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Goodman Group Doubles Down on Sustainability with New Multi-Story Industrial Development on Seine Axis


Goodman Group Doubles Down on Sustainability with New Multi-Story Industrial Development on Seine Axis

Today HAROPA PORT announces the creation of a major river and seaport complex. It is the outcome of a call for logistics projects initiated by the Port of Gennevilliers (French département 92). Goodman has been selected for the development of a 90,000 sqm multimodal logistics platform – unique in Europe. The platform will be constructured over four levels, linked directly to the Seine and targeting the development of river transport and urban distribution for the Greater Paris region. The project is a perfect illustration of the new river and seaport’s positioning and ambitions for the development of decarbonised logistics.

Key features include;

+90,000 sqm of logistics space including 10,000 sqm of offices

+16 units of 5,000 sqm

+Four levels accessible to all vehicle types

+11,000 sqm solar PV

+17,000 sqm rooftop urban farm, of which 7,000 sqm is  greenhouse space

+BREEAM Outstanding certification, BiodiverCity and Low-Carbon labels

+One river transhipment dock

Named GREEN DOCK, this cutting-edge logistics project will be ideally located in the port of Gennevilliers, the leading port facility for the Greater Paris area by size and activity and only five kilometres from Paris and 20 minutes from Roissy – Charles de Gaulle airport. 250 companies from a diverse range of sectors have already chosen the area due to the ports location and multi-modal offerings, which include a combination of river, sea/rail, oil pipeline and road transport modes. GREEN DOCK will allow urban distribution businesses to provide “final-kilometre” delivery and to develop river-based transport deep into the French capital.

The vision for river transport is becoming increasingly important for many operators. STEF, DB SCHENKER and CEVA Logistics have already expressed interest in GREEN DOCK, providing input for its design. GREEN DOCK will be developed, held and managed directly by Goodman.

Goodman’s approach utilized a multi-disciplinary team to conceptualise this prime multimodal site combining modularity and a contemporary eco-design. The modern architectural lines of its façade will be constructed in natural, recycled materials including wood and concrete to integrate the site into its Seine riverbank surroundings. The building’s structure has been conceived for total flexibility and will allow its working areas to evolve in line with the needs of the occupants. Lastly, its roofing will be home to the largest urban farm in Europe, run by Cultivate it will cover 17,000 sqm, including 7,000 sqm of greenhouse space.

GREEN DOCK also sets out to be a model of economic land use and sustainable development, aiming for BREEAM certification at Outstanding level plus the BiodiverCity and low-carbon labels. Covering 90,000 sqm over four levels, supplemented by an access zone and underground parking, the project will have a density four times higher than standard. Energy management on the site will also benefit from innovations unparalleled in terms of scale: a solar PV plant covering 11,000 sqm of roof area intended for the site’s own supply, a heat exchanger connected to the Seine for heating and cooling the building and a geothermal plant. The dock, a key component of the site’s multimodality, fully funded by Goodman, provides a direct link between the project and the river. It will offer users direct, functional access to river transport, both upstream and downstream.

“We are honoured to have been awarded the project initiated by HAROPA PORT for the Gennevilliers flagship site. Green Dock, our multimodal project design is the outcome of a year of studies and discussion and embodies the firm belief that river transport will be central to tomorrow’s urban distribution. Its vertical design is inspired by our completed projects in Asia, but its functional architectural quality and environmental performance make Green Dock unique. It exemplifies the level of excellence we aim for in each of our developments.” says Philippe Arfi, Director of Goodman France.

“It is with pleasure that we sign this commitment to working with Goodman on this highly auspicious day on which HAROPA PORT comes officially into being. This project for a multimodal platform is an innovation for Europe and confirms the role of the new HAROPA PORT in ambitious, decarbonised logistics. This agreement is a perfect illustration of our ability to offer end-to-end logistics solutions right from the maritime terminals of Le Havre and Rouen up to the final kilometre and to pursue alongside our partners projects on a scale and of a quality never before seen in our ports” confirms Stéphane Raison, CEO of HAROPA PORT.



Since 1 June 2021, the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris, already united under single banner of HAROPA since 2012, form the “major Seine Axis river and sea port authority”. As the fifth largest north-European port complex, HAROPA PORT has connections to every continent based on an international maritime offering in the very first rank (calling at nearly 700 ports). It serves an extensive hinterland centred on the Seine Valley and the Paris region, together constituting France’s biggest consumer catchment area. From Le Havre to Rouen, the port complex can point to 2.5m sq. m. of logistics warehousing currently in service and over 1m sq. m. of available warehousing space. Today in France, HAROPA PORT provides a transport and logistics system capable of proposing holistic, end-to-end service offerings. It generates annual maritime and river traffic in excess of 130m tonnes and its activities represent approximately 160,000 jobs.

For more information, please contact:

Marie HERON T +33 2 32 74 72 87 – +33 6 79 69 36 09

Nicolas BOUDET +33 1 40 58 29 81 – +33 6 74 35 22 17

About Goodman

With assets under management totalling A$52.9 billion and 366 properties under management, Goodman is the largest listed industrial property group in Australia and one of the largest managers of listed specialist funds worldwide. Its market vision and its specialised teams in each country, create solid investment opportunities and develop spaces and working environments that meet the individual needs of each customer.

