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GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 11 – Junction City: ELITE City of Kansas Taking Growth to a New Level

podcast cover art for GT Podcast - Junction City, KS

GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 11 – Junction City: ELITE City of Kansas Taking Growth to a New Level

In this episode of Community Connection, we will speak with Economic Development Director,  Mickey Fornaro-Dean, to learn about what makes Junction City, Kansas such a special and unique opportunity for business. What are the workforce, transportation, and land opportunities that are being capitalized on? And what the heck was Custer doing in this opportunity-rich community?

For more information on Junction City-Geary County Economic Development Commission,  visit

Check out more of our GT Podcast – Community Connection Series here!


Making Inroads Overseas: Strategies for Winning International Business

While the U.S. may have the largest third-party logistics market of any nation, there’s plenty of global opportunity to capitalize on. Companies that can break into international markets could reap considerable rewards.

The rise of e-commerce and other internet-based businesses has made the world more interconnected than ever. Consequently, there’s a rising demand for fleets that operate between borders. Smaller, up-and-coming economies with less saturated markets pose an enticing growth opportunity, too.

While expanding into overseas markets can be highly profitable, it’s also often challenging. These six strategies can help companies overcome these challenges to win international business.

1. Research Ideal Markets

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is expanding into new territory without researching first. Different countries come with different legal restrictions, economic considerations, and market atmospheres. Companies must understand these before choosing where to start their international growth strategy.

For example, Germany has the world’s highest-performing logistics market, which would make it seem like the ideal place for expansion. But since it’s also home to DHL, which holds 39% of the global market share, it may be hard to succeed there. Preliminary market research would’ve revealed that, informing more effective expansion.

Businesses should research the local markets in different countries to find the most profitable area to expand into. That includes looking at tax considerations, competition, and customer needs. Without considering all of these factors, globalization initiatives will likely cost more than they bring in.

2. Understand the Local Culture

Similarly, after deciding on the ideal market, businesses should understand any cultural differences they’ll encounter. Tapping into the local culture can make marketing initiatives more effective and help impress potential clients. Alternatively, if businesses don’t understand these differences, they may accidentally offend or disinterest customers and partners.

Understanding cultural divides can make or break a company’s success, especially when meeting potential international partners. For example, while it’s a rule of thumb in the U.S. to show up five to 10 minutes before a meeting, it may be longer or shorter in other countries. Not understanding that could hinder a meeting’s productivity.

Other countries may have differently structured workweeks and holidays that could affect business, too. The United Arab Emirates, for example, observes the weekend on Friday and Saturday, not Saturday and Sunday. Knowing this before going in can determine whether a business thrives internationally or struggles to get its footing.

3. Partner With Regional Businesses

Another crucial strategy for expanding internationally is partnering with overseas businesses. Companies based in the area will already have the cultural and legal knowledge needed to navigate the local market environment. They will also already have consumer and business connections, giving U.S. companies a foot in the door.

An important step in this strategy is to meet these potential partners in-person as much as possible. Taking the time and money to fly out to meet them shows a willingness to invest in their company. This can give businesses a leg up on any other competitors for the partnership.

Without a local partner, it can be challenging to succeed in a foreign market. Companies will have to establish their brand name, build a customer base, and navigate potentially complicated legal considerations. Foreign partners can cover all of these factors early, letting businesses get off the ground sooner.

4. Adapt Your Marketing Strategies

Since every country has its own culture and values, effective marketing materials are rarely universal. As such, logistics companies trying to expand into overseas markets must adapt their marketing strategies. Research and international partners can reveal local customers’ habits and preferences, informing more effective ads and promotions.

Large restaurant chains serve as excellent examples for adapting international marketing strategies. In France, McDonald’s offers a free illustrated book with every Happy Meal purchased on the first Wednesday of the month. This doesn’t make much sense in the U.S., but children in France don’t go to school on Wednesdays, making this an effective strategy.

Promotions that work in the states may not be as appealing overseas. Similarly, other countries may have holidays, customs, or trends that present unique marketing opportunities that wouldn’t succeed in America. If companies want to be as successful as possible overseas, they must adapt.

