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From the May Issue


Bald Tires No More: Incentive Fund Unlocks $9B in Capital Investment

New incentives deliver EV mega-projects for Michigan and its auto industry.

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From the September Issue


Let the Chips Fall Here

If there’s any place better suited for the next semiconductor fab, Flint and Genesee County want to know about it.

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Graph courtesy of Mercom

Census Bureau data on new business applications in 2021 were recently sorted out across more than 3,000 U.S. counties by Forbes Advisor. The No. 1 county was Sheridan County, Wyoming, with 535 applications per 1,000 people. “Census data estimates that 31,646 people live in the county,” the study stated, “and there were 16,958 business applications during 2021, which equates to every second person in the county submitting an application.” According to the Census Bureau spreadsheet, that astounding number follows 11,968 applications in 2020.

Wait, what?

Since that number is hard to believe, I reached out this morning to Sheridan County Planner Mark Reid, who told me, “ I think a lot of it has to do with Wyoming’s easy, easy method to establish an LLC here. It’s extremely simple, affordable, and given our favorable tax climate in the state for business, it attracts many folks to do that. There is a company that specializes in doing that, Wyoming Corporate Office in Sheridan, Wyoming. I suspect that’s why you’re seeing so many here. We’re not seeing vast numbers of new storefronts, offices, etc., being built here by any means. I believe it’s LLC formation.”

Indeed, the Conway Projects Database shows scant evidence of major corporate facility investment in Sheridan County, one of the few large projects we’ve documented being a 200-job manufacturing plant expansion announced last July by Absaroka Valley Ammunition, which itself can be categorized as a startup.

The county was one of five Wyoming counties in the Top 10. At the same time, three counties in the much more densely populated Greater Atlanta area were also in the Top 10 for business applications. The most business applications in 2021 were made in Los Angeles County, with a total of 178,467. No. 2 was Miami-Dade County, where 135,710 were submitted in 2021.

The Census Bureau earlier this month released business application and formation statistics for December 2022 based on applications for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and by the first instance of payroll tax liabilities for the corresponding business applications. The highest number of business applications in December came in the retail sector (70,422), while the leading category by percent increase since November was professional services (2.6%, with 52,960 applications). Adjusted for seasonal variation, there were 417,055 business applications overall, a decrease of 0.3% compared to November 2022. The graph above illustrates the surge in business applications since the easing of pandemic-induced conditions. — Adam Bruns

Top 10 U.S. Counties by Highest Rate of Business Applications in 2021

State County Business Applications in 2021 Population Applications per 1,000 people
WY Sheridan County 16,958 31,646 536
WY Sublette County 732 8,697 84
WY Teton County 1,855 23,575 79
WY Johnson County 662 8,623 77
MS Noxubee County 688 10,123 68
DE Kent County 11,494 184,149 62
GA Clayton County 17,296 297,100 58
GA Fulton County 60,912 1,065,334 57
WY Laramie County 5,562 100,863 55
GA Rockdale County 4,989 94,082 53
Source: Forbes Advisor




My Favorite Machinist Is a Woman!

Sparks fly between local businesses in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the second-career machinists training at a high-caliber makerspace.

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Site of the Week
From the January Issue

Fontana is Open for Business

Located in the heart of one of the most robust residential and commercial centers in the United States, Fontana is the largest city in San Bernardino County. This Southern California economic engine is home to a diverse and skilled workforce, a multimodal transportation network that includes major freeways, rail, and convenient access to an international airport, and a vibrant business community comprised of global corporations and highly successful small to mid-sized companies.

As a fast-growing economic center, the City of Fontana offers strategic advantages:

  • 10 miles from Ontario International Airport
  • Labor Shed: 4.7 million people
  • 12th largest MSA among the 386 MSAs nationally

Committed to providing a supportive business-friendly environment, Fontana is making major investments in the community through capital improvements. These factors have created a lucrative and attractive atmosphere that contributes to making Fontana a place where businesses choose to establish, relocate or expand.

Visit www.fontana.org for more information.




Belgium-based Tessenderlo Group’s Tessenderlo Kerley International business unit in December held a groundbreaking ceremony to start construction of a new liquid fertilizer plant at the Chemelot site in Geleen, Netherlands, just to the north of Maastricht near the border with Belgium. The plant is expected to be operational by mid-2024. It will be the company’s second Thio-Sul® (ammonium thiosulfate/ATS) manufacturing plant in Europe, after the 2017 launch of the first in Rouen, France. Tessenderlo Kerley International Executive Vice President Geert Gyselinck said the new plant further expands the company’s local presence in the liquid fertilizer market for precision farming. Approximately 8,000 employees in more than 200 companies work on the 800-hectare Chemelot site, one of the key industrial clusters in the Netherlands. At Chemelot Industrial Park, “17 production companies are active in 60 different plants, which are strongly interconnected, both in terms of energy and raw material flows,” said the company’s news release. “At these companies, and in the unique combination with the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, a lot of work is being done on the transition to sustainable production. Besides the energy transition, the raw material transition is just as important. Chemelot's ambition is to have fully circular production by 2050. Precisely because the plants are so interconnected, Chemelot is in an excellent position to achieve this.”

Source: Conway Projects Report


Announced in October, this battery enclosures expansion project is one of three in Michigan announced on the same day in October by Ontario-based Magna. The company also is opening new facilities in Shelby Township (powertrain) and Detroit (seating). “The developments follow new business awards in these product areas, some of which support the growing electrification market,” the company said, noting that the new operations are expected to bring more than 1,500 new jobs to Michigan. The St. Clair facility first opened in 2021 and currently supplies steel battery enclosures to “a global automaker,” Magna said. Operations in the expansion are expected to start in Q4 2023. Magna has 32 facilities and more than 10,000 employees throughout Michigan.

Source: Conway Projects Report





Public, Private Investment Grew Kansas Biotech Sector in 2022

More than 40 biotech companies do business in the Sunflower State. One of them is Scorpion Biological Services, which is investing $650 million and creating 500 new jobs in Manhattan, Kansas.

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From the September Issue


Kansas Connections

State workforce services ensure businesses and talent reach new heights. Mike Beene, assistant secretary of commerce at the Kansas Department of Commerce, tells us how.

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Wondering where to find the latest on Opportunity Zones? Good Jobs First notes that the Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at Brookings Institution recently held a conference on the topic. Findings were reported in this 11-page write-up by David Wessel (familiar to Site Selection readers for this contribution on OZs) and Alex Conner.


This photo of the Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial was made two years ago after a ceremony that was part of NASA's Day of Remembrance, Thursday, January 28, 2021, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Photo by Bill Ingalls courtesy of NASA

Each January NASA pauses to honor members of the NASA family who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery, including the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. In 2023, the Day of Remembrance is observed today, January 26, and also marks the upcoming 20th anniversary of the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003. Today NASA Administrator Bill Nelson will lead an observance at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, which will begin with a traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, followed by observances for the Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia crews at 1 p.m. EST. “NASA’s Day of Remembrance is about pausing, remembering, and uplifting the legacies of the NASA family who gave their lives to advance the cause of discovery,” Nelson said last week.