Indiana’s business climate is best in the Midwest and the sixth best in the U.S., according to Area Development magazine’s survey of national site selection consultants.
The state was also among the consultants’ top-five picks in the rail and highway accessibility (second), labor climate (third), fast-track permitting (fourth), most business friendly (fifth) and lowest business costs (fifth) categories, according to a news release.
The business climate ranking comes just four months after the corporate site selection and relocation trade publication named Indiana the winner of its 2010 Silver Shovel award in the 5 million to 10 million population category. The Shovel Awards recognize economic development agencies for innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new employers and investments.
“Indiana’s low-cost, pro-business environment has put us at the top of the list for private-sector job growth this year and now is bringing the state more national attention,” said Mitch Roob, secretary of commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. “We will continue working hard to create the kind of environment that encourages business growth and success.”
The Area Development study is the latest in a series of national accolades the state has scored in economic development. In May, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Chamber Foundation found Indiana to be fourth best in the nation for its business tax and regulatory climate in the organizations’ Enterprising States report. Margaret Spellings, executive vice president of the National Chamber Foundation, visited the state in September to recognize Indiana’s leadership in private-sector job growth this year.
Area Development’s full report is available http://www.areadevelopment.com/siteSelection/sept2010/top-states-doing-business39016.shtml.
Indiana Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob has responded to concerns from House Speaker Patrick Bauer about the distribution of tax incentives for companies that may no longer be in compliance.
Roob says there is no clear way for the state to guarantee specific performance projections of companies deciding to locate in Indiana. In a letter to Bauer, Roob points to more than 600 decisions by companies to place projects in the state between 2005 and 2008. As of the end of 2009, only 66 of those initaitives were not moving forward, according to a release from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC)
Several RV companies are among the more than 600 that received IEDC assistance over the period in question.
Roob also says that as required by law, companies receive incenctives that are in line with reports filed to the Indiana Department of Revenue.
He adds the IEDC currently offers companies an average of $8,502 per job in incentives, which pays off for the state after two years.
Click here to read Roob’s letter.
Upon receipt of Roob’s letter, Bauer, a Democrat from South Bend, issued the following statement:
“While we are all a little stunned to see the administration respond to a request for information in a timely manner, we do appreciate that the IEDC has provided us with some of the materials that we have requested.
“It is refreshing to see the administration actually provide some information, although we need to assess what questions they have answered and what questions still remain.
“We look forward to making sure that they have responded fairly and accurately to our request to finally show Hoosiers how their tax dollars are being used.
“We will have a more detailed response once we have completed our study of the data.”
Elkhart County, Ind., which remains the hub of the RV industry despite the industry downturn, was the top destination for new corporate investment in 2009 among metropolitan areas with populations less than 200,000, according to data tracked in Conway Data Inc.’s New Plant Database.
In the state category, Ohio ranked first for the fourth straight year and Indiana ranked 10th.
Conway Data published the 2009 results to its annual Governor’s Cup awards in Site Selection, a corporate real estate and economic development magazine.
Elkhart County was credited with 17 major investment projects in 2009 to lead the small metro area list. The greater New York City area led all areas with 215 investments. Dayton, Ohio, led the areas of between 200,000 and 1 million population with 46 major investments.
“Elkhart is once again in the national spotlight, but this time as a top location for new business investment last year,” said Mitch Roob, secretary of commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp (IEDC), in a news release. “Indiana’s low-cost business environment is a key differentiator that has attracted many companies to our state in the midst of a competitive economy.”
Governor’s Cup winners are selected based on the number of new corporate location projects in each state and metropolitan area that meet at least one of three criteria:
- Involve a capital investment of at least $1 million.
- Create at least 50 new jobs.
- Add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.
“The Governor’s Cup Award is a true honor for Elkhart County. The economic crisis has positioned us on the forefront of national and international news. This award is known to be a leading indicator of future growth and prosperity for a region,” said Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.
Site Selection, a 56-year-old Atlanta-based magazine, has conducted the Governor’s Cup annually since 1978. The full report can be found at www.siteselection.com.
Created by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the IEDC is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Daniels. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.