5. Localize Your Website

It’s hard to overstate the importance of having an appealing website in today’s market. In many countries, the number of internet users has doubled in the last three years, and websites often serve as customers’ first impressions of a business. While this may be true across borders, what constitutes an ideal website may not be as consistent.

Businesses must localize their sites to fit global audiences. The most obvious step in this process is translating all of the text, but that’s not all localization entails. There are also various cultural connotations and preferences about design and business practices to consider.

Some colors may be appealing in the U.S. but carry a negative connotation in other cultures. While English reads from left to right, not all languages do, so websites in some countries may need to be mirrored to account for this. Turning to contacts in these countries or localization firms can help account for these differences.

6. Capitalize on Local Resources

Many globalization strategies involve taking steps to navigate unique challenges in overseas markets. While these are crucial, the most effective international expansion efforts also look for other areas’ unique benefits. Every country has unique resources to offer, so businesses should take advantage of these opportunities.

One example of a company implementing this strategy is the grocery store chain H-E-B. When H-E-B went international, it bought blueberries from Chile and Peru, giving it access to fresh blueberries year-round. Capitalizing on these warmer climates helped the company expand its offerings, pushing revenue higher.

Businesses should look for what resources different areas have, such as relaxed tax codes or cheap transportation markets. Taking advantage of these instead of keeping business models the same across all countries will maximize international success.

Make the Most of International Expansion

As the world becomes more interconnected, global expansion becomes an increasingly enticing strategy. Companies that can capitalize on it early will see the most success in the future. These six strategies provide a roadmap for doing so.

Winning international business can be a challenge, but it also presents several opportunities. If businesses can act on these steps, they can expand into foreign markets more effectively. They can then enjoy all international business has to offer.


Scallog Robotics at Newpharma: A Unique Realization in Collaboration with Smart Technics, Colruyt Group’s innovation pool

In conjunction with the SITL trade show scheduled for 13-15 September at Paris Porte de Versailles, Scallog is announcing a new contract in Belgium for the robotization of the new logistics platform operated by Newpharma, the Belgian online pharmacy that serves 1 million customers in 12 countries across Europe. The deployment of Scallog’s Goods-to-Person robotics solution at Newpharma’s new distribution centre, which spans 20,000 sq.m and can be expanded to 50,000 sq.m, is scheduled for the fall of 2021 and will be overseen by Smart Technics Ventures, the innovation unit at Colruyt Group, which holds a minority stake in Scallog. At SITL, Scallog will also be showcasing the latest addition to its lineup, the Flexytote robot, which will be demonstrated at the Warehouse of the Future, an immersive environment at SITL devoted to the smart warehouse and including a full line of innovations for the intralogistics of the future!


Here’s a look at how Colruyt Group forged a successful collaboration among three businesses: Newpharma, Scallog and Smart Technics Ventures!

As part of its plans to consolidate its operations in Wandre, Belgium, Newpharma will soon be inaugurating its brand-new logistics centre located on a site near the Port of Liege. Plans for this next-generation warehouse were launched in 2019, supported by the Belgian retail business Colruyt Group. Pierre De Lit, COO at Newpharma: “Each year, Newpharma records double-digit revenue growth, which, over time, has forced us to spread our activities across several sites in Wandre and Tongeren. We have therefore decided to build one large distribution centre to support our further growth and optimise our logistics flows. We will gradually put the new installations into operation. In the first phase, the site will cover 20,000 m². In 2022, we will expand the site to 50,000 m².”

The consolidation of Newpharma’s activities is accompanied by extensive automation, supported by Smart Technics. The mission of the engineering team of this Colruyt Group start-up is to integrate innovative solutions in a sustainable way. Jeroen Theys, Managing Director at Smart Technics: “In this project, we integrated the Scallog solution into Newpharma’s operational flow, from the delivery of the goods by suppliers to the dispatching of the packages to end customers. Several options were considered each time to optimise stock management, order processing, order picking, packaging and ergonomics for the employees. We are very satisfied with the collaboration, which has resulted in a phased plan that will enable Newpharma to respond more flexibly to future market developments and secure further sustainable growth.”