With over 900 staff and 26 offices in 14 countries, Goodman has the global reach to meet the needs of its clients as their businesses expand or develop. In Europe, Goodman is present in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

For more information on Goodman in France, go to:

economic development


Though much still remains uncertain with the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that is certain is that there isn’t a business or industry that hasn’t been affected in some way by it, whether good or bad. This includes the economic development industry. As with any industry, COVID-19 has posed a unique set of challenges for economic developers. After all, how can you grow the economy when business as usual becomes very unusual? 

That’s not to say that everything COVID-19 has been bad news for business. In fact, some businesses, such as PPE manufacturing and e-commerce, are booming in the wake of the pandemic. Still, despite these successes, many communities are struggling to retain businesses and jobs. That’s where economic developers come in.

From rallying together to help small businesses to adjusting how they conduct site visits, economic developers around the country have had to think on their feet to help maintain the elusive “business as usual” under this new normal. We asked economic development leaders what impact COVID-19 has had on the efforts to preserve and grow the economy in their communities. Here’s what they had to say.

Business Retention

Across the country, economic development corporations have been scrambling to minimize the effects of COVID-19 on their communities. One major component of this has been business retention or assisting existing businesses with adapting to the many changes in how they must do business in a post-COVID world. Christina Winn, executive director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development in Virginia, says at the onset of the pandemic, the county sprung to action, creating an Economic Development Recovery Task Force. The task force was comprised of 42 local business leaders, and it created programs to help businesses navigate the pandemic through initiatives such as grants, microgrants and temporary activity permits for outdoor dining.

Liberal, Kansas, received $132,000 in grant funds to assist businesses with working capital and inventory in case of a shutdown, says Cindy Wallace of the city’s Economic Development Department. Rick Clifton, president and CEO of the Covington County EDC & Business Development Center in Alabama, states that his county quickly established an emergency fund for local businesses.

The Indiana Economic Development Center was able to help Hoosiers secure $3.7 million in funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration and also assist businesses in the state apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, according to Jim Staton, the EDC’s senior vice president and chief business development officer. (Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb recently named Staton to serve as interim secretary of Commerce.)

In total, more than 83,000 Indiana businesses were granted over $9.56 billion in PPP loans. Indiana even launched its own grant program, the Small Business Restart Grant, which has awarded nearly $34 million in funding to nearly 2,000 businesses in the state. Of that, $5 million went to minority and women-owned businesses.

Though these funds and grants have by and large helped businesses remain open and able to pay their workers during forced shutdowns and dwindling customers, they’re not the only way economic developers have rolled up their sleeves to help business owners. In other communities across America, a big focus of economic developers has been getting information to local businesses—especially in the early days of the pandemic. 

According to Lance Hedquist, city administrator of South Sioux City, Nebraska, education through the media and the governor’s office has been paramount to keeping local businesses informed. Chief Executive Officer Ronald E. Tolley, CEcD, of the Liberty County Development Authority in Hinesville, Georgia, cited similar measures, stating that maintaining constant contact with business leaders helped keep them abreast of new guidelines and restrictions while allowing his agency to keep close tabs on the local business climate. 

However, while Liberty County’s businesses were all deemed essential and allowed to stay open, that has not been a universal experience. In Laredo, Texas, for example, the first two months of the pandemic were the hardest for the border city, due to the shutdown of the automotive industry. As the No. 1 ranked land port in the U.S., Laredo rebounded quickly, but many of the small local businesses that rely on cross-border tourism continue to struggle. According to Gene Lindgren, president and CEO of the Laredo Economic Development Corporation, some businesses had no choice but to permanently close, while others have been surviving on business stimulus.

Other cities which rely heavily on tourism have faced their own unique challenges. In Tunica County, Mississippi, Charles Finkley, Jr., president and CEO of the Tunica County Chamber of Commerce and River Park Museum and Aquarium, says that the initial shutdown negatively affected the county across all sectors. Tunica County, which relies heavily on the gaming and tourism industries, acted swiftly and was one of the first counties to mandate mask-wearing. This helped the county’s key industries rebound quickly, and today they have been able to resume concerts and other entertainment that complements casinos and other tourism-adjacent businesses.

The mask mandate was just the beginning for Tunica County, which was already in the process of diversifying its economy at the onset of the pandemic. However, the shutdown really hit home how important this move could be to the county. According to Finkley, the effects of the pandemic only served to reinforce the county’s plans to diversify.


While by and large, the pandemic has not affected the incentives offered to incoming businesses in many communities, some reported marginal increases in offerings, and more willingness on the part of local government to offer incentive packages.

Side Effects

As for how the pandemic has changed the field of economic development, those changes have yet to be fully realized, although many experts we spoke to agreed that virtual site visits and meetings are likely here to stay. Says Wallace of the Liberal, Kansas, Economic Development Department: “More and more site selectors are asking for virtual tours of sites and buildings, and economic developers should be ready to learn how to do these.”

Winn of Virginia’s Prince William County Department of Economic Development believes that real estate will be affected, as businesses transfer their workforce to work-from-home. Office spaces will become increasingly vacant, while workers may reevaluate their home location and move somewhere that isn’t necessarily convenient to commuting to an office. Shane Shepard, Economic Development director with the City of Lancaster, Texas, agrees, noting that the industrial and distribution sector of real estate in Lancaster is growing quickly, with a new Walmart distribution center slated for the city that will create 1,300 jobs, and DSV Logistics Regional Headquarters that will bring approximately 450 jobs.

