are major sources of foreign investment in Maryland. Some of the largest international companies located in Maryland include Astra Zeneca, BAE Systems, Lonza, Nestle, Shimadzu, Sodexo, QIAGEN and Volvo.
Maryland’s coastal Mid-Atlantic location and transportation infrastructure provide an important port of entry into the U.S. market. International companies appreciate the benefi ts of Maryland’s access to federal research facilities, a technologically innovative workforce and more than 175 foreign embassies, residences, chanceries and diplomatic missions in Washington, D.C. The Maryland International Incubator is a fi rst-of-its-kind facility dedicated to attracting and growing foreign-owned companies to the state. A joint venture between the Maryland Department of Commerce and the University of Maryland College Park, the incubator provides research and development, business development support services and competitively priced space to foreign-owned companies looking to establish a U.S. presence.
Maryland changed from an agricultural economy to an industrial one during the fi rst half of the 20th century. Products manufactured in the state
include electrical equipment, electrical devices, and processed food. However, farms can still be found in Maryland. You can fi nd many chicken and dairy farms in the state. Maryland is also an important producer of clams, soft-shell crabs, and oysters and is a leader in manufacturing, computers, communication and other high-tech equipment.
Not surprisingly, printing for the federal government and all those other service industries is big business. Food processing, from soft drinks and spices to seafood, is also important in Maryland. More than 37 percent of Maryland’s population over 25 years old have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The strongest parts of the state’s economy include the following fi ve industries:
• Manufacturing
• Aerospace & Defense • Fishing Industry
• Life Sciences
• Cyber Security

FUNDING HELP Our team connects you with the right funding options for your business or idea. We offer loan, finance, and tax credit programs, as well as workforce technical training grants, tourism-related grants, and cost-saving energy programs.
RESOURCES AND SUPPORT Harford County provides the resources and support for businesses to succeed, including fast-track permitting, site selection assistance, industry data and research, fiber optic broadband access, and support through milestone celebrations.
WORKFORCEDEVELOPMENTANDMENTORING Fromworkforcedevelopment partnerships to expert business advice, Harford County makes connections and tailors programming to your individual needs.
GROWTH AND NETWORKING We have the tools to help businesses grow. Our ties to Aberdeen Proving Ground, with a 100-year history of innovation, can help get an audience for your ideas. From collaborative workspaces to business incubator spaces, we offer the environment to foster innovation.
Harford County Executive
Director, Community & Economic Development
2021D Pulaski Highway | Havre de Grace, MD 21078 | 410-638-3059

Maryland’s Technology Transfer Center Moves Concept to Commercialization.
What does superglue have in common with jeeps and digital computers? All of these blockbuster products were developed or tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Harford County, Maryland before making their way to commercial markets. To advance commercialization of technologies first developed for the military, the Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization Center, otherwise known as DefTech, is now open for business in Harford County. Developed through a partnership between the Maryland Department of Commerce, Harford and Cecil counties and APG, DefTech is located in Havre de Grace, less than two miles from the APG gate.
“This center gives a real opportunity to apply the research and development that’s been done at Aberdeen Proving Ground,” Len Parrish, director
of the Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development, said. “We have the chance to take that R&D and bring it outside the gate and into the region’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
If a soldier uses a technology to shoot, to move, to communicate, or for intelligence, chances are that it was either developed, tested, or fielded at Aberdeen Proving Ground. With a 100+ year history of military innovation, APG is already a major economic engine in the region, as Maryland’s sixth largest employer and the largest employer in Harford County. In 2017, APG had a $6.5 billion economic impact and awarded more than $12 billion in contracts; $1.3 billion of those contracts were awarded to Harford County businesses. With technology being innovated every
day at APG, there is clearly an opportunity to further economic growth by networking scientists and entrepreneurs with commercial opportunities. In fact, more than 24,000 military, contractors, and civilian personnel at APG contribute to patent development for technology that, with the right connections and resources, could be commercialized for public use. DefTech’s aim is to be that connection and provide those resources.