“Scallog is already active in this sector in France. We are particularly pleased that we can equip the new Newpharma warehouse in close cooperation with Smart Technics today. This means that yet another Scallog picking facility will be operational in Belgium”, Caroline Dumas, International Business Manager at Scallog, adds.

Here’s a closer look at the Flexytote, which will be in operational readiness at the Warehouse of the Future!

As part of its ongoing desire to include more immersive demonstrations and experiences for its industry visitors, the 2021 SITL show is showcasing a 600-square-metre smart warehouse dubbed the Warehouse of the Future, presenting the most innovative solutions on a real-life scale. The space will feature the Flexytote, a new addition to the Scallog product line, working under operating conditions to automate the transfer, loading and unloading of bins and boxes so as to speed up the order picking process.

As a truly lightweight, flexible robotics alternative to traditional workflow automation systems, the Flexytote is based on a simple but effective principle: robots move two or three tiers of empty bins or boxes to picking stations, deposit them on order buffer racks, then retrieve them and transport them to the packaging area once the operators have completed the orders.

The logistics benefits are immediate: automated two or three-tier supply on-demand to the order buffer racks, elimination of load handling and transport by operators, less physical strain and accelerated order picking.

With flexibility that is unrivalled on the market, the Flexytote solution is easily integrated into any existing warehouse and can be adapted to all changes in order picking flows; the mobile robots follow optical markings on the floor that can be repositioned if and when required. The Flexytote solution also stands out for its load capacity of up to 250 kg, the background tasks it can undertake, its ergonomics and logistics productivity and its ROI in under 18 months.

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. 


How to Expand Your Business Internationally

Running a successful business in a domestic market is easy for experienced business people. Opening a shop abroad is harder, but not very much. What can be extremely tricky is actually attracting foreign potential customers, turning them into paying customers, and surmounting the many challenges that come with international business. These challenges include cultural and language differences, unfamiliar employment and overall business laws, unclear taxation and VAT remittance regulations in different countries, and international marketing challenges. If you wish to expand abroad, you can overcome the said challenges by following these best practices in international expansion:

1. Leverage PEO services

PEO service providers help to expand businesses to hire staff, manage payrolls, and manage employees in foreign territories. Basically, a professional employer organization (PEO) will provide comprehensive human resources support for your business so that your senior executives can focus on actually running the corporate side of the business. They provide your international teams with the professional and personal support they need to be optimally engaged and productive for the benefit of your business. They help you bypass the cultural barriers that overwhelm employers when hiring and managing new talents in unfamiliar cultural settings.

In most cases, PEOs run a co-employment model where they ensure that your business meets all set employment and compliance laws without necessarily having a physical presence in a given country. The advantage of using such a model for your international expansion is that your business can dip toes in multiple foreign markets without committing to building physical offices. It also offers your business a flexible human resource capability; the flexibility and fluidity that businesses need when upscaling/downscaling workforces in new markets. Therefore, if your company operates in India, you can see that partnering with an India PEO would be the proper solution for the rapid growth of your company.

2. Leverage local influencers

The biggest marketplace in the world right now is the digital space, notably social media. That is why you must have a workable digital marketing strategy (and a strong online presence for that matter) whether your business is local, national, or international. A key component of digital marketing is social influencing.

You probably already understand what online influencing is about but in case you don’t, online influencers are celebrities who already command huge followership on social media. People who can influence shopping decisions either by directly campaigning for your products or by sharing their videos or photos while using your products. Studies show that about 66% of all customers across all industries trust the opinions other customers post online, and the surest way of influencing these opinions is through social media influencers.

Now, this is the catch: When expanding internationally, you need to meet your prospective customers during their research phase. You need to capture their attention immediately; they search for products in your niche, convert them to business leads, and close the deal on the spot. It is probably the first time they are interacting with your brand/content, so you have to make the best first impression otherwise they will be lured by the brands they are already familiar with. Subtle product mentions and testimonials from influential people will help you create the best first impression. You, however, have to identify and connect with influencers who appeal to your audience if you are to effectively leverage influencer marketing for international expansion.