Brad Reams, the director of the Great Plains Industrial Park in Parsons, Kansas, believes that the pandemic will cause “a restraint on international business for a couple of years” due to a heavily disrupted supply chain. He also believes small business growth will be stalled for at least five years, as many small businesses are bearing the brunt of the economic damage in their communities.

Business Status

As Reams alluded to, despite their best efforts, some businesses were still lost to the pandemic, and among those that remain, tough choices had to be made to stay in business. At Great Plains Industrial Park, as with many other places, some manufacturers were forced to lay off or furlough workers. Further complicating matters, travel restrictions have created challenges to attract new business. 

Over in Prince William County, some theaters, malls and retail establishments were forced to close, while Wallace says some oilfields in Liberal, Kansas, shut down due to low oil prices. Still, Liberal has at least one ethanol production facility, Arkalon Energy, that is currently expanding. Furthermore, some businesses in Liberal have shifted focus, including one business that has begun taking steps to manufacture grain neutral spirit, a form of alcohol that can be used in hand sanitizer.

In Elko, Nevada, Sheldon Mudd, executive director of the Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority, says that while some small businesses have shuttered, the local mining industry is booming due to extra work they’ve received due to supply chain issues from foreign entities. In fact, the mining industry in Northeastern Nevada has stepped up to the plate to help other businesses. Nevada Gold Mines and the Rural Nevada Development Corporation recently teamed up to create the I-8 Loan Fund, infusing it with $2.5 million to help local businesses by providing them with the opportunity to borrow up to $100,000 at 2 percent interest to assist them during the pandemic. Furthermore, Elko has seen businesses such as sporting goods and firearms retailers increase sales over the past year. 

The Impact of Vaccines

While most communities are not yet seeing any movement due to the widening availability of vaccines, many economic development professionals remain optimistic. 

Will Williams, president and CEO of the Economic Development Partnership in Aiken, South Carolina, says his biggest challenge right now is the workforce because his region has boasted some of the lowest unemployment rates in the state since July of 2020. 

Another community where a shortage of workforce is an issue is South Sioux City where, according to City Administrator Hedquist, hundreds of jobs are available despite the pandemic.

Echoes Ronald E. Tolley of Liberty County: “All of our companies are still in business, and some have increased employment.” These communities may be the exception, not the rule. In the end, only time will tell what vaccines and a hopefully flattening curve will do for economic development.

The Final Word

While each community’s experience with COVID-19 has been as diverse as the communities themselves, there has been an underlying theme of perseverance and grit among economic development professionals, striving to both retain existing businesses and attract new businesses during a major pandemic.

Winn, for her part, feels as though looking ahead, business retention will be a key factor in economic development, and economic developers must work to stay ahead of the trends to help local businesses pivot at a moment’s notice. 

Over in Covington County, Rick Clifton believes that the shutdown was a “total disconnect between government and business,” a disconnect that has caused damage that we may never recover from.

In Liberal, Wallace believes economic developers should brace for a new normal. “I keep hearing ‘when things get back to normal.’ Whatever you describe as normal may never be the same again.” 

Tunica County, Mississippi’s Finkley has a more optimistic perspective, believing businesses will not only rebound but do so better than before the pandemic, thanks to the Herculean effort of economic developers. “I would like to also commend my fellow economic developers and the hard work they are doing to help businesses in their area recover,” he says.

Ultimately, as these economic development professionals agree, the impact the pandemic has had on the industry will likely be felt for months or even years to come. Whether that impact continues to stumble or begins to soar remains to be seen but in the words of Brad Reams, no matter the community “this pandemic has challenged us.”

economic development


A debate that has gained some steam with the global pandemic is whether government agencies or nonprofits that seek to help stimulate national, state and local economies should give incentives to companies seeking to move into or keep from fleeing their jurisdictions.

With so many people out of work and, at the time of this writing, only a faint hope from a vaccination solution, it is small wonder that economic development entities and the incentives they offer have lost favor.

However, if we are ever to get back to some semblance of “normal,” we are going to need jobs to fill because heaven knows there are plenty of people desperately seeking employment.

Despite the pandemic, economic development efforts continued throughout 2020, as witnessed by the month-by-month breakdown that follows. Because not all the projects that follow made hard numbers available, we can only say that, should they all come to fruition, they will generate multi-billions of dollars in local economic activity and tens of thousands of jobs.

When you compare that promise with the amounts that were laid out to lure or keep the businesses, you may dare to consider them smart investments. Read on to see if you agree.

JANUARY: Global Aerospace and Defense Tech Giant Expands in Utah 

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced that Northrop Grumman will expand its global aerospace and defense operations by more than 1 million square feet in Weber County, which is promised up to 2,250 jobs and $380 million in capital investment over the next two decades.

Northrop, which is Utah’s largest security and defense company already, is eligible to earn back 30 percent of the new state taxes they will pay as part of a 20-year deal, which is expected to generate nearly $200 million in new tax revenues and jobs “for generations to come,” according to GOED Executive Director Val Hale.

The deal is a “significant win for Northern Utah,” says Theresa A. Foxley, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “. . . On a broader level, we as Utahans can be proud of what this means in terms of national defense and global security.”

Another Notable January Deal: LLFlex, a leader in packaging materials and industrial laminate solutions, will invest $7.6 million to locate a facility in High Point, North Carolina, that will create 46 new jobs in Guilford County, Governor Roy Cooper announced. The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s support for the company’s decision, which was juiced by $90,000 from the One North Carolina Fund. Partnering with the state commerce department in the deal were the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, City of High Point, High Point Economic Development Corp., Guilford County Economic Development Alliance and Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.

