From the September Issue

The Digital Age Takes Concrete Form

Audiences prefer entertainment from the comfort of home, but the industry still needs places to produce.

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From the May Issue


The Rich Get (Way) Richer

New incentives will support a planned $35 billion in investment by Amazon Web Services over the next 17 years.

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From the September Issue


Where ESG and Diversity Cultures Thrive

When it comes to meeting ESG and DEI criteria, Greater Richmond is a region that gets it.

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Famous for its 72-ounce steak challenge (eat it all in one hour and it’s free), Big Texan Steak Ranch, located along historic Route 66 in Amarillo, is one of 3 million small and medium-sized businesses thriving in Texas.
Photo by Jaime Hudson courtesy of Travel Texas

How do small business location patterns compare to overall facility investment trends among all businesses? Using a set of nine criteria, small business financial solutions company Lendio (itself based in Lehi, Utah) earlier this month unveiled its list of Best States to Start a Small Business. Like Site Selection’s Governor’s Cups overall rankings, Lendio’s list begins with No. 1 Texas. The Top 10:

  1. Texas
  2. Florida
  3. Ohio
  4. Massachusetts
  5. North Carolina
  6. Colorado
  7. Oklahoma
  8. South Carolina
  9. Georgia
  10. Utah

The only other states in Lendio’s list to also qualify for Top 10 Governor’s Cup states by number of projects are Ohio (No. 3 in Site Selection’s ranking), Georgia (No. 5) and North Carolina (No. 7). In our per-capita ranking, Ohio and Texas also make the list, joined by Lendio’s No. 8 state South Carolina at No. 6 in corporate facility projects per capita.

Factors examined by Lendio for its ranking include tax rates, startup survival rates, cost of living, educated worker migration, loans, funding, consumer spending and incentive programs.

“According to data from the White House and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses in the U.S. employ 61 million people, nearly 50% of all private-sector workers,” Lendio said this month in another release noting the stability of small business lending in the wake of the FDIC’s takeover of two large banks. “Domestically, gross revenue from small businesses totals $13.3 trillion.”

Lendio’s online chart allows for sorting by any of the nine variables examined for its ranking. The top states for five-year survival rate of a small business are Oregon at 58.4%, South Dakota (55.7%) and Mississippi and California tied at 55.2%. Maryland tops the list by number of incentive programs (97), while Massachusetts leads the way in venture capital disbursed per $1 million of GDP. The hottest relocation markets? Florida and Texas lead by a long shot, followed by the knitted-together states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. — Adam Bruns




There’s No Room for Politics in Job Creation

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is determined to see the commonwealth outperform the record-breaking levels of economic activity it has enjoyed for the past two years.

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Get on that plane.

July 2020 photo of planes on the tarmac near Runway No. 1 at LaGuardia Airport, courtesy of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Business research from Harvard Business School released this month looks at a study by Prithwiraj Choudhury that traces flight patterns among 5,000 airports around the world to show how business travel propels innovation. Among the conclusions: If firms are in the same time zone and culturally similar, Teams or Zoom will do. If not, then like Ben said in the classic 1990 United Airlines TV commercial, it’s time to buy a ticket and “visit that old friend who fired us this morning.”

The study found that a 10% increase in nonstop flights between two locations led to a 1.4% increase in new patents between firms in those places. “Even in a hybrid world, even in a world of work-from-anywhere, we still need to occasionally meet colleagues in person for social purposes,” said Choudhury, whose work has concentrated on the work-from-anywhere economy for a number of years.




5 Colorado Cities to Watch

A closer look at the metro areas driving the Western U.S. economy.

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This week in Brisbane, Queensland, Northrop Grumman Australia opened its newly modernized Brisbane Maintenance and Modification Centre (BMMC), a major facility for the sustainment of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) aviation capability. “Queensland has cemented itself as a powerhouse for Australia’s defense industry and our capabilities are quickly growing,” said Queensland Deputy Premier Hon. Steven Miles. “Two-thirds of the Australian Army operates out of Queensland and this is just another feather in our cap.” “Northrop Grumman’s growing sustainment work at the BMMC has enabled us to establish an apprenticeship program providing a pipeline of skilled Queensland engineers underpinning the company’s ability to deliver Advanced Technology programs in the coming years,” said Christine Zeitz, general manager, Asia Pacific region, Northrop Grumman. “A world class skilled local workforce with genuine and attractive career options, in partnership with the Queensland Government, is a critical driver of future joint mission success.”

Source: Conway Projects Report

South Korea

Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Samsung Biologics announced last Friday it will begin construction of a fifth plant as part of its strategic expansion in response to increased market demand. The company will break ground in the first half of this year with the aim to commence operations in 2025. “Located near its current Songdo site, Plant 5 will be the first facility of the company's second Bio Campus,” the company said, holding a capacity of 180,000 liters. “Upon Plant 5's full completion, Samsung Biologics will maintain its global biomanufacturing capacity leadership with a total of 784,000 liters.” Samsung Biologics purchased 360,000 sq. m. (nearly 3.9 million sq. ft.) of land in July 2022 for its second Bio Campus, which will house additional large-scale plants and an open innovation center. Overall, the company will be investing KRW 7.5 trillion (more than $5.8 billion) in its second Bio Campus. On the same day as this announcement, the company also announced the opening of a new office in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, where an opening ceremony was held this week. The company said the new office “will provide streamlined communication and support to clients based in the U.S. and Europe.”

Source: Conway Projects Report



Photo courtesy of Visit Vaasa

Finland this week was named the happiest country in the world by the World Happiness Report published three days ago by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative of the United Nations. (No. 2 Denmark was followed by Iceland, Israel and Netherlands in that order.) This striking image shows Vaasa, a port city on the country’s western coast located on the Sea of Bothnia. Among other things, the Vaasa region is known for the unique Korsnäs sweater, the Meteoria Söderfjärden meteorite crater site and the Kvarken Archipelago, Finland's only Natural World Heritage Site on the UNESCO World Heritage List.