January 2010 | Page 3 of 3 | Business Facilities - Economic Development, Site Selection & Workforce Solutions

The Volunteer State surges into a leadership position in green-collar job creation with an aggressive and innovative economic development strategy.


The Volunteer State surges into a leadership position in green-collar job creation with an aggressive and innovative economic development strategy.

State of the Year Award

6 years ago


The New Incentives Guide

The New Incentives Guide

Financial incentives to expand or relocate your business can make the difference in where you choose to grow. This year, we are zeroing in on the newest and most innovative incentives that have been introduced or expanded in the past year.



Alabama Corporate Moves

Hanwha Expands, Creates Jobs in Opelika Hanwha L&C Alabama (formally known as Maxforma Plastics LLC) announced that the company will begin a second major expansion of their manufacturing facility in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park. Hanwha is a manufacturer of construction materials such as plastic floor materials, artificial marble, automotive components, interior decorations and other plastic products including packing materials and films. According to information provided by the city of Opelika, the company plans to invest another $11 million for a building expansion and equipment in the city. They will add approximately 25,000 square feet to the existing building for a total of 145,000 square feet. The expansion is expected to be completed by August 2010 and will create 25 new jobs. Hanwha L&C Alabama began operation in Opelika in 2005 and is part of the automotive division of Hanwha L&C Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea, a business averaging over $20 billion in annual revenue. Hanwha’s first Opelika expansion in 2008 was a $15 million investment that created 45 new jobs and 42,000 square feet. Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller stated, “We sincerely appreciate Hanwha’s investment in our community and pledge to continue to support their growth and success here in Opelika.” Northeast Opelika Industrial Park is located on 2,200 acres in the northern portion of Opelika along Interstate 85. Equipped to meet a wide variety of site needs, the largest contiguous parcel is 1,200 acres. The city’s large labor pool of over 440,000 within a 30-mile radius, a top community college within five minutes of the park, Auburn University fifteen minutes away, and transportation advantages that include rail service by CSX and close proximity to Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport, make Northeast Opelika Industrial Park attractive to the automotive industry. The new expansion will increase the company’s total investment in Opelika to approximately $43 million, according to the city. Hanwha L&C Alabama is a tier one supplier to Hyundai in Alabama and Kia Motors Manufacturing of Georgia. Industrial Park Planned for Northwest Alabama Regional Airport Site Northwest Alabama Regional Airport has submitted a pre-application for a $5 million Federal Aviation Administration discretionary grant that would pay for infrastructure development on about 90 acres of airport property adjacent to the Muscle Shoals Research Airpark. The idea is to develop an industrial park on airport property that would attract aviation-related businesses to Muscle Shoals, AL. The airport board of directors has agreed to provide a $125,000 match if the grant is approved. FAA discretionary money covers 95 percent of an airport improvement […]




60 Seconds with Andy Shapiro, Managing Director, Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co.

60 Seconds with Andy Shapiro, Managing Director, Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co.

In a tough economy, some are questioning the use of tax incentives to convince businesses to relocate. Andy Shapiro, Managing Director of Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co., Princeton, NJ gives us his perspective on whether tax incentives are an effective way to promote development. BF: Are tax incentives often the determining factor in a company’s location decision? AS: Twenty years ago, incentives typically received less weight during the initial site selection process, and became a more key determinant only as the project neared its final stages. Now, as cost control becomes more critical, the search for effective incentives plays a more pronounced role in earlier project stages. Incentives can swing an investment toward an otherwise comparable jurisdiction; or they can make the difference between a decision to move forward and one not to invest at all. BF: Are tax incentives a cost effective tool for job creation? AS: While there has been little research into how effective state job creation tax credits are in promoting job creation, Federal Reserve, researchers have have found that these programs appear to be quite effective at increasing overall business activity within a state. Also, remember that in a growing number of states the tax credit per new job is a percentage of the state income tax withholdings associated with that job. So what you really have is a form of revenue sharing whereby very little public monies are spent on actual job creation. Finally, any calculus of job creation benefits should be sure to take into account the indirect and induced (or “downstream”) jobs created as a result of the multiplier effect from each “direct “ new job. BF: Will states reduce their reliance on tax incentives or will they view them as essential in the site selection competition? AS: We have witnessed budgetary pressures in many states that have threatened existing incentive programs.  Incentives targeting emerging industries, including investment tax credits and venture capital funds, appear to have taken the brunt of this impact. However, so-called “pay as you go” incentives such as job creation tax credits will likely endure as they are considered to be revenue neutral. Also, some states have chosen to double-down during the recession and to increase incentives for new jobs and investment. BF: Do you think tax incentives generally are applied too broadly? AS: Incentives are pricing tools: their impact goes right to a project’s bottom line. State agencies and local jurisdictions use incentives to intervene in the market where a marginal, additional public investment is capable of […]