FEBRUARY: Sherwin-Williams Paints Downtown Cleveland Green

The Sherwin-Williams Co. revealed its plans for a new downtown Cleveland headquarters and a research and development (R&D) center in Brecksville, in a set of projects expected to bring hundreds of new jobs and a corporate investment of at least $600 million to Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

The paint company’s HQ is targeted at 1 million square feet, while the R&D center will be about half that size. The earliest Sherwin-Williams is expected to move into the new buildings is 2023. 

More than $760 million in incentives from JobsOhio and other cities, county and state agencies were used to keep the $51 billion, publicly-traded company (and its 6,000 jobs) in Ohio, where about 4,400 of those workers are located in the state’s Northeast region. The R&D facility should add just more than 300 jobs in Brecksville.

“We are pleased to be a partner with Sherwin-Williams on this highly competitive project,” Governor Mike DeWine said in the company’s news release. “The state of Ohio, JobsOhio and our regional and local economic development partners have been focused on keeping one of Ohio’s leading companies right here where they belong.”

Team NEO, the local economic development organization that serves as JobsOhio’s arm in the region; the Greater Cleveland Partnership, which is the local chamber of commerce; the Downtown Cleveland Alliance; and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port all worked on the deal.

Another Notable February Deal: Publix broke ground on a new, 940,000-square-foot refrigerated distribution center in Greensboro, North Carolina, where up to 1,000 new jobs are anticipated to be created across the region by 2025. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Publix Super Markets CEO Todd Jones participated in the groundbreaking ceremony. “We appreciate Publix choosing to grow jobs and put down stronger roots in Guilford County and the Piedmont Triad with this new distribution facility,” Cooper said at the time. “North Carolina will continue to strengthen our workforce to attract more good jobs here in our state.” 

MARCH: USDA Offers FREE Money for Rural Economic Development

U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand announced that USDA would accept the Fiscal Year 2020 applications for grants to help strengthen the rural economy.

Available under the Rural Community Development Initiative, the grants aim to help improve housing and community facilities and to implement community and economic development projects in rural areas.

Electronic applications that had to be filed by May 13, 2020, needed to show that aid seekers could provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies. The USDA also encouraged applicants to support Trump Administration goals to combat substance use disorder, including opioid misuse, in high-risk rural communities by strengthening the capacity to address prevention, treatment and/or recovery.

APRIL: Chewy Takes a Bite Out of the Pandemic in North Carolina

Despite COVID-19, the Rowan County Economic Development Commission could point to several successful projects in 2020, including the grand opening of online pet supply retailer Chewy’s new fulfillment center in Salisbury, North Carolina, on April 6.

The largest economic development project in Rowan County history would include a 700,000-square-foot facility, $55 million in capital investment and at least 1,200 new jobs. Chewy’s distribution center was the ninth in the U.S. but the first in North Carolina. 

“The combination of Salisbury’s great labor market and available real estate and positioning in the right part of the country for our network made it a great match,” said Gregg Walsh, Chewy’s vice president of fulfillment center human resources. “We’ve scaled the site from our first hiring group, which was 20 team members, and we’re now over 1,200. We’re expecting to hire another 200 or more positions.” 

MAY: Lightweight Auto and Aerospace Parts Supplier Lands in Indiana

Yajima Industry Co. Ltd., a Japanese specialty company in lightweight automotive and aerospace products and components, announced it would open its U.S. headquarters in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. worked with Yajima on an incentive package, but the company was also attracted to its location in the Purdue Research Park and near one of its clients, Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA), the home of North American production for the Ascent, Impreza, Legacy and Outback models. 

“Yajima’s decision to make Indiana its U.S. headquarters supports the long-standing tradition of Japanese manufacturers choosing to grow in our state,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “The establishment of Yajima USA in Purdue Research Park is the perfect match with its proximity to SIA, the Indiana Manufacturing Institute and other aerospace and automotive manufacturing companies. Yajima USA joins more than 300 Japanese business facilities in the state, and we’re excited to watch them grow their operations and workforce in West Lafayette.”

JUNE: Gulf Island Expands Shipyard Workforce in Louisiana

Discussions about the expansion that began this month between Louisiana Economic Development and Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. bore fruit in 2020, when Governor John Bel Edwards and company President and CEO Richard W. Heo made a joint announcement regarding Gulf Island’s Shipyard Division workforce near Houma. 

The company vowed to create 106 new direct jobs at an average annual salary of $48,000, plus benefits, to accommodate orders for marine vessel construction from clients that include the U.S. Navy and the National Science Foundation.

Louisiana Economic Development estimated the project would also result in 123 new indirect jobs, for a total of 229 new jobs for Terrebonne Parish and the Bayou Region. Gulf Island also is retaining 308 existing jobs at its Shipyard Division facility along the Houma Navigation Canal.

To secure the project, the state offered a competitive incentive package that included the Quality Jobs Program as well as the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program for the past 11 years. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs Program.

“This announcement underscores the importance of working with our existing industry base to help them grow and add more good-paying, skilled jobs in our community,” said Matt Rookard, CEO of the Terrebonne Economic Development Authority. “Gulf Island’s investment will have positive effects through the local economy.”

JULY: Tesla Brings $1.1 Billion “Gamechanger” to Texas

Electric automaker Tesla’s announcement that it will build a $1.1 billion gigafactory in Travis County, Texas, not only brought the prospect of 5,000 new jobs that start at $35,000 annually but Business Facilities Magazine’s 2020 Deal of the Year Gold Award to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.

