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2016 Fall Forum Breakout Session: Business Climate and Regulatory Environment Considerations

How business is conducted is becoming increasingly more political than ever before. This regulatory environment and business climate is affecting businesses in every industry and region. At the Site Selectors Guild 2016 Fall Forum’s Business Climate and Regulatory Environment breakout session, Guild members Mike Mullis, Jeannette Goldsmith, Chris Lloyd and Andy Mace discussed factors that are impacting businesses today and what drives a company to either select or steer clear of any given community.

Analyzing the Business Climate

In the long-term, a company wants predictability: they want to meet the needs of their business and they want local and state entities that are going to be good partners. So, how do site selectors and companies go about deciding if a community is business friendly?

One method that site selectors use to determine business climate is to read the local newspaper and scan the city council minutes. By reading these local news sources, site selectors can easily get a good picture as to whether or not the community is working well with business and supportive of the companies in their community. Through these sources, the community’s attitude toward business can easily become abundantly clear.

Interviewing companies and other organizations that are currently doing business in the community is also a great knowledge source for gauging business climate.

What Can EDOs and IPAs do?

There are two major things that EDOs and IPAs can do to help make business climate more attractive in their community.

The first thing EDOs can do is to educate officials and elected officials on what economic development is and why it is important. So many political figures and officer holders do not have a good grasp of economic development and their judgment can be clouded by negative impressions they have about economic development, incentives and performance based standards. Educating elected officials can go a long way toward having a positive environment for new business.

The next thing that EDOs can do is to have a good website. A website that is up-to-date, thorough and complete with accurate data will provide site selectors and companies the information and resources needed to evaluate a community. Many times companies will turn to this information to compare corporate locations and if the information is not easily accessible, you are making the location decision harder. The Site Selectors Guild recommends that EDOs follow the 2016 data standards released by the IEDC in partnership with the Guild.

Looking for more ways your region or community can better serve companies and site selectors? Visit the Site Selectors Guild events website to find out about our upcoming educational events and services.