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By Andrea Davis on September 08, 2016
Economic development leaders and elected officials from three Hamilton County communities got some face time Thursday morning with corporate site consultants visiting central Indiana for the BMW Championship in Carmel.

Hamilton County Economic Development Corp. is hosting five consultants during the tournament at Crooked Stick Golf Club this week. The visitors—from Chicago, Dallas, Manhattan, New Jersey and Orange County—are all working on active corporate relocation projects.

In addition to taking in the on-the-course action from a 17th-hole skybox (weather permitting), the consultants are getting a firsthand look at Hamilton County and its cities of Carmel, Fishers and Noblesville.

Thursday, the group had breakfast with local leaders at the new Beck’s Hybrids hangar at Indianapolis Executive Airport on State Road 32. Homegrown Beck’s built the 19,000-square-foot facility at the county-owned airport west of Westfield to house its corporate fleet: three jets and a helicopter.

After hearing about Beck’s and the airport—the second-busiest in the Indianapolis area and still growing—the consultants shared their perspectives on the site-selection process.

Although each client and project has different priorities, they said two factors almost invariably rise to the top when choosing a location: workforce availability and cost. Next up are things like the business climate and transportation infrastructure. The quality of life in a community usually isn’t a consideration until the final stages of decision making, the consultants said.

Even so, it is one of the few factors a city has any control over, said Charles Ruby, a director in Deloitte’s National Credits & Incentives Practice, and “it is something that can move the needle.”

That’s something Hamilton County communities know well, given their continued success attracting businesses of all kinds. The fact that our cities make economic development a priority is another advantage, the consultants said.

“Every one of my clients would like a city to have a can-do attitude,” said Kathy Mussio, managing partner at Atlas Insight. “They want to hear, ‘We can get this done for you.’”
Categories: "Economic Development", "Hamilton County", "Quality of Life"