Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Why Buffering May be Bad for our Local Economy

How many of you suffer from the spinning dial, interrupted downloads and otherwise bad internet service?  Do you know that high speed communications technology access is now ranked at #5 on the list of things companies are looking for when making a site location decision?

Read the latest from Area Development Magazine about this critical site selection factor and consider joining the Chamber’s efforts to promote enhanced internet connectivity in our community.

      -Bill Cork

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Retail Customer Service Tips for the Holidays

A significant number of our Chamber members are retailers and this is their time of the year to shine.  Shoppers from all over the region descend on Texarkana to purchase Christmas and holiday gifts for friends and loved ones and to enjoy our Texarkana hospitality.

Barbara Wold, an international consultant specializing in the retail sector, has these suggestions for our retailers.  Many of the tips will work for other business sectors as well. Here is what she has to say about retail customer service…

•  Having all salespeople read company ads, catalogs, literature, Facebook, Twitter and Blogs before customers come in with questions and inquiries. An uninformed salesperson is bad for business.  Also check out everything about the competition.
•  Establishing dress codes for employees and enforcing these dress codes. (Even if there is a uniform, clean, neat, etc.) Employees are the representatives of the business and should project the image the business wants to convey.
•  Greeting everyone who walks through the door.  Coming up with different greetings -- so customers don't hear the same greeting over and over when shopping in the store.
•  Making it comfortable for customers to shop.  Adjusting the thermostat because customers may be wearing coats and the staff can wear a sweater. Perhaps a rack for customer's coats and a place to check their packages.  Offering the customer a basket or shopping tote makes it easy for them to buy more.
•  Having employees identify themselves when answering the phone. This adds a professional touch and provides the caller with a person to identify with on the other end of the line. 
•  Cleaning up the cash-wrap area as-you-go and putting everything in its place. Customers are concerned about transaction accuracy and your services, i.e., shipping, if this area is a mess with clutter, drinks and food.
•  Listening, really listening to customers. If you don't really listen and show customers the wrong merchandise -- they will assume you don't have what they are looking for and leave.
•  Having all cash registers open when the store is busy.  An extra staff member can mingle with the customers in line -- making additional suggestions.
•  Getting everyone on board.  Ensuring that everyone in the organization understands what the winning advantage is and what their role is in supporting it.
•  Getting to know what other merchandise and services are offered around town.  Keep customers shopping in your community by knowing what all is available.  The customers will be thrilled, always come to you first and will let the other businesses know you sent them.
•  Build your database and use social media.  Use email marketing and social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.  Keep your brand in front of your customers at all times.
•  Stocking and cleaning during hours when the store is not open.  Doing these chores when the store is open is inconsiderate to shoppers and doesn't convey a professional image. Instead have the staff mingle with the customers and help with suggestions.

LET'S STOP . . .
•  Trying to get a head start on store closing times. Vacuuming while the store is still open is rude and should be done after the business closes.
•  Helping phone inquiries while other customers are in the store waiting to be helped. The customer in the store should take precedence.  Have someone besides the cashier answer the phone.
•  Running out of sale items or advertised specials early on the first day of the promotion. A product should not be advertised unless there is sufficient stock. 
•  Using the store phone for personal calls.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

When should you post to Social Media?

I found the attached article fascinating about the effectiveness of posting to social media.  It got me to thinking about my own habits for reviewing information on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. and the Chamber’s ability to communicate effectively with our membership.  We are going to make some changes.  Maybe you should, too.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Regional Talent Retention and Economic Growth Strategy

Over the last several months, the Texas Workforce folks have been collaborating with area economic developers and some of our region’s employers to look at talent retention and regional economic growth strategies.

The project was funded by the Office of Economic Adjustment in the Department of Defense to look at a hypothetical downsizing of Red River Army Depot and to determine how our market would absorb the employees that would be affected.  However, the scope of this effort expanded to look at regional economic growth and talent retention more broadly.

