Changes in the Incentives Landscape
4 Oct 2021
The economic development industry and the site selection process saw significant changes brought on by the events of 2020 — from economic development groups learning how to conduct effective virtual site tours to managing the disbursement of federal funding through the Cares Act. These changes may have been more manageable had it not been for the abundance of industrial activity in 2020, leaving many economic development organizations stretched very thin, which is still taking its toll today, and the inability for some locations to keep up with inquiries and activities.
Similarly, for most businesses and industries, while 2020 brought new challenges, it also exacerbated other challenges that companies have been tackling for many years such as labor shortages, operating costs increases, and a shifting economy. When we couple these challenges with a shortage of industrial real estate product, supply chain disruptions, and a move to a hybrid employment model, to name a few, site selection risks have increased significantly. There are increased financial risks and equally important are the increased timing risks. Today, a strong partnership between government and private enterprise is more important than ever. This partnership can help erode delays and reduce costs. Governments control timing, permitting, public hearing timelines, and even responses on local issues that can either make or break a deal.