“The chamber’s Opportunity Austin team worked tirelessly with Tesla and our government and community partners to make this deal a reality,” said Opportunity Austin Chair Gary Farmer. “Giga Texas is a true gamechanger for our region and is much deserving of this national attention.”

It certainly caught the attention of Texas Governor Gregg Abbott. 

“Tesla is one of the most exciting and innovative companies in the world, and we are proud to welcome its team to the State of Texas,” he said. “Texas has the best workforce in the nation, and we’ve built an economic environment that allows companies like Tesla to innovate and succeed. Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas will keep the Texas economy the strongest in the nation and will create thousands of jobs for hardworking Texans. I look forward to the tremendous benefits that Tesla’s investment will bring to Central Texas and to the entire state.”

The factory, which is being built on a 2,100-acre plot in southeastern Travis County, will produce Tesla’s Model T SUV and the upcoming Cybertruck electric pickup when it is at full capacity in 2023.

Other Notable July Deals: Business Facilities Magazine recognized multiple deals in 2020, but for some reason, several were bunched in July. Its Bronze Award winner was Fortune 500 healthcare insurance company Centene’s Regional Headquarters, a 1-million-square-foot campus that will bring 3,237 new jobs to the University City neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina, which was also Business Facilities’ 2020 State of the Year. The Centene project was a collaborative effort between the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, the North Carolina Community College System, Central Piedmont Community College, University of North Carolina Charlotte and the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. Business Facilities also gave honorable mentions to two other deals in July: Tech consulting giant Accenture Federal Services’ opening of an Advanced Technology Center in St. Louis, Missouri, and an 820,000-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center coming to Pflugerville, Texas.

AUGUST: OmniTRAX Project Maximizes Chicago Area Intermodal

OmniTRAX, one of the fastest-growing railroads in North America and an affiliate of Denver-based The Broe Group, worked with the nonprofit Calumet Area Industrial Commission to launch its Rail-Ready Sites program at the Chicago Rail Link (CRL). 

The Rail-Ready Sites program connects customers looking to maximize supply chain performance with rail-served properties. The first project with Calumet focuses on two sites that total 156 acres and are ideal locations for automotive manufacturing, steel fabricators and finishers, food processing and distribution and building materials suppliers. But the partners say they plan to look at other nearby sites in the future.  

“The greater Calumet area has one of the best trained and most experienced workforces in the country, and has the lowest cost of doing business in an otherwise expensive region,” explained Ted Stalnos, president and CEO of Calumet Area Industrial Commission. “The CAIC can help companies navigate potential environmental incentives, financing and government regulations so they can find the rail-served facility of their dreams.” 

In 2020, OmniTRAX also worked with the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and the City of Peru to bring Rail-Ready to the Illinois Railway as well as the Greater Brownsville Economic Development Corp. of Texas to take the program to the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway. 

“Brownsville offers companies a great location with access to Latin America via rail, highway and sea, and has a cost of doing business that is 20 percent lower than the rest of the country,” explained Mario Lozoya, executive director and CEO of the Greater Brownsville Economic Development Corp. “Combine that with our young and skilled workforce, which includes participants in our award-winning ‘We Grow your Own’ training program, and the OmniTRAX Rail-Ready Sites program is sure to be a great success for Brownsville.” 

SEPTEMBER: Transmission Line Will Bring $8 Billion in Investment to Kansas

A new transmission line connected to the Grain Belt Express will bring thousands of jobs and $8 billion in investment to Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly announced.

“Kansas is uniquely positioned to be a regional and national leader in the development and expansion of clean and renewable energy,” Kelly said. “The Grain Belt Express will be instrumental in helping to power Kansas and other states, and will bring nearly 1,000 jobs and billions in economic investment and energy savings to our state. My administration is committed to rebuilding our foundation and supporting key investments that will continue to boost economic development, recruit businesses, foster a healthy workforce, and produce sustained growth.”

Invergy, the state’s partner on the project, produced an analysis that claims the 800-mile-long transmission line should bring 22,525 jobs over a three-year construction period and create 968 permanent jobs to the state. It’s also projected to save $7 billion in electricity costs to consumers in Kansas and Missouri through the year 2045. The Grain Belt Express will begin in Spearville, Kansas, and eventually make its way through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. 

Other Notable September Deals: The Ohio Tax Credit Authority awarded Ultium Cells LLC, a joint electric car battery venture between General Motors and South Korea’s LG Chem, a 1.95 percent, 15-year job creation tax credit on $45 million in new payroll. The company expects to create 1,000 jobs by December 2026 at the $2.3 billion plant, under construction on 158 acres immediately adjacent to the automaker’s former assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. “In order to generate an acceptable rate of return and give the Lordstown location a competitive advantage, this JCTC (job creation tax credit) is a major factor in the company’s decision to move forward in Ohio,” said Tony Ciambrone with JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development agency, which successfully fought off a bid by Georgia to get the Ultium facility. Leisure Pools and Spas North America, Inc., a leading fiberglass in-ground pool manufacturer, revealed plans to establish operations in Marion County, South Carolina. The $6.1 million investment is expected to create 200 new jobs, according to the Coordinating Council for Economic Development, which approved has approved a job development project for the fiberglass swimming pool company.

