From Site Selection magazine, March 2001

MARCH 2001
2000 Governor's Cup
The Facts Behind
SS's Standard-Setting Analyses


f we've learned anything from the madness that was our 43rd presidential election, it is that standards for counting are of the utmost importance. But unlike the Florida Legislature, Site Selection has put in place a much more stringent methodology than simply determining intent. Indeed, there were no magnifying glasses or light boxes used in this year's research of U.S. business location activity, and unlike Palm Beach County there is a method to our madness.
        In fact, Site Selection puts many long hours and much expense into the statistics that define our annual Governor's Cup. Through these meticulous, year-round efforts, our annual scorecard has become the unrivaled industry standard for corporate location activity.
        Though there have been imitators, none have yet matched Site Selection's standard-setting approach. In fact, our competitors' methodologies leave much to be desired -- publishing only rankings derived from a random patchwork of resources. With that in mind, here's a look into the methodology that makes Site Selection's Governor's Cup the industry benchmark.
        Data Storage System: The accompanying U.S. state location analysis, plus our U.S. metro and industrial group location analyses, are derived from data stored in Site Selection's massive New Plant database (NPD). NPD is widely regarded by industry experts as the world's largest, most exhaustive reservoir of corporate location data -- and with good reason. Site Selection has systematically tracked, stored and analyzed corporate expansion activity for more than 25 years. Currently, NPD contains detailed profiles of 106,909 corporate location projects dating from 1989, including manufacturing, distribution, office, R&D, headquarters and other facility types. Site Selection's editors tap this valuable resource throughout the year.
        Data Sources: A deep, broad pool of sources supplies NPD, which is entered in our database year-round. More than 1,000 (?) worldwide state/provincial, local and regional reporting teams are surveyed for data on new facilities and expansions. In addition, we gather data through online searches, news clippings, press releases and direct telephone contact with expanding firms.
        Time Frame for Annual Analyses: Site Selection's 1999 analysis covers the period from Dec. 15, 1999 to Dec. 15, 2000 - the general time frame covered in each year's analyses. New projects identified during a year's last two weeks are not included in year-end totals and analyses.
        However, projects identified after our deadline are certainly not lost. Each year, those few projects are rolled over into the following year's totals. That ensures complete coverage and eliminates any possible disadvantage for sources that can't compile complete data before Site Selection's reporting deadline.
        Criteria for Project Inclusion: NPD focuses on new corporate location projects with significant impact. Site Selection does not track retail and government projects, or schools and hospitals.
        To be included for analysis, new facilities and expansions must meet at least one of three criteria: (1) involve a capital investment of at least US$1 million, (2) create at least 50 new jobs or (3) add at least 20,000 sq. ft. (1,858 sq. m.) of new floor area. For more information on NPD or the Governor's Cup, contact Mark Arend at 1-770-446-6996 (USA) or via email at

-- Tracy Heath

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