As I’ve shared with you on previous blog postings, talent and workforce quality and quantity are leading indicators for attracting business to our market.  The final study on these issues was completed by Austin, TX consulting firm TIP Strategies.

You can read this gigantic two part study by clicking on these links:  TIP Strategies Report Part 1.  Tip Strategies ReportPart 2.

This study challenges all of us to do better.  At the Chamber we are undergoing some reorganization and new focus to address some of these critical gaps in economic development emphasis.  However, this report also gives us good news.  For example, our largest economic and jobs sector is manufacturing.  While many cities in the United States struggle with manufacturing jobs and attracting manufacturers, we are a strong manufacturing region.  This is one of the reasons why our economy has been so stable over even the roughest  recent economic times.  This is a coveted position to be in and we must do all that we can to retain and grow this vital part of our economy.

The other good news is that our workforce is well aligned with a number of growth industry segments including logistics/distribution, energy, machinery, transportation and fabricated metal manufacturing. 

We must however prepare our workforce for 21st century jobs in these industries and make sure we all understand that technology will continue to improve in manufacturing and distribution causing a decrease in jobs even in our local companies.  This improved productivity will make our region continue to be globally competitive but it will strain individuals whose skills don’t keep pace with market demand.  That means our employees have to be on their toes and continue to develop in their careers.

Please take the time to review these reports and spread the word.  It’s not every day that we have such a strong and comprehensive report card come out on our regional economy.  Educating ourselves on our strengths and weaknesses will make us all better in the long run.

- Bill Cork

Friday, October 24, 2014

North America: Dire States-Texas and Proposition 1

CASE, ASCO Equipment and the Dire States team joined forces with Texas Good Roads to tour the state and raise awareness to Proposition 1 - a ballot initiative in Texas that will direct approximately $1.7 Billion annually into road and bridge highway improvements.

The Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Proposition 1 and the President & CEO, Bill Cork was given the opportunity to speak out!



Texarkana Business Journal - Election 2014 Special Episode

Join co-hosts Steve Mitchell and Bill Cork tonight, October 24th, at 6 p.m. on KTXK.org or 91.5 FM for another edition of the Texarkana Business Journal.  This hour long show will focus on all the key ballot questions and candidates in Texarkana USA.  Featured guests will include Paul Norton, TISD Superintendent, who will answer questions about the $29.9M TISD bond issue and Texarkana City Manager John Whitson who will answer questions about three of the City’s charter amendments that are on the ballot.  We will also talk with him abnout the Texas-side beer and wine sales proposition.  You don’t want to miss this episode as a key resource before you vote, but if you miss us on the air, you can listen to the archive of the show on texarkanabusinessjournal.org or ktxk.org.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Election 2014

We have an important election coming up and early voting in Arkansas and Texas begins October 20th.  Election Day is November 4th

There are a number of business related issues on the ballot that you should take the time to look at.  If you are like me, you probably follow some of the local individual candidate races and try to pick your favorites.  We see the yard signs and the ads.  Then we get to the ballot box and find a host of other candidates and issues that we are asked to vote on without much information upon which to base that vote.  In this week’s blog, we want to make you aware of what some of those issues are and provide resources for you to link over to in order that you may make some more informed decisions.

Let’s start with Texas, since their list is a little shorter:

STATE PROPOSITION 1.  This proposition involves the permanent use of a percentage of the oil and gas severance tax (often referred to as the Rainy Day Fund) to fund highway projects throughout all the TXDOT districts in the state.  Estimates place the initial tranche of available funding at about $1.7 billion, which is a down payment on about $5 billion in unmet needs.  The Texarkana Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors endorses Prop 1.  For a  look at both sides of the issue please visit:  http://ballotpedia.org/Texas_Transportation_Funding_Amendment,_Proposition_1_(2014)

Allowing Texarkana, Texas Beer and Wine Sales.  This perennial battle to make Texarkana “wet” will come to a head again this year.  The Chamber has not taken a position on this initiative.