More than 4,000 people with advanced degrees and more than 10,000 scientists and engineers work on all levels of research and development at APG. With this ongoing innovation network, there are currently more than 800 patents that could be explored for commercialization opportunities. “There are numerous patents on APG that could

have real-world applications outside the military,” Parrish said. “Escalating a scientist or entrepreneur’s contacts with APG to contracts with the commercial sector is a good thing for everyone. We have innovative technology developed behind the gate that we in the public could use. There may be a soldier in Afghanistan that needs to charge his communications equipment fast, so he hooks it to a lightweight, state-of-the-art charger. What’s not to say someone camping state-side can’t use that same versatile technology to charge his lantern, or his phone?”
DefTech’s partners at APG include three organizations under the umbrella of the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM), which is charged with creating, integrating, and delivering technology- enabled solutions to the military. The three RDECOM entities taking part in the DefTech initiative include: the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), dedicated to research and analysis for new technologies; the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, dedicated to research and development of non-medical chemical and biological defense; and the U.S. Army Communications-Electronic Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), dedicated to the research and development of information technology, communications networks, and more. These three entities have access to research and patents, and are looking to open them to product development.
DefTech’s activities will be centered on assisting patent holders in either developing their ideas or pitching them for commercialization, focusing on four themes – education and training, mentoring, events, and outreach and networking. The office will provide a collaborative workspace with entrepreneurial resources for those getting started with an idea. Representatives in the office will also participate in outreach and networking events, as well as technology and discovery showcases to raise awareness for the ample commercialization opportunities out of APG. As a service to entrepreneurs and innovators without knowledge of how to commercialize technology patents, DefTech will also provide educational programs and individual mentoring to help navigate the commercialization process.
Leading the office will be Dr. Gary Evans from Axcel Innovation LLC. Already, Dr. Evans and his team have developed a database of patents that have originated in Department of Defense installations in Maryland:
one third of these patents were devised at APG. The database is designed to be more user-friendly and to boost a culture of entrepreneurship in the region. Maryland’s Defense Patent Database can be accessed at
Most recently, Dr. Evans’ team hosted DefTech’s first meeting, entitled “Commercializing New Technologies,” to raise awareness about commercialization opportunities. Representatives from technology transfer offices at Aberdeen Proving Ground, the Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development, and DefTech spoke to attendees about the commercialization process, and encouraged them to explore opportunities for entrepreneurial growth. “Those looking to commercialize need a network they can tap into,” Evans said. “That’s what DefTech is here for: to provide that resource.”
DefTech is funded by the Maryland Department of Commerce through a defense diversification grant from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment. According to the Maryland Department of Commerce, this grant’s aim is to link companies in the state’s defense sector with new business opportunities and to engage engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs in commercialization activities.
“Engineers and scientists at Aberdeen Proving Ground are developing cutting-edge technology that can be put to broader use, benefitting our economy and our quality of life,” Mike Gill, the Maryland Department of Commerce secretary, said. “Through the DefTech Center, Maryland will provide the resources and direction entrepreneurs need to bring this technology to the commercial marketplace. The Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment and Harford and Cecil counties played critical roles in this endeavor, and we appreciate their support.”
Harford County is providing space for DefTech’s headquarters in-kind at the Harford Business Innovation Center in Havre de Grace on U.S. Route 40, 1.5 miles from Aberdeen Proving Ground. The center will work closely with the Office of Community and Economic Development, located in the same business park. DefTech’s strategic location also takes advantage of co-located Community & Economic Development partners, such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and the Technology Development
Corporation (TEDCO). By having a host of support partners from both inside and outside the gate, DefTech will act as a true resource center for people interested in exploring technology transfer and will provide a full spectrum of business development opportunities to advance innovative concepts to commercialization.
Marking a significant step in the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, DefTech’s implications are more extensive than progressing patents for technology to use in the public market. DefTech’s partners see its institution as a catalyst for an entrepreneurial renaissance, and aims to promote a culture shift within the region centered on technology development and economic growth.
“Harford County is pleased to work with the Maryland Department of Commerce and proud to be the home of this exciting new venture to commercialize technology developed at APG,” Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said. “By connecting these opportunities to businesses outside the gate, DefTech will enhance support for the installation and bring good jobs to Harford County and the region.”
