Years ago in this column, I reminded readers that January is named after the Roman god Janus — the one looking backward and forward at the same time. The cover on this January issue seems the perfect illustration of that notion. We were determined to not focus again on the coronavirus and pandemic after some 2020 covers that did just that. But how do we — and you — move into a new year without that context? The way we work, the way our organizations function and the way our industries are coping and transforming have all changed.
Zoom meetings from my kitchen table are commonplace, as you no doubt relate to (my cat is a regular participant on them). A cover based on this now-critical communication tool seemed more than appropriate as we considered a way to look forward into 2021, and to spotlight our annual State of the States cover story. Our thanks to our smiling friends around the country whose photos help make this cover so effective.
I hope you’ll agree that the State of the States report gets better each year. In many cases this year, we included pandemic recovery and response content, which we hope we won’t need to repeat next year. These pages are packed with intelligence to keep on hand when weighing location options in the year ahead.
A focus on the states right now could not be more important. Change in national leadership always brings about some uncertainty on a macro level: How will the national business climate change in the coming years? Will U.S. and foreign investors change their perception of the country — and their long-term location strategies? States with strong business climates, meanwhile, are a hedge against that risk. Use the State of the States indicators and our annual Business Climate Rankings in each November issue for guidance on that.
This issue has international content you won’t want to miss, too — the EU players leading the transformation to large-scale renewable energy, and how Asia’s New Silk Rail Route is adding a huge logistics component to China’s larger Belt and Road initiative. Back stateside, you’ll find extensive reporting on where electric vehicle investment is going, and our annual regional workforce development ranking of the states.
The staff at Site Selection worked tirelessly in 2020 to bring you objective and comprehensive coverage of the pandemic’s effect on corporate real estate and economic development, among other topics. Like our friends on the cover, we now turn to doing so enthusiastically and cheerfully in whichever context awaits us in 2021. Happy New Year!
Till next time,
Mark Arend, Editor in Chief