OCTOBER: West Virginia Becomes Home of Virgin Hyperloop Certification Center

“Today is one of the most exciting days in Virgin Hyperloop’s history,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “The Hyperloop Certification Center is the start of the hyperloop journey for West Virginia, for the United States, and for the world. We’re one step closer to making hyperloop travel a reality for people everywhere.”

Business Facilities Magazine bestowed a 2020 Deal of the Year honorable mention to the Charleston, West Virginia, project that will create thousands of new jobs across construction, manufacturing, operations and high-tech sectors.

“For years, I have been saying that West Virginia is the best-kept secret on the East Coast, and it’s true,” said Governor Jim Justice. “Just look at this announcement and all it will bring to our state–investment, jobs and tremendous growth. It’s a true honor and privilege to be selected as the site for the Hyperloop Certification Center and lead the nation in this next step forward for transportation. When we approached Virgin Hyperloop, I told them that we would do everything we could to bring this opportunity to West Virginia. We look forward to working with the Virgin Hyperloop team to create a lasting partnership for years to come.”

Other Notable October Deals: Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and General Motors officials announced that the automaker will invest nearly $2 billion in its Spring Hill manufacturing plant to build fully electric vehicles, including the all-new, luxury Cadillac LYRIQ. That added to the more than $2.3 billion GM has invested in the Spring Hill manufacturing plant since 2010. According to the Center for Automotive Research, GM’s employment in Tennessee produces a 6.8 employment multiplier, which means there are 5.8 other jobs in the Tennessee economy for every direct GM hourly and salaried job in the state. Motion Industries, Inc., a leading distributor of maintenance, repair and operation replacement parts, held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of its planned shop facility in Irondale, Alabama. When completed, the $11.2 million 104,000 square-foot building will house Motion’s area fluid power shop, hose and rubber shop, and engineering department. 

NOVEMBER: Renewable Fuels Complex Comes to Louisiana

Governor John Bel Edwards boasted about Grön Fuels’ proposed renewable fuels complex in West Baton Rouge, Louisiana, having earned Louisiana Economic Development the No. 2 Economic Development Deal of 2020 from Business Facilities Magazine.

The governor earned those bragging rights: The $9.2 billion project, which would ultimately produce low-carbon diesel fuel from renewable feedstocks, is expected to bring with it 1,025 direct jobs—with an average annual salary of $98,595, plus benefits.

 “This Silver Award in Business Facilities’ Deal of the Year competition recognizes our commitment to next-generation projects that will meet the growing global demand for renewable transportation fuels,” Edwards said at the time. “We look forward to Grön Fuels’ final investment decision as Louisiana’s next significant climate-forward project.”

Business Facilities was not the only magazine to recognize the Grön Fuels’ project, which received a national CiCi Award for Corporate Investment from Trade & Industry Development.

Other Notable November Deals: This time, both deals are in the same state (New Mexico) and industry (defense and aerospace). Group Orion announced plans to build on 4.1 million square feet and employ 1,000 at Albuquerque’s Aviation Center of Excellence, a former north/south runway that was decommissioned in 2012. And the U.S. Air Force is preparing to build MaxQ at Kirkland, a new mixed-use development on Kirtland Air Force Base. “We like to say, ‘Albuquerque is the Place for Space,’” says Danielle Casey, president and CEO of Albuquerque Economic Development. “The global space economy is expected to grow to $3 trillion by 2045. No other region has the assets that greater Albuquerque does, and we are ready and excited to see the sector grow. And of course, the region boasts miles and miles of wide-open space for people to explore and enjoy, a new top consideration for skilled workers in the COVID era, who can work from anywhere and select their ideal quality of place.”

DECEMBER: New Industrial Terminal Aims to Make Georgia a 2021 Dealmaker

The new SeaPoint Industrial Terminal Complex in Savannah, Georgia, offers 

one mile of deepwater frontage on the Savannah River’s main shipping channel as well as direct rail, quality roads and existing infrastructure. 

The sustainable, multi-use, multi-tenant industrial facility will be a major long-term economic driver for Georgia, creating 1,700-plus new high-wage jobs in a Federal Opportunity Zone and generating an estimated annual economic impact of nearly $1 billion, according to SeaPoint officials.

The complex has also been designed with environmental responsibility as a core value, they add as they point to these attractions:

-More than 600 developable acres of land providing exceptional opportunities for national and international manufacturers and logistics-dependent operations. 

-A multi-tenant model that promotes synergies between companies that result in more sustainable and efficient operations. 

-Solar, steam, compressed air, electricity, security and other services available on-site.

-A Cleantech Campus @SeaPoint project that aims to transform an existing 60,000-square-foot R&D building onsite into a creative hub for companies and organizations focused on clean technologies related to manufacturing, warehousing and logistics. 


Tips and Tricks on Starting a Business This Quarter: Incfile’s Planning Guide

It may take years for you to develop a business idea and muster up the courage to launch. So when you are finally ready to launch your small business, you don’t want to delay the process any longer. If the time for you to start your business is now, in the fourth quarter of 2020, you may be hesitant at first since the fourth quarter technically is when most small businesses’ fiscal year ends.

However, there are plenty of reasons why you should start your business during this quarter, and we have some tips and tricks that will lead you to business launch success.

Q4 Business Launch Callouts

Most entrepreneurs use the end of the calendar year as the end of their fiscal year. This means that Q4 is spent tallying profits, looking over financial statements, calculating potential tax projections and wrapping up planning for the upcoming year. Therefore, Q4 may not be the most desirable or popular time to start a business.