For additional information on the
Maryland DefTech Center, contact Dr. Gary Evans, 410-638-4460, ext. 7971 or visit the
DefTech website at

South Carolina is a southeastern state in the US known for its beaches along the Atlantic coastline. Residents and tourists alike enjoy the Appalachian Mountains, the many rivers and lakes throughout the state, and the beautiful subtropical beaches. Tourism brings in $19 billion per year. It is known as the Palmetto state. Columbia is the capital, and the Governor is Henry McMaster. South Carolina is just a 2-day drive from 208 million Americans, which is two-thirds of the US population.
South Carolinas infrastructure makes doing business easy. Crisscrossed by five interstate highways, our state offers excellent east-west and north-south access to the rest of the US. The Port of Charleston has been the center of global commerce and trade for three centuries. It is one of the busiest container ports along the southeast and gulf shores and is recognized as one of the most productive ports averaging 40+ moves per hour, per crane. Each year, more than 20 different shipping lines serving 150 countries use South Carolinas ports. Our deep water and high bridges allow the port to serve ships of more than 8,000 TEU’s. In 2016, the Port handled 1.79 million TEU’s making it an ideal port for shipping. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport services over 32 million passengers each year to countless US and international destinations.
Twenty seven million tons of freight move through South Carolina’s extensive railway systems – CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern – two Class I
railroads. Seven independent rail lines service nearly 2.300 miles of rail. Palmetto Railways operates three common carrier railroads: The Port Utilities Commission of Charleston (PUCC), the Port Terminal Railroad (PTR), and the East Cooper and Berkeley Railroad (ECBR).
South Carolina’s energy costs are about 12% less than the national average, with a mix of energy sources – hydroelectric, nuclear, coal, natural gas, and other renewable resources. Due to investments in infrastructure, SC maintains stable electricity costs. South Carolina has used emissions free nuclear power since the early 1970’s, it ranks as the third largest generator of nuclear powered energy in the US, and generates more than 50 million net megawatt hours of energy from nuclear power.
South Carolina ha a highly reliable world class communications network that is designed and engineered to meet the requirements of industry for wireless, high speed internet access and voice service. South Carolina is home to many leading computer related companies. The ability to work with local experts in the design, maintenance, and outsourcing of integrated computer systems is a necessity for many businesses.
South Carolina is a knowledge-based economy because we understand that competitiveness requires a commitment to research and development. The Palmetto State offers a plethora
of development opportunities from universities to world-class research facilities.
South Carolina is a right to work state with a low unionization rate of 2.6% ranking lowest in the US. The state’s unionization rate for the private sector is 1.5%. We have the lowest percentage of total employed workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement of any state in the union. With a focus on ensuring South Carolina’s workforce continues to be one of the best in the nation, a team of twelve Regional Workforce Advisors (RWA’s) work to connect the business and education communities to meet industry workforce demands.
South Carolina is known for its southern hospitality and has helped many companies acclimate to life and business here. The South Carolina Department of Commerce has a successful track record of helping international companies establish. Relocate and expand business operations in the US. Our state has had a presence in Europe for decades providing advisory and support services including: identification of sites, buildings and communities; detailed information on industry sectors and operating costs; introduction to the state’s pro-business environment; access to technical and workforce training programs; government assistance, language interpretation and customary procedures; on the ground points of contact; and trade assistance. More than 1,200 operations of international firms call South Carolina home.

Inland Port Dillon to expand logistical opportunities in north eastern
South Carolina
Quick Facts
• Strategically located at a railroad “T” intersection providing access to/from Charleston, SC and a gateway to Mid- Western markets such as Chicago
• Just a 5 mile drive to I-95 Exit 190
• Import parts move via overnight train from port to door. This will mitigate trucking cost and carbon footprint
associated with other inland options.
• Proximity to the port allows for this area to benefit from lower international inbound cost as compared with non- coastal states which will have a much
higher cost to move product to.
• The Port’s intermodal yard in Dillon will be flexible on storage terms. A company will have less need for their own drop yard and the investment associated
with it.
• Containers will move from the intermodal
facility to a facility in the park via county roads that allow yard trucks. This will mitigate the cost associated with using over the road trucks and drivers.
