| "Why should a business invest
economic development professionals who are responsible for the attraction of
business investment and providing site selection assistance to executives
and their consultants were invited in April 2006 to provide an informative
article on this simple topic.
We publish their
point of view here for convenient reference. This reflects their local
market knowledge, project experience, and selective facts about their state business environment
and the competitive business investment climate in their region as presented below.
Additional comments and
research suggestions follow their article.
Who to contact for business investment projects in
article below about the competitive site selection advantages for business
investment projects, and the support services provided as companies grow in
Pennsylvania, is from :
Ted S. Martin
Director, Economic Development Marketing
Department of Community & Economic Development
(was inventPA in the past)
for project announcements or other PR
Buildings and sites
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|Local business clusters can also be researched through
our Pennsylvania directory of economic development agencies or other
are also available from other state economic development agencies.
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|A New Day
combined programmatic impact of the newly-enacted Stimulus Package gives
Pennsylvania the most comprehensive and flexible package of financing
programs of any states.”
Biggins LLC 2004 Analysis of Pennsylvania’s Economic Development
Governor Edward G. Rendell has made economic revival a top priority, and has
moved on many fronts since taking office in January 2003. He's done more
than just trim government waste or offer tax incentives -- Rendell has put
forth a broad program for making the state more attractive to new businesses
and keeping the jobs it already has.
summed up that approach in a budget message early in his term:
"If we can make
our cities and towns more livable, offer sportsmen clean streams and healthy
game lands, respond to growing needs to preserve farmland and open space and
repair the environmental damage of our industrial past, Pennsylvania will be
a more attractive place for families and employers to come and to stay."
Reports : Field Research
- none at this
Profiles : Basic Research
- none at this
Surveys : Local Summary
- none at this
|In April 2004,
Pennsylvania’s Legislature passed and Rendell signed into law an Economic
Stimulus Program that contains key elements to “jumpstart” the state’s
economy plus incentives to support the private sector and improve the number
of projects being undertaken in the Commonwealth. The Package invests over
$2.8 billion as a magnet to attract at least $5 billion in private
investment in the following target areas: Business Investment, Community
Revitalization, and Site Preparation, Infrastructure Improvement and
To fuel the Commonwealth’s community
and business growth, the Economic Stimulus focuses investment in new
high-growth companies. It channels new resources to aging communities in
need of new and improved infrastructure, and provides the resources that
will allow Pennsylvania’s traditional industries, especially manufacturing,
to access new technology to enhance their productivity. Most of all, it
brings a new vision for creating jobs, retaining talent, growing the economy
and positioning Pennsylvania for success in the 21st century.
Within this overall package is one innovative program
designed to add brain power to the mix of attractions for businesses. The
Keystone Innovation Zone, or KIZ, is one example of an effort to get the
state's colleges, community colleges, and universities involved in economic
development. The program grants funds to community/university partnerships
to generate economic and job growth in the areas around the campuses.
Currently, there are 15 KIZs.
Consultants, other professionals
- other directories of
Competitiveness Report by
IBM - Plant Location
Ad Recall -
state and local ads
- Pennsylvania Ad
Recall - places to meet
BIO 2007, Boston
CoreNet Global Summits - US
institutions represent one of the Commonwealth’s greatest strengths in the
form of well educated, motivated graduates," said Dennis Yablonsky,
Pennsylvania's Secretary of Community and Economic Development. Our many
campuses, he added, are "a source of intellectual capital that can be used
to strengthen the existing manufacturing base and serve as the basis for the
formation of new growth companies.
The Business in Our Sites Program is another unique
feature of the Stimulus Package, and has been labeled the “most targeted,
aggressive and proactive approach to solving the problem of site
preparedness.” As companies are frequently conducting site searches with a
shortened decision-to-operation schedule, Pennsylvania’s approach is a bold
step in confronting the market risks of speculative development and site
preparation. Funded at $300 million, the program shows a great level of
public commitment to site preparation.
- see US directory
Edward G. Rendell
too that Pennsylvania's small towns and communities need all the help they
can get to encourage growth and build local assets, the Stimulus Package has
a program known as the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to meet their special
concerns. Using TIF, a community can borrow money via bonds to improve a
distressed property, and repay the bonds with future tax revenue generated
by the improved property.