3. Find the right expansion partners

It is hard to navigate new markets by yourself. You need the help of local partners who understand the unwritten laws of the land, local supply chains, and distribution channels. But not all local partners are good for your business. You need to find industry leaders who, on top of understanding the nuances of the local market at hand, have substantial experience in international business expansions in other markets. You can always contact their previous collaborators for reviews, something you cannot get from partners who have never been out of their comfort zone/market. It is also wise to choose expansion partners with whom you share a common ground- a company whose business culture doesn’t conflict with your vision and mission.

Now you know the kind of partners to look for, but where exactly do you look? One way to find the partners you need is through your business and professional networks. Your business associates can recommend their international associates to you who’d turn out to be very helpful in your expansion plans. Another source is the government of your current market. If you operate in Europe, for example, you can tap into the database of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) for trading advice and collaborations. Foreign embassies, as well as trade commissions back home, also have databases filled with the knowledge that can come in handy during your quest to find international partners. And if you already have a set base in the foreign market, attending local expos and trade shows can give you access to a pool of potential partners.

4. Leverage government resources

Most governments help their ambitious entrepreneurs to go international as a way of encouraging the exportation of locally-produced products and talents. Your government probably holds Trade Events where successful multinational companies’ CEOs and other industry experts train local entrepreneurs on how to go global and actually succeed. You can learn a lot in such events, from exporting fundamentals, understanding international buyers, working with foreign distributors and product representatives, to how you can market your products or services to customers who don’t speak your language. The events also put you in touch with other ambitious business owners from whom you can gain insight and insider perspective about your chances abroad. Other resources that can help your international expansion plans are catalogs that contain special country-specific market reports authored by prolific market experts. In the US, such catalogs are accessible online through the Market Research Library.


International expansion is, to many people, chaotic and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. You can tap into other entrepreneurs’ experience to formulate a workable expansion plan or, if you have the budget, conduct your independent country-specific market research. Our 4 tips will get you started, but you must consult wider if you are to succeed with your first expansion attempt.

GT Podcast Community Connection Episode, Title, & Guest

GT Podcast – Community Connection Series – Episode 1 – Mayor of Ruston, LA – Ronny Walker

In the first episode of our latest series, Community Connection, GT Podcast’s host Eric Kleinsorge speaks with Ruston, LA Mayor, Ronny Walker, to learn exactly how Ruston is living up to their slogan, Excellence Made Here.


7 Tips For Starting A New Business Overseas

Moving abroad has been the dream of many people. Instead of traveling for a vacation, you can move to another country and establish your life there. Setting up a business is one of the best ways to settle abroad. But what are the odds that your business will succeed? That is the worry for most people who intend to start a business abroad.

This article aims to give you hope and remind you that it is still possible to do business overseas. Once you are set, you can travel to any country that you dream of living in and start your establishment. All you need is a market for your products and comply with the local government regulations. On top of that, be aware that sometimes you may be far from your establishment or home if you do not intend to move permanently.

These seven tips should help you to successfully run any business of your dream in a foreign country.

Pick Your Ideal Destination:

Before you can travel and start your trade overseas, you must be specific about the place you want to settle. Many factors will determine your destination. The climate of the region can so much affect how you cope with the transition. For instance, if you come from the tropical regions, moving to the colder regions might be a harsh encounter, and you will take time to adapt.

You would also want to research the economic and political stability before you move your investment there. You cannot put up your business in a place where you cannot sleep peacefully or are not sure if the product value will fall and lose your investment.

Learn the Local Language and Culture:

When entering into business, you should expect to interact with the local community. People are always skeptical when it comes to new businesses. They want to learn your business model, treat them, and your attitude toward their way of life. As you must be aware, nobody wants to give up on their culture.

Therefore, your business idea should not cross the customs of the people in the country you want to settle. Learning the local language makes it easy to blend with people and understand each other – improving your services to the consumers. However, the language will come in slowly when you finally settle.