However, there are plenty of profits to be had during this season. Due to the holidays, consumers are willing to spend money on gifts and experiences. The increased sales potential during this season may help your business get off to a strong start. Holiday retail sales are likely to increase between 1 percent and 1.5 percent, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast. During the same period last year, sales grew 4.1 percent.

However, Deloitte also forecasts that ecommerce sales will grow by 25 percent to 35 percent, year-over-year, during the 2020–2021 holiday season, compared to a 14.7 percent increase in 2019. And online holiday sales are expected to generate $182 billion to $196 billion.

In comparison to Q3 of 2020, consumers may have pulled back on their retail spending due to financial burdens caused by COVID-19. Especially since in August, 13.6 million people in the U.S. were unemployed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During Q4, consumers are looking to spend their money during this holiday season. With an increase in the number of consumers looking for services online or online shopping this year due to COVID-19, more traffic online means you’ll have a great audience for your online ads. This makes it a great time to test out your online marketing tactics and strategy.

One thing to consider as a new business owner during this season is that more established businesses already understand that Q4 is a hot time for sales due to the holiday season. They may be charging hard and spending quite the penny to capture consumers during this time.

Also, since Q4 sales tend to trend the highest out of all the quarters, launching your business in Q4 gives you no other timeframe to compare against. This can give you a false sense of how your business is going to trend in other quarters or you may see a significant drop in sales during Q1 and Q2. Being realistic and conservative about your potential revenue during Q1 through Q3 will help you understand your business’s actual potential.

Launching Your Business This Quarter

There are plenty of things you can do to set your business up for success if you are not shied away from launching your business in Q4. Here are some tips and tricks if you are ready to take the plunge this season:

Utilize resources. Entrepreneurship can seem daunting but don’t worry. There are plenty of resources to help you start your business successfully. Incfile’s in-depth “Start a Business” guides help you research everything you need to do before your doors open. We’ve researched key areas for your industry, from market data, customer needs and business taxes, to setting up your business, understanding regulations and laws and choosing the correct business entity. We also have a handy “Start Your Business” checklist, which will walk you through the steps needed to get off the ground and running.

Focus on “hot” online business ideas. One business that we anticipate being hot during Q4 is an Amazon business. If you want to be successful on Amazon, especially during this busy holiday season, finding the right products and buyers is absolutely essential. Due to the success of the platform, there is a vast amount of competition across almost every niche and product. The biggest factors that will decide your success are choosing the right product, understanding the demand for that product and selling it at a profit. An Etsy business may also be a hot business since consumers turn to this platform during this season for special gifts. You’ll need a strong, robust plan for your new business. There’s plenty of competition in the Etsy marketplace, especially in Q4, so having a novel approach, creating original designs and getting proper business discipline in place is essential.

Get your website, social media and marketing plan in order. With shoppers online and poised to make holiday sales, getting a website and social media accounts ready to go will be necessary for helping you market to your potential new customers. Create a content marketing strategy for your website that involves SEO and special offers for your visitors.

Create a legal business entity. No matter what business idea you go with, forming a business, such as an LLC or S Corp, is a smart move. This will give you a professional face forward to clients and also provide separation of your personal identity and finances from those of your business. If you need to open a business checking account, credit card or loan, banks are more likely to see you as a legitimate business with an LLC or S Corp designation.

If you are ready to launch your business in Q4, go for it. Don’t let the increased competition during this time frame scare you away from building your dream. As long as you do your research, approach with level-headedness and commit the time, money and energy into your new business, you will hopefully see success this season.


Dustin Ray leads business development and growth initiatives at Incfile, a national incorporation service company specializing in business formation and small business services. Founded in 2004, Incfile has assisted in the formation of more than 250,000 corporations and LLCs.​

Small-Town Life: Why it’s Good for Business

When it comes to relocating your business, you can go big (city) or you can go home. But while conventional wisdom would have you believe bigger is better, there’s something to be said for going home to small-town life–and small-town business. If you’re on the white picket fence about whether to relocate your business to a smaller, more rural locale, let these four small towns prove that bigger isn’t always better. We asked economic development leaders from Dodge City, Kansas; Kiowa, Kansas; Moundridge, Kansas; and Vandalia, Illinois, why small-town life is good for business. Here’s what we learned.

“One of the great things about living in a small town is the connectivity of businesses and residents; we can really bring partnerships together,” says JoAnn Knight, executive director of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation. Dodge City hosts a population of fewer than 28,000 but has dealt with housing shortages with aplomb, pairing businesses with local universities to build and flip homes. The program benefits not just residents and contractors but new businesses looking to relocate in Dodge City and create jobs.

In nearby Moundridge, which is one of the fastest growing communities in Kansas, Economic Development Director Murray McGee cites the town’s hardworking workforce as a benefit to small-town business. We have a lot of manufacturing here and people experienced in manufacturing,” notes McGee, who is also director of the Moundridge Chamber of Commerce. “Good hardworking people—a good quality workforce.”

Another incentive to small town business? Incentives themselves, according to Kiowa City Administrator Lou Leone, who oversees a population of only 964. “In a smaller town if the town owns the utilities, it’s easier to offer incentives,” Leone explains. “Larger cities can’t always do that.”

Vandalia Economic Development Director Amber Daulbaugh echoes the sense of community—as well as a lack of competition—as major small-town selling points. “Depending on [the] type of business, there may not be competition, and their presence will fulfill needs in the community,” she explains.

