The Top 10 things that Business Looks for when choosing a Location


Site Selector magazine has released its annual article on the top state based business climates and Indiana as a state has risen to 8th on the list only trailing southern perennial top performers like North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and surprising neighbor Ohio. Our neighbor across the money saving bridge Kentucky ranks 11th.

Embedded in the article is a list of the TOP 10 CONSIDERATIONS of site selectors and businesses when they are pondering an expansion. The top 10 list is as follows:

1. Workforce Skills
2. State and Local Tax Schemes
3. Transportation Infrastructure
4. Flexibility of Incentive Programs
5. Utility Infrastructure
5. Available Incentives
7. Land and Building Cost and Supply
8. State Economic Development Strategy
9. Permitting and Regulatory Structure
10. Higher Education Resources

Here is a link to the entire article for your perusal:


  1. I don’t believe it… you mean, the “Positive mood” towards public health (specifically smoking) didn’t make the list? 😉

    • I did not make the list, Site Selector magazine did. The state that has been #1 for 9 out of the last 10 years is a non-smoking state. The places that smoking effects economic development are health insurance premiums (ours are very high), lost work days, clean public spaces, and lifestyle. In the big picture the 4 real issues are always in the following order, 1) can I do what I want to do in your location (infrastructure, transportation, etc. ), 2) is the cost of doing business acceptable (can I afford it), 3) Can I attract or hire the right people here, and 4) Do I and my people want to live there?.

      Typically many places make it through 1 and 2, then run into problems with workforce availability. Smoking is embedded in the cost of doing business and workforce issues. Finally if all is okay and it comes down to a choice between lets say 5 locations that meet the criteria for infrastructure ,money, and workforce, LIFESTYLE is the final decider. That is where the smoking places lose.

      In a typical year there are 300 to 500 good projects and 15,000 places that want them. Think of a social gathering with 300 pretty ladies and 15,000 young men all competing for their affection . They are looking for reasons to ELIMINATE locations. By being 20 years behind the smoke free workplace laws, Evansville gives site selectors that last reason to cross us off of the list. Think of the girls again, in such an environment what are the chances that an overweight, undereducated, and unhealthy smoker will get a girl?

      The attraction business is very much like the dating business. If we are to have a realistic chance at the really good projects, we need to prepare ourselves as we would if we were young and seeking a relationship. Take a bath, converse well, be in shape, and don’t do anything that might offend the object of our affection. Now if the object of our affection happens to look and act like Ursula the Sea Witch or Cruella DeVille we are doing the right things.

      • The point I make is…

        The issue isn’t really about getting an unhealthy smoker or not.

        Using your analogy, this is more about letting the girl feel better, getting an individual that is forced by government whim not to smoke – in her presence.

        That’s why I bring up the “benefits” of Aztar, in general, too… because of the overall contradiction.

        Isn’t “gambling” a poor “LIFESTYLE” choice, too?(

        The better comparison is of a married couple. Where the girl (Evansville) picked and committed to a serial gambler (being the first in Indiana to build a boat) because she loved all the money he won (see below) when he was on a hot streak. She just had to put up with the smoking habit – no problem right – wrong.

        Later, she wants to mold the guy into being a non-smoker by societal guilt and medical evidence.

        Well, that 12 step program may lead to depression and other problems. (lack of that cash windfall)

        See where I’m going with this?

        I’m just the guy telling the gal, uh – remember, you married the guy. Dragging him straight into a 12-step program against his will – has repercussions. (those worthy of public consideration in this debate before we keep jumping in this fight, again)

        Because the couple is also broke… and her credibility is in question as she has addictions, too. She can’t quit MAXING out the credit card on things that really aren’t necessities. (know what I mean?)

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