Evaluate the Market:

Market research is essential when starting up a business abroad. What do people like? How specific are they when they buy their products? What pulls them to other brands? In your research, you need to understand two things. First, you should know who your ideal customer is and what they want. You also want to learn some things about your competitors.

How has the product you intend to launch been doing in the past – or anything similar? Knowing other traders’ performance in your industry will help you understand the growth potential of any new investment in the region. If your competitors have had some growth, you can invest in the industry and acquire customers.

Legalize Your Operation:

Each country on the planet has its laws regarding business operations. You should, as a fundamental step, register your company abroad when starting. Later on, you will want to register trademarks as well for your convenience. Inquire about business registration and licensing requirements, because in some regions, they are offered separately.

For small businesses and operations like retail and supermarkets, you may only need a local business license to operate. However, if you are into manufacturing, assembly, and supplies, you will need to register a company. You can consult an attorney about the process or visit a registered company formation agent to complete the registration process.

Expand Your Network:

Connections matter a lot in every aspect of our lives. In business, we need to engage with people who know the surroundings and the requirements we need to fulfill to ensure that we run our ventures smoothly. When you plan to move abroad, you should get in touch with businesses and people who can help you start.

Relationships also create lasting trust between you and your network. The network you have can support you in many ways through your business and provide any assistance you may need during challenging moments. It would help if you did not ignore your competitors as they are vital for the growth of your business.

Start with Freelancers:

Managing employees might be another issue people worry about when thinking of setting up a business overseas. How will you compensate your workers? What terms do you need in a foreign land? What about taxes and insurance? All these things might consume your time, money, and brains.

Managing employees has never been easy, and it is not going to be any time soon. As a startup, you should think of ways to run your business without formal workers at your premises. The initial stages of a business setup may not need workforce until you establish a customer base. Therefore, you are better off paying freelancers for the available tasks and pay them hourly or on daily wage agreements.

Set Up a Website:

We are in the 21st century when digital marketing matters in all business sectors. As a startup, you want to reach more prospects both locally and through the states and beyond boundaries. Various marketing channels are essential, but you need to reach more customers online through social media, content marketing, and PPC. It would help if you did not forget about SEO and the long-term customer flow.

However, all forms of digital marketing have something in common. Consumers interested in your ventures need to click on a link or button to read more about your business and products. You must, therefore, have a website for people to learn more and interact with your brand. Ensure that you have your contact information on the site, and make it easy to access mobile devices.

In Summing Up

Moving abroad to start a business is an awesome idea. Therefore, you should make sure that everything you will be doing is compliant with the local authority laws and consumer expectations to sustain growth. Research is essential, and preparation in every aspect is mandatory. Give no room to chances, but exploit every opportunity to grow.

3 Tips For Creating A Clear Vision To Ensure Business Success

Running a business is similar to taking a family vacation. To be successful, both require meticulous planning, clearly defined roles for everyone involved, and a predetermined destination.

“Not having a clear vision and specific goals is a proven way to ensure you’ll never achieve them,” says John Collopy, author of the book The Reward of Knowing ( “That’s why articulating your vision is a critical first step toward success—to give yourself something to aspire to besides some general idea of ‘making it.”

Collopy knows a thing or two about having a vision and then setting goals to make the vision a reality.  He is the owner and broker of RE/MAX Results and its subsequent 38 offices across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Setting goals in his personal life helped him overcome his addiction to alcohol. Now he is dedicated to helping others find the right steps to achieve their dreams, but he says there can be many roadblocks.

“Having an unclear vision can also make it difficult to stay motivated and passionate about your work,” says Collopy. “Identifying a clear vision and set of goals can keep us going through tough times, and give us energy when we want to give up. That’s because, even when you’re in a rough patch, you know you’re working toward something.”

In contrast, a vague, half-formed vision may leave you feeling lost and powerless, he says.

“Eventually, you may even give up entirely,” Collopy says. “You may decide that, based on your record of failure, success just isn’t in the cards for you. And that’s the saddest result of failing to articulate your vision.”

