In the opening scene of one of our all-time favorite TV series, mob boss Tony Soprano is chasing a guy through a Jersey parking lot with a baseball bat. The guy owes Tony some vigorish. Vigorish is local vernacular for the weekly interest payments that loan sharks charge to their borrower community. These payments don’t actually reduce the amount owed, they are kind of an ”insurance policy” — as in, you pay the vig and you can keep your kneecaps for another week. The global financial catastrophe took an interesting turn this week, when Iceland became the first country to officially go belly up. With the country’s banks melting like salt in its famous volcanic hot springs and its currency, the krona, collapsing, Iceland sent out a financial 911 call to Europe’s central bankers. The Europeans, busy arguing over whether the continent’s financial Maginot Line will be located in Britain or Germany, told their insolvent cousins in Iceland to call back later. So the government of Iceland did what anyone desperate for cash might do. No, they didn’t sell grandma’s wedding ring to the local metals trader, now offering almost $900 an ounce for gold. They asked Boris and Natasha to give them Vladimir Putin’s phone number. After some brief consultations with their new friend in Moscow, Iceland’s leaders hastily announced that oil-rich Russia had agreed to loan the country $5.4 billion, roughly the equivalent of a third of Iceland’s GDP. Prime Minister Geir Haarde said he had no choice: Iceland’s banks had run up debts that totaled 12 times the size of the country’s economy. Not so fast, said the Russians. Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin cleared his throat in Moscow and informed the world that no decision has been taken on the loan to Iceland, though his government ”may consider one in theory.” This requires ”the approval of many agencies [in the Russian government] and is not a decision that can be made quickly,” Pankin added. Here’s a ”theory:” the agencies that must approve this decision are all named Putin, and the decision will be made as fast as the Russian navy can open its new base in Reykjavik. Boris gets the volcanic waste management franchise and Natasha will be the executive director of Iceland’s new Museum of Trucking and Industry.
For the third consecutive year, we’ve asked a select panel of industry experts to provide some need-to-know information about how, when, and why to relocate.
Its domestic economy may be limited, but Austria pulsates at the heart of the European Union and excels at exporting its diverse products to the United States.
Governor Jon Corzine is making a major effort to turn urban blight into a “gold mine” for companies relocating to big cities.
Tapping into fast-growing technology and energy sectors, Gov. David Paterson’s economic development initiatives are helping to strengthen the state’s manufacturing base while attracting new relocations and expansions.
When it comes to innovation and a talented workforce, these are the locations that merit a close look.
Economic developers can leverage the benefits of FTZs to attract jobs and investment, while facilitating maintenance and expansion of their industrial base.
Electric Vehicle Plant Bringing 4,000 Jobs to Simpson County Integrity Automotive LLC has chosen Simpson County, KY, as the location for its new $84-million facility that will manufacture low-speed electric vehicles. “This represents an investment not only in Kentucky’s economy, but also in the future of this country, Gov. Steve Beshear said in announcing the site selection. “The long-term security and economic health of this nation depends in part on its ability to become energy independent. This plant, and the vehicles it’s designed to produce, could be an important part of this strategy. A tax incentive package worth up to $48 million for the Integrity plant was approved in August by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority. The new one-million-square-foot manufacturing facility will be built in Franklin, KY, on 225 acres at Franklin Industrial Park. The incentives are based on Integrity’s commitment to create 4,000 new full-time jobs for Kentucky residents within the first four years of the project’s completion. The projected average hourly wage for each new job is approximately $20 per hour, exclusive of benefits. “These are good, high-paying jobs, the kind that have been so important to this state over many years and are even more important in this tough economic period, Gov. Beshear noted. Integrity’s new North American manufacturing facility represents a partnership between Integrity Automotive and California-based Zero Air Pollution (ZAP), an electric carmaker currently producing electric vehicles in China. In August, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order permitting the use of low-speed electric vehicles on Kentucky’s highways with a posted speed limit of 45 mph or less. Integrity and ZAP officials said this order was critical to their decision to choose the Franklin location over a competing site in Indiana. ZAP has been a leader in advanced transportation technologies since 1994, delivering more than 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. It has positioned its business at the forefront of fuel-efficient transportation with technologies including energy-efficient gas systems, as well as electric and hybrid power systems. Rancho Poultry Invests $43 Million in Lebanon, KY Food processor Rancho Poultry LLC, a major supplier of processed chicken to restaurants and food stores, is planning to construct a 100,000-square-foot facility on a 25-acre site in Marion County, KY, that will create 250 new jobs. Two processing lines will be installed at the new facility in Lebanon, KY, capable of producing 60 million pounds of partially cooked, battered and breaded chicken products. Rancho Poultry is investing more than $43 million in the Lebanon project, and […]