• CSX plans to offer domestic intermodal. Thus, sourcing of domestic product will benefit from intermodal rate instead of a truck only environment.
To learn more about the inland port, the
A logistical haven in the northeast corner of South Carolina just got even better with the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) set to open its newest inland port facility, Inland Port Dillon, in April.
Just a mile from I-95, the perfectly located Inland Port Dillon offers direct access to the Port of Charleston via railway, which in turn opens up an abundance of opportunities for international markets. Additionally, the port is located near the junction of mainline north/south and westbound rail lines – operated by CSX – servicing markets in the Northeastern U.S. and Mid-Western centers like Chicago and is a mere 30 minutes’ drive from I-20 serving markets as far west as Dallas.
Inland Port Dillon will serve as a point on the CSX inter-model network. The facility will ground containers, have an adjacent chassis yard and will be a point for termination and origination of empty containers. Rail cars will be double stacked with containers and sent to and from the inland port daily resulting in a reduction of transportation costs for companies located in the vicinity of the inland port facility.
Those who utilize Inland Port Dillon will enjoy the convenience of scheduling shipping to and from the port in the same manner that they already schedule shipping to and from the Port of Charleston. Empty containers and full containers for import or export may be received at the inland port terminal as well. This facility will utilize the latest available technology to securely track and move cargo ensuring cargo security and on time shipments.
For international companies seeking to locate in the U.S., but whom refuse to pay the high costs of land near a sea port, the more than 3,400 acre Carolina’s I-95 Super Park adjacent to the port is an opportunity to have the same luxuries at a lower cost. The site is an ideal location for trans-load, cross dock, distribution and manufacturing facilities that require a near port location. It offers an average land cost of $15,000 per acre, and a site that is fully equipped with transmission and distribution grade electricity, transmission grade natural gas, an excess of water and wastewater infrastructure capacity and a telecommunications infrastructure.
The North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) region of South Carolina – which is where Inland Port Dillon is located –also offers an average land price of $17,000 per acre at nearly 100 different industrial sites throughout the region. There are also more than 30 industrial buildings available throughout the region with an average price of $16.76 per square foot.
With a population of nearly 2.2 million and an available workforce of nearly 1 million within 60 miles of the region’s geographical center, NESA has a robust labor pool to draw from. Employers use the region’s productive workforce to churn out all-terrain vehicles, pharmaceuticals, food additives, frozen meals, steel, packaging products, and much more. The region is home to companies that engage in world-wide distribution, refurbish airplanes, and are on the cutting edge of their highly specialized fields.
NESA region, or to learn how to locate here contact NESA Director of Operations Ronald Carter at 843-661-1206 or by email at [email protected]

The State of Louisiana is governed by John Bel Edwards. It is located in the southern United States with Baton Rouge as it’s capital, but the city of New Orleans is the largest city. Louisiana is the only state with political subdivisions called Parishes, which are the local government’s equivalent to counties.
Louisiana residents enjoy a low cost of living – about 5% below the national average. The state offers a rich quality of life with its blend of historical influences, mild climate, and diverse environment for outdoor activities all year round. Louisiana has a steady stream of festivals, cultural events, world-class food, music and art, making it a fun place to live, work and visit. Tourism and culture are very important to the economy and generate an estimated $5.2 billion per year.
According to the Louisiana Economic Development website, the key industries include Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Agribusiness, Automotive, Energy, Entertainment, Process Industries, Software Development, and Water Management. Forbes magazine called Louisiana “America’s new frontier for business opportunity.” Louisiana now ranks in the top 10 states for business climate in the US. Let’s explore these sectors now.
Louisiana has the lowest national taxes for new manufacturing operations and highly competitive incentives for businesses expanding or growing here. Strategic investments in site identification, robust GIS-mapping technology and the best state development program combined with a pro-business climate are attracting manufacturing industry leaders. Louisiana is nationally recognized for its manufacturing talent and the state continues to invest in higher education programs to enhance workforce skills and expertise. The LED Fast Start,
the nation’s number 1 state workforce development program, creates customized workforce recruitment, screening and training solutions for new and expanding companies at no cost to those whoareeligible.TheResearchandDevelopmentTax Credit provides up to a 40% tax credit on qualified research expenditures incurred in Louisiana with no cap and no minimum requirement.
