“Illinoyed” companies invited to take a look at Indiana locations.
by Michael Puente
There's no doubt that Chicago is one of the great cities of the world. With its array of restaurants, wonderful parks and museums, expansive arts community and professional sports offerings, Chicago is the place to be – if you can afford it.
With Illinois raising personal income taxes earlier this year, it's become plenty more expensive to operate a business in the Land of Lincoln, whether that is in Chicago, Joliet or Aurora.
That's why Indiana is hoping a little Hoosier hospitality will lure some Illinois business across the state line to set up shop here.
“Indiana's business climate has been more favorable than our neighbors for quite some time, but Illinois' latest tax hike further accentuates the attractiveness of our state,” says Mitch Roob, Indiana secretary of commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
Roob recently announced a marketing blitz to attract Illinois businesses to Indiana. The corporation is joining forces for this initiative with the Portage-based Northwest Indiana Forum, an organization whose aim is to market Northwest Indiana to potential companies.
“We've had discussions with numerous companies interested in moving to a lower-cost location,” Roob says. “We are hopeful that our partnership with the Northwest Indiana Forum will continue to fill our pipeline with promising leads that will bring new opportunities to Hoosiers in Northwest Indiana and across the state.”
The three-month, $250,000 marketing campaign includes, TV, radio and print ads, combined with billboards along the Indiana Toll Road and Interstate 80/94, major arteries between Northwest Indiana and Chicago.
The billboards read: “Illinoyed by Higher Taxes?” or “Feeling Squeezed by Taxes?”
In just a short time, the website, www.solutionindiana.com, which is part of the campaign, generated more than 3,000 unique visits.
“Northwest Indiana communities are Chicago's east suburbs, offering lower costs of doing business, affordable, high quality of living and a prime business location in the heart of the Midwest,” says Mark Maassel, president and chief executive officer of the Northwest Indiana Forum. “In cooperation with IEDC, we believe this campaign will educate and entice businesses with the opportunities right next door and show them that we are prepared to assist businesses in finding their new home.”
In addition to the advertising campaign, the organizations will host events for Illinois businesses at tradeshows and sporting events in the Indiana and Illinois regions throughout the year.
“Site selectors and business decision-makers look at a region before they even get to the community level. The more we collaborate, the more the region receives attention helping us to accomplish our mission of attracting investment and jobs to Northwest Indiana,” says Tim Gropp, co-executive director, LaPorte Economic Development Alliance. In addition to the Forum, partners in this effort are from across the region, including Porter County Economic Development Alliance, LaPorte County Economic Development Alliance, Starke County Economic Development Foundation, Newton County Economic Development Corp., Town of Munster, Town of Schererville, City of Whiting and NIPSCO.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. provides this list of other factors that make Indiana an attractive place to locate a business:
* Indiana ranks first in the Midwest in the Tax Foundation's 2011 Business Tax Climate Index (Oct. 2010).
* Indiana has the lowest business costs in the Midwest and is one of the top 10 lowest-cost locations in the U.S., according to Forbes (Oct. 2010).
* Indiana ranks fourth in the nation for its business tax and regulatory climate, according to the Enterprising States study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Chamber Foundation (May 2010).
* Indiana ranks best in the Midwest in Area Development magazine's Top States for Doing Business study. (Oct. 2010).
* Indiana is one of nine states that now have triple-A credit ratings from all three agencies (Standard & Poor's, Fitch and Moody's) due to the state's financial management and budgeting practices, stable economic base, property tax reform and economic-development efforts to attract job creation and create economic diversification.