The Southwest states are well-positioned for the growth that's taking place among U.S. factories relocating to or expanding in Mexico.
CEOs who need big, fast digital pipes—and, increasingly these days, that could be just about anyone—are looking closely at metro areas that can hook them up with 1-gigabit broadband networks ranging from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Dublin, Ohio, to Detroit. But near the Orlando airport, the 11-square-mile Lake Nona development represents one of the single most concentrated areas of 1-gigabit bandwidth in America, and the rapid development of this sunny economic enclave is ratifying investors’ decisions to “build it and they will come.”
More CEOs and company founders are being lured to “smart” cities that have built fast fiber-optic networks, highly digitally connected municipal-government infrastructures, expectations that they will stay at the forefront in business-supporting technologies—or some combination thereof.
With further automotive wins, the Southeast continues rolling along.
The diversity of the west — geographically, politically, culturally and economically—thwarts most attempts to pigeonhole this complex, nine-state region.
The strong dollar has undercut export potential for just about every American company. But middle-market firms, in particular, seem to be weak in this area. A new report from American Express and Dun & Bradstreet found some strong but limited outposts for exporting. For example, just 10% of mid-market companies in Florida, the leading percentage, engaged in exports, followed by New Jersey, 8%; North Carolina, 7%; and Illinois, 6%. And these are the U.S.’ leaders.
A number of developments have shaken the nation’s economic-development community of late, casting individual states in new or different lights, and underscoring just how heated the competition is among states for major economic-development wins and CEO business. If you are looking for a new location to move or grow your business, make note of these latest events before making any decisions.
In the face of gridlock at the federal level in Washington, D.C., states and cities are turning to the economic development profession as never before for help in spurring their regional economies.
The nasty electoral battle in Michigan over a one-percentage-point sales-tax increase to cover road repairs climaxed with a vote on the measure this week. But it’s just one indication of the fact that, across the country, CEOs and site consultants are more concerned than ever about the fitness of the transportation infrastructure when it comes to supporting business expansion.
With the U.S. economic recovery in full swing, governors are going head to head to land the next big manufacturing operation and bring thousands of new jobs to their state. A half dozen or so, including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Washington, and of course, Nevada and Texas—already have major wins to report—but with the ink dry, governors have been quick to look toward their next big win, from companies such as Volvo, which is currently in the market for a state in which to hang its manufacturing hat.