Collopy has the following tips for those who are ready to set goals to achieve their vision:

-Be specific and realistic. Be specific about your goals, and the steps you need to take to reach them. “If you don’t, be ready to deal with challenges now and in the future,” Collopy says. Also make your goals attainable but not too easy. You want to have pride when it is accomplished. If you set the bar too high, you may get discouraged.  And if you set it too low, you will not feel a great sense of accomplishment. 

-Make goals measurable. Any good goal that is worthy of your time should be measurable so even if you don’t make it, you can measure your progress. It will be easier to measure your goals if they are clear goals that are attainable, relevant and time-based.

-Write it down and tell someone. Write down your vision, make copies and leave those copies where you will routinely see them – on your refrigerator, in your car, on your dresser, in the bathroom. “This will remind you about your vision throughout the day and keep you on task,” Collopy says. In addition, the more people you tell about your vision and your goals, the better. They will encourage you because the next time they see you, he says, they will probably ask you about your progress.  

“Once you have attained your goal, take some time to celebrate your victory with your team,” Collopy says. “Even if the goal wasn’t a team goal, invite others that work with you or for you to share in your accomplishment.”


John Collopy, author of the book The Reward of Knowing, is the owner and broker of RE/MAX Results and its subsequent 38 offices across Minnesota and Wisconsin.  With annual sales of more than $5.3 billion, RE/MAX Results is now one of the largest RE/MAX franchises in the world.  Collopy lives in Minnesota with his wife and children.


Where do People Travel for Business?

When it comes to global business, the right transportation is essential. Getting talent from one side of the globe to another matters as much as ever it has – and perhaps even more so. But which cities are the most attractive for modern business? This is a question whose answers have remained more or less the same over the last four or five years, despite the fact that global business flights have more than doubled.

New York

The Big Apple leads the pack when it comes to inbound business flight, and it has done since 2014. This is largely thanks to its status as a centre of global finance, but it’s also because New York is among the most business-friendly states in the US, with a range of tax incentives offered to startups. Buzzfeed and WebMD originated here. Whether you’re taking a private jet or a commercial airliner, New York remains the world’s premier destination for business travellers.


London has consistently run a close second, despite the uncertainty still lingering over Brexit. Among the biggest draws of the capital is the English language, which remains the second most widely-spoken language in the world (and probably claims the top spot when we count only the customers of international airports). London contains around 15 businesses per hundred residents; the figure for the rest of the UK is around 10.


Paris is something of a fast-climber, experiencing around twenty-per cent growth over the two-year spell from 2016-2018. It’s easy to see why a business might locate here; Paris has an enormous amount of culture and history to offer, and thus it’s easy to persuade would-be staff to settle here. While France might have something of a reputation for overbearing bureaucracy (the word, is, after all, derived from a French one), the business environment is competitive enough to tempt many international businesses and skilled employees looking to sample life on the continent.


With China having established itself as a global power, it’s probably no surprise that its busiest airport is so attractive to international business customers. While the city isn’t quite as attractive to western travellers as the other entries to this list, it’s a location that no globalised business can afford to neglect – and this is reflected in its rapid rise as a centre of international air traffic. 

Among the more interesting trends in global air traffic generally has been an increased spread between different continents, with five of the seven listed in the top twenty destinations. There is perhaps no better example of this than that of Shanghai.


Toronto outranks many US cities, including San Francisco, Houston and LA. As with New York, there is a range of incentives to businesses looking to grow here. The combined rate of corporate and income tax sits at around 26.5%, which is lower than the US average by around thirteen percentage points.


Like Dubai, Singapore claims a great deal of air travel thanks to its popularity as a stop-off for long-haul flights between Europe and Australia. But there’s more to Singapore than that. The country is widely regarded as an ideal place from which to tap into Asia’s emerging markets. The location is strategically attractive, the workforce is competitive and the economic policy is explicitly favourable to business. It’s also emerging as serious competition for Hong Kong’s financial centres. For the world’s business travellers, there’s no shortage of reasons to pay this part of the world a visit.