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Corporate Executive Survey Commentary: Incentives Are Still Important

Fully 70 percent of Corporate Survey responders believe that incentives are somewhat or very important to their location decisions, which should help counter recently arisen perceptions to the contrary, says Andrew Shapiro, managing director at Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company.

Q1 / Winter 2013
27th Annual Survey of Corporate Executives and 9th Annual Survey of Consultants

Brett HunsakerSurvey Results Point to a "Positive Hold"
Brett Hunsaker, executive vice president and regional managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Bill LuttrellEmergence of Big Data Affects Corporate Survey Respondents' Priorities
Bill Luttrell, senior locations strategist at Werner Enterprises
Ed McCallumA Lackluster Recovery
Ed McCallum, senior principal at McCallum Sweeney Consulting
Christopher B. SchastokCorporate Survey Results Mirror General Market Trends
Christopher B. Schastok, vice president at Jones Lang LaSalleg
Andrew ShapiroIncentives Are Still Important
Andrew Shapiro, managing director at Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company
Thomas StringerCorporate Survey Reflects the New Economic Normal
Thomas Stringer, Business Advisory Services, Ryan & Company
It is interesting to see that highway accessibility has finally been supplanted as the number-one site selection factor, though it still outranks availability of skilled labor, which I have always found perplexing. Upon further examination, I realize that this result is probably due in large part to the disproportionate share of survey responders who are in the manufacturing, distribution, and construction industries (approximately 60 percent of all respondents), rather than so-called knowledge industries (financial services, insurance, I/T, healthcare, etc., comprising less than 20 percent of the survey sample). Employers in these latter sectors might be expected to prize labor quality above accessibility.

The proportion of survey respondents who’ve increased their number of facilities outpaces those who’ve reduced facilities by a factor of three — this jibes with our experiences; the demand for new sites/locations is definitely on the rise.

What also is striking is the share of respondents who seem content to continue in their current global deployment. Despite all of the talk of “reshoring” only 3 percent of the respondents anticipate bringing a foreign facility back to the United States, while an equally small number plan to move offshore.

Finally, we note that fully 70 percent of corporate responders believe that incentives are somewhat or very important to their location decisions. This too is confirmed by our experiences and should help counter perceptions to the contrary that may have arisen as a result of recent negative and (in our opinion) biased coverage of incentives in the national media.

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