Big city business is intrinsically different from small town business, but as all four experts are quick to point out, only in the best ways. Leone says one benefit of doing business in a town such as Kiowa is less bureaucracy. “We can move faster,” says Leone. “There are less middlemen, and the permitting process is a bit more streamlined.”

Over in the historic Illinois town of Vandalia, easier, more streamlined access as well as possible savings over big city business are just a few more perks, says Daulbaugh, who also cites a sense of community pride. “Word of mouth and referrals are utilized tremendously in small town business,” she explains. “Collaborations between small businesses are organized in efforts to reach more potential customers, [which] provides a sense of pride.”

According to Knight, that strong sense of pride is also helpful to another class of business. “In our community, a lot of our businesses are run by individual entrepreneurs that have been here for years,” she says of the Dodge City faithful.

McGee seconds the notion that a strong sense of business support comes from small town living, pointing to another major difference in many small cities and towns such as Moundridge: Utilities can often be a one-stop shop. “There’s a lot of synergy,” says McGee. “In Moundridge, our city provides all services: gas, water and electric. One call gets you everything you need. It gets people on site within minutes. That’s a big deal, especially in manufacturing.”

Much like their larger counterparts, in addition to incentives, smaller cities have their own local charm that cannot be duplicated.

Take historic Vandalia. Chartered on March 30, 1819, it is the oldest existing capital city. It’s also where President Abraham Lincoln began his political career as a state representative. Naturally, this brings a hearty tourist boost to Vandalia each year, when visitors view not just the statehouse but the town’s museums, gardens, trails–and its fire breathing dragon statue.

According to Knight, smaller cities can offer something else unique: a more personal relationship with business partners. “I think any community can do this but not all want to: listening to the businesses and seeing what we can do to meet their needs. It’s not always about land or water. We need to build a network to get them what they need. In Dodge City, we take a very hands-on approach to get businesses what they need to be successful.”

In Moundridge, McGee cites freebies for would-be business investors as a perk you can’t always find in larger cities. “Our community owns property,” he notes. “We offer free land for development in exchange for investment, development and job creation.”

Kiowa’s Leone says ownership of utilities makes smaller towns unique—and easier to do business with. “We own all four utilities, so we can gear packages toward driving costs down,” he says. “We’re very conscious about taxes as a whole. We try to get you the best bang for your buck on a lot of our projects.”

In the end, it all comes down to which businesses will do best in which towns–and that largely depends on the needs of the town as well as the resources and the skills of the local workforce.

In Kiowa, that looks like manufacturing, but Leone isn’t about to limit prospective businesses to just that. “Kiowa is open to any kind of business,” he says. “We have a very progressive council and have been talking about municipal internet for internet-based businesses or a data center. We have Kiowa-net on the shelf but wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger to get it going here for the right business.”

Over in Moundridge, McGee also recommends manufacturing for small-town business. “In my community, manufacturing works well because we have three global businesses here,” he says. “We have a workforce that is used to working in the manufacturing arena. We also have a major switch facility for Verizon Wireless, so tech companies could thrive here, too.”

Towns such as Vandalia could use a little bit of everything, says Daulbaugh. “A clothing and accessories store that has clothing and shoe options for the whole family and of all ages, a full-service, family-oriented restaurant, a microbrewery—we have a distillery that will open in 2020 and this would complement it,” she says.

Ultimately, what’s important to remember, as Knight so succinctly explains, is that one should never judge a city by its size. “In this day and age, you can be wherever you want and get what you need if you have the right resources.”

Series C Attracts $44 Million Investment

Feature management platform, LaunchDarkly, announced they will invest big bucks along with Redpoint, Vertex Ventures, DFJ, and Uncork Capital. The company confirmed the investment will support company initiatives in risk management while increasing efficiencies.

“Our goal is to help product development teams worldwide, from small teams to huge enterprises, to keep up with the speed of innovation while reducing risk,” said Edith Harbaugh, CEO and co-founder of LaunchDarkly. “We believe the future is built on software, and the additional capital will allow us to further impact the world of feature management and meet the needs of our customers in delivering fast results and excellence to their own customers.”

“In the past year the LaunchDarkly platform has evolved both in scale (we now see over 200 billion feature flag requests per day) and capability– we’ve become a key piece of the puzzle for software teams practicing continuous delivery,” said John Kodumal, CTO and co-founder of LaunchDarkly. “This latest funding will help us scale the platform even further to meet the growing demand we’re seeing in the market and build new functionality to help our customers deliver better software experiences to their customers.”

This announcement closely  follows the company’s confirmation of the hosting of the upcoming April  Trajectory conference for software development professionals. The conference will be held in Oakland, California from April 8-9.

“The sheer speed of innovation today makes it more difficult than ever for enterprises to release product changes quickly and reliably,” said Ethan Kurzweil, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “Having invested in developer platform companies for nearly a decade, it was instantly clear that LaunchDarkly has the product and market vision to be the central platform for feature management. We are extremely excited to partner with Edith and the rest of the talented team at LaunchDarkly!”

“The LaunchDarkly platform enabled BMW to go from 0-60 in one Agile Release Cycle”,  said Chuck Medhurst, President & GM at BMW Technology. “The ability for BMW to test, develop and deploy variable feature sets across our premium brands, markets and platforms results in delivering the optimal value to our customers!”

For more information on the upcoming conference, visit:


Source: LaunchDarkly