A Small Town on the Move Seventy-five minutes from St. Louis’ downtown, Cuba, MO is a growing and prosperous community nestled comfortably in the peaceful Ozarks. Businesses locating in the city will find a growing industrial community coupled with the warmth and serenity of a rural lifestyle. Cuba’s location on Interstate 44, a major U.S. and Missouri artery, links businesses to St. Louis, Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and the nation. Cuba also offers easy access to transportation by major interstate trucking, rail, bus and air, as well as a state-of-the-art communication infrastructure with digital switching and fiber optic networking. Considering the size of Cuba (a population of around 3,500), the town’s existing industrial park has grown rapidly during the last 20 years. Companies that have moved and expanded in Cuba include Georgia Pacific, Olin, Dana Brake Parts, Inc., and Johnson and Controls, among others. To keep up with this growth, city leaders have opened a new 35-acre industrial park. Located a half mile away from Interstate 44, the Cuba Industrial Park II is adjacent to a 20-bay truck port, with a six-lane bridge to access the Interstate. All utilities are in place. Companies locating in Cuba will find one of Missouri’s most successful Enterprise Zones, offering a low cost of living, affordable new housing, and the lowest corporate and income taxes in the state. Missouri’s average property tax rate is $6.30/$100 on one-third of the value and the county tax is just $4.21/$100 on one-third of the value. Best of all, Cuba has no personal or real estate property taxes. Any qualified business that locates within the Enterprise Zone also can receive a comprehensive series of tax credits, tax abatements, and job training credits. The workforce of Cuba is ready, willing, and affordable. The unemployment rate in the area has averaged 6-7%, providing an ample supply of available and trainable workers. The city’s strong work ethic translates to lower absenteeism, higher productivity, and profits. With a 27% population growth rate over the last census, Cuba’s labor situation will remain attractive for many years to come. Learning in Cuba Cuba’s public school system is fully accredited. Higher education facilities include the University of Missouri-Rolla, East Central College, Linn Technical College and Rolla Technical Institute, plus six state satellite schools within easy driving distance.
Fayette Companies on a Winning Streak In July, Alcan Packaging of Peachtree City, GA was honored as a nominee for the state’s Manufacturer of the Year award. “We’re proud of Alcan because they are very deserving of this nomination,” says Randy Hayes, chairman of the Fayette County Development Authority. “We congratulate them on this achievement and know they will continue to thrive in Fayette.” Alcan, a global packaging company serving numerous industries, was the sole nominee from Fayette County. Other Georgia companies presented with a plaque were Bridgestone Bandag of Griffin; the Griffin plant of Georgia Industries for the Blind; Perkins Shibaura Engines of Griffin; PermaTherm of Monticello; Continental Tire/Adora Plant of Barnesville; Toppan Interamerica of McDonough; and Caterpillar Diversified Power Products of Griffin. During the awards ceremony at Griffin Technical College, Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, said Georgia leads the nation in workforce development “primarily because of [our] technical colleges.” In April, Peachtree-based Panasonic Automotive was named by General Motors (GM) as a Supplier of the Year for its overall business performance in providing GM with world-class parts and services. It marks the ninth time in the past 11 years that GM has recognized Panasonic with this honor. “Panasonic is among the best of the best,” says Bo Andersson, GM group vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “They understand that our mutual success can only be achieved by sharing common goals and priorities.” “We are honored to have once again been chosen as a Supplier of the Year by General Motors,” says Vince Sarrecchia, president of Panasonic Automotive. “It is a clear indicator that GM recognizes Panasonic’s quality and the value of our brand in the market place, and the connection we have with our customers.” Fayette Fact File • Fayette County is considered a part of the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area. • Fayette County was named for the Marquis de Lafayette. • Fayette County’s largest city is Peachtree City, but the county seat is Fayetteville. Country Cities Population Average Household Income Fayette County 109,624 $101,472 City of Fayetteville 13,676 $74,884 Peachtree City 38,736 $94,458 Town of Tyrone 4,637 $86,473