MWC’s Blaine Discusses Area Development’s 36th Annual Survey of Corporate Executives

March 21, 2022

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McGuireWoods Consulting vice president Benton Blaine wrote a commentary on site selection-related implications drawn from the results of Area Development’s 36th Annual Survey of Corporate Executives. Benton is a member of MWC’s national infrastructure and economic development team.

His article noted that costs, accessibility and taxes all ranked higher in importance than quality of life to small and mid-size companies. Benton added that the majority of “projects” in the survey are led by small to mid-sized growing companies that are unlikely to use a site-selection consultant.

The takeaway, he wrote, is that economic development commissions seeking to entice new or retain existing businesses in their localities should pivot their talk track with these projects to focus on how their communities can ease the cost burden or logistics challenges facing companies today.

Exemplifying the need for site-selection consultants, company-led projects ranked “availability of skilled labor,”which is difficult to find anywhere, at No. 2 in importance to them. They ranked “training programs/technical schools” — where companies are likely to find labor supply — at No. 17.