AMENDMENT 3 - REVISING THE CITY CHARTER, ARTICLE VIII – BUDGET. This amendment modifies certain instructions to make them consistent with other accounting authorities, like the State of Texas and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.  It also requires the Council to Adopt an annual budget development calendar and to report all debt, not just bond debt.  It also allows budgetary funds transfer to be handled through an administrative action and allows the City Council to approve budget amendments while maintaining a balanced budget.  The Chamber has not taken a position on this.

AMENDMENT 5 – TERMS OF OFFICE FOR CITY ELECTED OFFICIALS.  Changes the term of office of city elected officials from two years to four years, staggering implementation of the change of the terms of office for the 2015 and 2017 regular City elections and extending by one year the current terms of office of the Mayor and Council members for Wards 1, 4, and 6 to facilitate transition to four year terms.  The Chamber has not taken a position on this.

Texarkana Independent School District Capital Bond Referendum.  TISD is seeking authority to borrow money to build some important school improvements.  To find out more about this topic, watch our extended interview with Mr. Paul Norton, Superintendent of TISD @  minute :42  http://www.texarkanabusinessjournal.org/broadcasts/the-business-of-education/  The Chamber has not taken a position on this.

In Arkansas, there are 5 state wide ballot initiatives that are up for a vote and some of them are a bit complicated to understand.

Item 1.  EMPOWERING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO PROVIDE FOR LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF STATE AGENCIES’ ADMINISTRATIVE RULES. An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution providing that administrative rules promulgated by state agencies shall not become effective until reviewed and approved by a legislative committee of the General Assembly. Click here for a more detailed understanding of this initiative.

Item 2.  AN AMENDMENT ALLOWING MORE TIME TO GATHER SIGNATURES ON A STATE-WIDE INITIATIVE OR REFERENDUM PETITION ONLY IF THE PETITION AS ORIGINALLY FILED CONTAINED AT LEAST 75 PERCENT OF THE VALID SIGNATURES REQUIRED. Proposing an amendment to Article 5, Section 1, of the Arkansas Constitution concerning initiative and referendum; and providing certain requirements for the correction or amendment of insufficient state-wide petitions.  Click here for a more detailed understanding of this initiative.

Item 3.  THE ARKANSAS ELECTED OFFICIALS ETHICS, TRANSPARENCY, AND FINANCIAL REFORM AMENDMENT OF 2014.  To amend the Arkansas Constitution concerning elected state officials; prohibiting members of the General Assembly and elected constitutional officers of the executive department from accepting gifts from lobbyists, and defining key terms relating to that prohibition; prohibiting members of the General Assembly from setting their own salaries and the salaries of elected constitutional officers of the executive department, justices, and judges; establishing a seven member independent citizens commission to set salaries for members of the General Assembly, elected constitutional officers of the executive department, justices, and judges; establishing the appointment process for members of the independent citizens commission, and prohibiting members of the independent citizens commission from accepting gifts from lobbyists; prohibiting certain contributions, including contributions by corporations, to candidates for public office; prohibiting a member of the General Assembly from registering as a lobbyist until two (2) years after the expiration of his or her term; and establishing term limits for members of the General Assembly.  Click here for a more detailed understanding of this initiative.

Item 4.  THE ARKANSAS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE AMENDMENT.  A proposed amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to provide that, effective July 1, 2015, the manufacture, sale, distribution and transportation of intoxicating liquors is lawful within the entire geographic area of each and every county of this state; that “intoxicating liquors” is defined for purposes of the amendment as any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent (0.5%) of alcohol by weight; that the manufacture, sale, distribution and transportation of intoxicating liquors may be regulated, but not prohibited, by the General Assembly; and that all laws which conflict with the amendment, including laws providing for a local option election (wet-dry election) to determine whether intoxicating liquors may be sold or not sold, are
repealed to the extent that they conflict with the amendment. Click here for a more detailed understanding of this initiative.