The TIF Program is nothing
new – but making it easier for smaller communities to take advantage of it
is. Pennsylvania's large cities have been using the program for years with
outstanding results. However, because small cities and communities have a
narrower base of resources to handle the details of a TIF application, many
have hesitated to use this valuable financing option. As a result, hundreds
of deteriorating properties across Pennsylvania have continued to be a
burden rather than a benefit. The $100 million TIF Guarantee Program takes
the worry and much of the risk out of the process. It guarantees all or part
of a TIF bond issue, as well as offering intensive technical assistance on
completing the application.
- PA : list of
Buildings, Business Parks
Featured properties - none
Parks and Incubators
Technology parks directory
Pennsylvania as Policy Innovator
Many of the programs of the Economic Stimulus Package
build on other successful initiatives designed to enhance Pennsylvania's
One of the largest weapons in the state's economic
development arsenal is the Keystone Opportunity Zone, or KOZ. Essentially,
this idea has taken some 49,000 acres of underutilized and underdeveloped
land and made them available to businesses -- with virtual freedom from
state and local taxes.
Currently, there are 12 Keystone Opportunity Zones. These
areas all have been deemed to have undergone adverse economic and
socioeconomic conditions—and noted as locations not generating much tax
revenue. Since the program began in 1999, it has been a huge success,
creating more than 23,418 new jobs and retaining some 21,136 more. It has,
so far, resulted in total investment of more than $5.2 billion.
Pennsylvania has a long history of trying the new and
different when it comes to public policy. For example, using $100 million
from a settlement with tobacco companies, the Commonwealth created the PA
Life Sciences Greenhouse Initiative. It's designed to work just like a real
greenhouse -- by providing the nurturing environment that companies need to
grow and thrive. There are three Life Sciences Greenhouses: in Pittsburgh,
in Central Pennsylvania, and in the southeastern part of the state.
military base closures
and cost data
Pennsylvania as Deal Maker
Overall, Pennsylvania has taken a very sophisticated
approach to economic development. It all begins with The Governor’s Action
Team (GAT), a group of professionals chosen to help businesses with every
aspect of expansion or relocation projects. GAT works with individual
companies to provide "one-stop shopping" for any relocation or expansion
needs. “Creating jobs is pivotal to Pennsylvania’s economic success,” said
Secretary Yablonsky, and the Governor's Action Team is often the first stop
for companies interested in doing so. The team members provide liaison with
local governments, subcontractors, and utility companies. They identify
available grants, loans, and other financial incentives. And they help find
the best place to locate the business.” There are several outstanding
examples of the success of this approach.
Recently, when Fairchild Semiconductor looked to expand
its facility in Mountaintop, in Luzerne County, state officials swung into
action. GAT put together a financial package that included a $1 million
opportunity grant, $575,000 in tax credits for job creation, $250,000 for
customized job training, and a host of other loans and grants. The company
is headquartered in Portland, Maine and employs about 10,000 people around
the world. Pennsylvania officials were determined to keep their share of
those jobs and win even more.
Company officials say the effort paid off.
“Through our 43 years of operation in Pennsylvania, this
site has enjoyed strong and supportive relationships with the community,
state, county and township governments,” said Kirk Pond, Fairchild’s
chairman, chief executive and president. “We appreciate the cooperative
Efforts like these have paid off in international as well
as domestic arenas.
BTC Solutions recently chose a site in Erie, Pennsylvania,
as the location for its North American Technology Center. The $3 million
project mirrors a similar center in Berlin-Schonefeld, Germany. The company
will create 60 new jobs over the next three years. BTC makes world class
tracking and monitoring devices that work with global position systems
(GPS), and this expansion bolsters the state's reputation as a high-tech
Mecca. DCED and local officials put together an incentives package that
included $60,000 in job-creation tax credits, a $100,000 opportunity grant,
and a $200,000 small business loan. "We are truly excited about the
opportunities available to a company such as ours in Erie,” said Tom Lennox,
BTC Solutions’ chief executive officer. “This marks a significant event in
the company’s history as we plan and begin to execute our long-term growth
and development in North America. We are truly thankful for the help
provided by the Governor’s Action Team and other members of the Erie
Other signs indicating that the economy of Pennsylvania is
on the mend appeared throughout the past three years as well. In Hopewell,
in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, one of the largest providers of mortgage
settlement services announced an $8.9 million expansion that will create 300
jobs over five years.
