Investment Strategies

Entrepreneurial activity and new business creation in the United States are at their highest points in 15 years. In order to help encourage this growth, state policymakers in the Midwet are looking for ways to better support these new enterprises.

States pursue new business as a course of action … it is part of their job. But how states do so and which models work best is open to debate. Oftentimes the default position is to throw money at the opportunity in the hope that your state is chosen over the competition. Increasingly, however, this thinking is coming under attack, and in times of immense fiscal turmoil in state budgets, state leaders are rethinking their economic development strategies. Learn about various options being explored by states to effectively pursue new business prospects, sustain existing businesses, promote job growth and how to foster emerging opportunities from within.

The debate regarding the use of incentives to attract businesses to a state and the effectiveness of those incentives has gone on for decades. Most all states and communities have used some form of incentive to attract jobs and investment from private sector employers. While many states have shifted to performance-based programs since the late 1980s, others have used cash grants to attract certain types of investment.

CSG this week issues a new brief in our Capitol Research series entitled “Transit-Oriented Development.” Using the possibility of development around future high-speed rail stations as a jumping off point, it examines the policy options available to states to try to shape how that development occurs. While high-speed rail has suffered a number of political setbacks in recent months, it remains on track in some parts of the country. But regardless of whether high-speed rail is coming to your state any time soon, there is a great deal of useful information in the brief about the role states can play in shaping the kinds of communities Americans say they want and that best serve our citizens, the environment and the economy. I encourage you to read the brief, which examines the benefits of transit-oriented development, the role of state governments in encouraging it, and the experiences of California and many other states in adopting related policies. If the brief piques your interest, there is an abundance of other worthwhile reading I can point you toward as well.

Proposals to transfer business-recruitment functions to private entities have advanced in three Midwestern states. Governors in Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin have led the charge in hopes of making these agencies more responsive to the businesses they serve.

Policymakers are increasingly demanding more accountability and transparency with the tax breaks and incentives being used to lure businesses and create jobs, and few states have more robust systems in place than Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Utah targets life science industry to help retool the state economy for the 21st Century. 

Several bills being introduced in 2011 North Dakota  aim to bolster an already strong economy in that state.

A new report from the Brookings Institution calls for Great Lakes states to create region-wide investment fund.

CSG South

The South continues to be a hotbed for the auto industry. It might have something to do with the ability for the industry to build lean manufacturing facilities from the ground up, accessibility to a regional cluster and compelling incentive packages to support investments.