The established advanced manufacturing sector provides unparalleled advantages for aerospace operations. Louisiana offers superior infrastructure and logistics, a plethora of sites and expedited permitting, and the nation’s best workforce development program along with internationally competitive incentives, giving aerospace companies a competitive advantage. The National Center for Advanced Manufacturing, under the leadership of LSU and the University of New Orleans, leads a consortium of seven universities that conduct research focused on using composite and metallic materials in the production of aerospace structures. Four Airframe and Power Plant (A&P) schools in Louisiana produce technicians with required certificates and FAA certifications. The state is making strategic investments n higher education to meet the future needs of the aerospace industry.
The Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive – the nation’s strongest, most comprehensive incentive for software development – provides a unique advantage to the aerospace industry. The incentive is applicable to aerospace specific applications like navigation, communications, radar, defense and other embedded systems. Eligible projects receive a 25% refundable tax credit for payroll expenditures and an 18% refundable tax credit for qualified production expenditures. If the amount of tax credits exceeds the business’ state
income and franchise tax liabilities, the business receives the balance as a refund.
Agribusiness advantages are flourishing in Louisiana due to the state’s natural resources, transportation infrastructure, and strategic location to the Gulf of Mexico. The state’s principal agricultural products include seafood (crawfish at 90% supply to the world), cotton, soybeans, cattle, sugarcane, poultry, eggs and dairy. Louisiana has six interstate highways, six class one railroads, six deep-water ports, and seven primary airports. We offer an extensive selection of strategic sites. The LED Certified Sites program qualifies industrial sites based on zoning restrictions, title work, environmental studies, soil analysis, and surveys. Our expedited permitting reduces start up time to maximize time and efficiency for businesses wishing to relocate here. The state’s rich agricultural history, when joined with higher education, ensures companies in the agribusiness industry have access to a highly skilled labor pool. The state’s flagship university LSU is one of the few land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant universities in the nation. Specialty food product ventures can also benefit from the technical support and research from experts in the Food Science Department and School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU.
Located in the heart of the US Southern Automotive Corridor, Louisiana offers strategic advantages to automotive manufacturers and suppliers. Our location is our most valuable advantage as we are close in proximity to the South’s extensive supplier base and to Mexico. Louisiana has identified two main sites specifically appropriate for major automotive industry projects. The England Airpark Megasite near Alexandria, and the Franklin Farm Megasite are both strategically located near railroads, airports and ports.

City of Ruston
Ruston, Louisiana is unique for a number of different and wonderful reasons. Ruston is the home of Louisiana Tech University, has
Grambling State University five miles away, sits at the intersection of Interstate 20 and Highways 167 and 33, has a Regional Airport, has Kansas City Southern Rail Line that runs through the heart of the city, utilizes a city owned 1 Gigabyte fiber network that provides connectivity throughout Ruston, promotes a 150-acre development ready certified industrial site, and has a 185 acre Sports Complex currently under construction that will be complete next year.
With a population of approximately 22,500, not many other communities the size of Ruston can claim all of these assets. And while Ruston, located in Lincoln Parish (County) in north central Louisiana, may seem small in population, we have access to a labor force of over 300,000 people within 70 miles.
Louisiana Tech University is the heart of Ruston. Their enrollment continues to grow each year and reached a record number in the fall of 2017 with 12,873 students from 47 states and US territories and 64 foreign countries. The average ACT score of 24.71 for first-time freshman was also a University record; 125 of those incoming students earned an ACT score of 32 or higher and met the qualifications for Presidential Scholar or National Merit Scholar designation. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Louisiana Tech University in its highest tier of “National Universities” for the seventh consecutive year, according to its 2018 Best Colleges list. Louisiana Tech is ranked the highest in the state and #21 in the nation for providing graduates with the best return on their investment (ROI) in college educations. Louisiana Tech University offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 32 master degree
programs, and 10 doctoral degrees in audiology, biomedical engineering, business administration, computational analysis & modeling, counseling psychology, education leadership, engineering, industrial/organizational psychology, and molecular science and nanotechnology.

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