In March 2004, experts in nanotechnology gathered at the
convention center in Philadelphia to explore business opportunities in the
Commonwealth. Nanotechnology -- research and development at the atomic,
molecular or macromolecular levels -- is one of the most advanced fields of
scientific exploration and has already led to key developments in the
biopharmaceutical, electronics, and energy industries. Sales of products
developed from nanotech are expected to reach $1 trillion in the U.S. by
2015, and the conference in Philadelphia staked out a claim in that emerging
Pennsylvania also is a leading biotech location. In 2004,
the Commonwealth directly and through its partner organizations awarded
approximately $175 million to over 80 biosciences companies and 12
biosciences-related infrastructure projects in the form of loans, grants and
tax credits. The capstone to all this activity came on June 19-22, 2005,
when Pennsylvania hosted the largest gathering of life science professionals
in the world. Located in Philadelphia, the BIO 2005 Annual International
Convention set new records for attendance with over 18,000 participants from
56 countries and all 50 U.S. states.
Pennsylvania as the Ideal Business Location
Pennsylvania’s great location—within a 500-mile radius of
six of the ten major American market areas—offers access to vital markets
that make for 40 percent of the country’s population and purchasing power;
over 60 percent of Canada’s population; 45 percent of U.S. manufacturers;
and 41 percent of the country’s domestic trade and service industries. Four
of the Top 10 Logistics metros in the American northeast are located in
Pennsylvania. To assist companies in accessing these markets, Pennsylvania
offers 120,000 miles of highways and invests nearly $3.5 billion annually
for road and bridge construction and maintenance. Other modes of
transportation include air, rail and ports. The Commonwealth has 6
international airports; 134 public-use airports and 16 scheduled service
airports which serve 24 million passengers annually. Nearly 800,000 metric
tons of air cargo is moved in Pennsylvania each year. The Commonwealth has
69 railroads that include more than 5,100 miles of railways—ranking it 5th
in the country. Additionally, Pennsylvania has access to the Atlantic Ocean
via the Port of Philadelphia and access to the Great Lakes via the Port of
More than six million people comprise Pennsylvania’s
workforce. More than 86 percent of Pennsylvania adults have earned at least
a high school diploma and more than 24 percent have a Bachelor’s Degree or
higher. Pennsylvania is home to four of the nation’s top 50 universities,
the nation’s top undergraduate business school and second ranked graduate
school, and one of the country’s top graduate computer engineering schools.
And, the world’s best Materials Science Program is located at Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth’s $438.4 billion economy ranks 16th
largest in the world, making it a major player in the global economy.
Pennsylvania is also a technology leader, with more than a million miles of
fiber optic cable crisscrossing its borders. The Commonwealth is home to
more than 6,600 high-tech establishments, and has a growing biotech cluster,
which has the nation’s largest concentration of tissue engineering firms.
Pennsylvania ranks in the top five nationally for life sciences and medical
device firms; 1st for pharmaceutical and medicine production and 1st for
health care industry employment. Pennsylvania is the 6th leading state for
new and expanded business plants overall, as well as 4th for new
manufacturing plants. It is a leader in Research and Development and ranks
9th in industry spending, investing $9.8 billion annually for R&D.
Pennsylvania’s quality of life is very desirable, as well,
and includes a low crime rate, quality schools and healthcare. There are
various cultural attractions that include theater, art, and music and many
kinds of festivals. There is professional baseball, football, basketball and
hockey, as well as college sports. Pennsylvania has many parks and forests
in which to enjoy all kinds of outdoor recreation.
provided by :
Ted S. Martin
Director, Economic Development Marketing
Department of Community & Economic Development
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225
Please let him know if you found this article to be
helpful, or if you have suggestions for improvement.
- PA : news, press releases
directory of resources
to the above article : May 4, 2006 Pennsylvania replied quickly to our request for such articles
relative to other states.
||The above is
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This article was prepared by professionals who are responsible for the attraction of
business investment projects to the state, such as for new offices,
factories, distribution centers, etc. These articles are not edited to
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Please let us
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