From the July Issue


Lessons Learned, Lessons Applied

In a sneak preview of “Colorado: Peak Resilience,” the 2020 Colorado economic development guide coming later this fall, Ron Starner interviews Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Executive Director Betsy Markey about leading the economic recovery effort.

Read More >>>

Last week we learned who’s hot and who’s not when the new INC. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies was released. Remember when it was just 500? But we’re not letting that extra place value throw us. We examined all 5,000 to see which states and cities host the most. Here’s what we found:

Top 10 States, Most INC. 5000 Companies

California 720
Texas 431
Florida 376
New York 319
Virginia 280
Illinois 240
Georgia 199
Pennsylvania 188
Ohio 152
Colorado 151
Maryland 149

Here are the Top 10 by metro — Denver and Charlotte narrowly miss out with 41 companies each:

Top 10 Metros, Most INC. 5000 Companies

New York 178
Chicago 111
Atlanta 100
Austin 99
Houston 75
San Francisco 69
San Diego 66
Los Angeles 61
Dallas 56
Tampa 42

Which sectors are dominating the INC. 5000? The results show software leading the way. Watch this space for more analysis by the Site Selection and Conway Analytics team of these and other data sets important to location strategy and economic development. — Adam Bruns, Daniel Boyer and Mark Bertram



Logistics and transportation firm Scotlynn USA is investing in a new headquarters on Gulf Research Lane in Fort Myers, complete with basketball court, a walking track and cafeteria, and eight acres of site improvements. The project, being built by local Seagate Development Group, is expected to open in 2021. “Scotlynn manages thousands of shipments across North America each week that provide essential food and supplies for millions of people,” said Ryan Carter, executive vice president of Scotlynn Transport LLC and Scotlynn USA Division Inc. “The headquarters in Fort Myers is part of our overall expansion and a continuous mission to become a world-class leader in freight transportation and a workplace for the brightest and most ambitious professionals. Fort Myers is the best choice for us to achieve long-term growth for our incredible operations and management team members.” According to the Business Observer, the company will hire at least 140 at the HQ over the next three years in exchange for incentives from Lee County and Enterprise Florida, and aims to eventually have 350 staff at the facility.

Source: Conway Analytics


California-based Navien, Inc., a condensing technology subsidiary of Korean firm KD Navien, is constructing its first U.S. manufacturing facility for water heaters and boilers at the former Lumber Liquidators facility in the Stonehouse Commerce Park in Toano, Virginia. James City County Economic Development Authority Director Christopher Johnson called it the biggest investment in the county in 20 years. According to the Virginia Gazette, James City County competed against sites in Illinois, Maryland and Pennsylvania for the project. Expected to operate first as a distribution center, the complex will ramp up to a full manufacturing site by 2023, when, contingent on regulatory permits and approvals, Navien plans to begin tripling the footprint to nearly 900,000 sq. ft. by 2026. “The close proximity of this property to the Port of Virginia and the flexibility to expand and allow for Navien’s continued investment over time helped us make this decision,” said Navien CEO Sangkyu Lee. “Establishing an East Coast facility will support Navien’s growth and allow for faster delivery to primary eastern markets while balancing current shipments coming into California. We look forward to working with the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program as we grow this facility and its importance to Navien’s overall leadership position in North America.”

Source: Conway Analytics



Robert D. Atkinson, President, ITIF

Readers whose attention was grabbed by our July excerpt of a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) calling for a national industrial strategy will want to pay attention to the follow-up released in August that highlights the steps the U.S. and other western countries should take “to win the economic competition against China.” According to the ITIF’s Robert Atkinson, who co-authored “Competing With China: A Strategic Framework” with David Moschella, a research fellow at the Leading Edge Forum, “Chinese companies operating in the West and Western companies operating in China are both in for closer government and public scrutiny in the near term. Although tensions could defuse, U.S.-China relations increasingly look like a win-lose economic struggle that will test which nation is stronger and which is likely to prevail in specific areas.”



Milwaukee-Chicago Corridor Heats Up with Shovel-Ready Options in Franklin, Wisconsin

Located on I-94 in the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor just 20 minutes north of Foxconn and 20 minutes south of Lake Michigan Port of Milwaukee; fast-growing Franklin is a spacious and growing city, with thousands of acres near rail and a foreign trade zone, just minutes from General Mitchell International Airport and an hour from O’Hare. These logistical advantages; combined with a favorable tax climate, access to skilled workforce, and our competitive energy costs; make the new 580+ acre Franklin Corporate Park a great fit. Using $15M+ in tax increment financing, Franklin is constructing public water, sewer, roads and amending land to support planned projects totaling more than 1,200 square feet of spec space and creating hundreds of shovel-ready acres for new development. The Franklin Corporate Park will exceed the benchmarks set by the existing 650-acre Franklin Business Park, the most successful park in the history of Wisconsin. Join the ranks of Franklin companies such as Quad Graphics, Ascension Hospital, Carma Labs, and Northwest Mutual - click the image to learn more.  

Learn More >>>


Production in Factory 56 is characterized by maximum flexibility, allowing new models — from compact cars to SUVs, from conventional to plug-in hybrid to electric drive — to be integrated into series production in just a few days.
Photo courtesy of Daimler

Earlier this week, Daimler and Mercedes-Benz officially opened Factory 56 at their legacy site in Sindelfingen, Germany. With an initial investment equivalent to more than US$861 million, the 220,000-sq.-m. complex (equal to 30 soccer pitches or more than 2.3 million sq. ft.), is what the company called a sign of the company's firm commitment to the traditional Sindelfingen location. “Since the plant was founded more than 100 years ago, Daimler has been much more than just an employer for the cultural and social life of the region,” the company said in a release. “The Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen is a neighbor, partner and part of the town's bustling life.” Overall, Mercedes-Benz is investing about 2.1 billion euros (US$2.47 billion) at the Sindelfingen site. “Factory 56 is not only a milestone in Daimler’s corporate history, but also an important commitment to Baden-Württemberg as a location for the mobility industry,” said Baden-Württemberg Minister President Winfried Kretschmann.