Item 5.  AN ACT TO INCREASE THE ARKANSAS MINIMUM WAGE.  An act to amend the Arkansas Code concerning the state minimum wage; the act would raise the current state minimum wage from six dollars and twenty-five cents ($6.25) per hour to seven dollars and fifty cents ($7.50) per hour on January 1, 2015, to eight dollars ($8.00) per hour on January 1, 2016, and to eight dollars and fifty cents ($8.50) per hour on January 1, 2017.  Click here for a more detailed understanding of this initiative.

Please exercise your right and your responsibility to vote!!!!

- Bill Cork

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Are you a predictable, boring leader? For Google, those are good leadership traits.

Google surveys its workers about their supervisors to discover the personal qualities of their best performing managers.  Interestingly, they find that in their business “predictability” is one of the hottest traits of a good leader.  Employees at Google like the freedom to perform, within limits, and having some predictability to those limits is highly valued.

Read more about this here….

                                                                                                   Retrieved from IDone This Blog

Do you agree that a “predictable” boss is a good one?  Send us your thoughts…

-Bill Cork

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Race for Tesla: Nevada Wins. (We can blame the sun.)

In many of the economic development circles that I run around in, the discussion of who would win the new Tesla electric battery production facility was always a hot topic. At one point, the Dallas area was a contender and even the TexAmericas Center site in central Bowie County, Texas was looked at by several lobbyists and others trying to land a deal for Texas. But it’s not to be for Texas.

To learn more about the Tesla announcement read the article in the link below…but also follow some of the sub links in the article.

Many local people have asked me why we couldn't have competed for this plant.  The answer is as simple as the sun in the sky.  Or lack thereof.  The entire plant is planned to be powered by solar power and Texarkana USA is not in a competitive solar gradient.  What that simply means is that there are other places in the USA that have abundant sunshine and Texarkana USA isn't one of them.  If you look at the map below you will notice that Nevada offers a much higher concentration of solar power potential than Texas does.

This is precisely the point most often overlooked by average citizens trying to critique the efforts of economic developers. Companies ultimately are accountable to shareholders and want to maximize return on their investment in assets.  They also need the skilled labor to make it happen.  There is only so much a state can do to offer incentives and provide a world class business environment before locational advantages and things we can’t control take over.  Each business is different.  In this case, Elon Musk, may have preferred Texas, but if you are trying to build a plant that is totally powered by the sun, you have to be where the sun intensity is the highest in order to maximize one of your critical inputs to production.  That may have put the deal out of reach.  Maybe not. But part of deciding how to deploy capital is to minimize risks and the risk of the sun not shining on your roof is one big issue in this case.  Take a look at the building design…

Retrieved: Tesla Motors

So, the job of local economic developers is not to chase every possible deal.  It is our job to chase the deals where we have an obvious competitive advantage in helping a company create a sustainable low cost of production, which in turn allows them to maximize their return on investment.  That is our challenge and that is what we are working hard on.

-Bill Cork

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What Millennials Want—And Why Cities Are Right to Pay Them So Much Attention

Anthony Flint writes a compelling article in The Atlantic - City Lab blog.  He argues that Millennials are…

Characterized, fairly or not, as competitive and driven, entitled and narcissistic, thoroughly technology-savvy, and more practical than ideological, they are finding their way in the world, and making the time-honored calibration of professional career and preferred place of residence.

Two public opinion polls came out in the last month suggesting the kinds of places Millennials like. Spoiler alert: it’s Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, as well as communities such as—I’m inclined to say once again, of course—Boulder and Austin. The key characteristics seem to be walkability, good schools and parks, and the availability of multiple transportation options.”

Read his whole post here….

There has been much discussion amongst the thought leaders here in Texarkana about how to attract and keep millennials in our community and remediate the demographic trough of 20 to 30 something’s.  Of course, we have bets on the fact that Texas A&M University – Texarkana will help with the attraction of more and more of this generation along with the other high quality educational institutions in our region.  But it’s pretty clear from the survey work presented in this article that this generation is looking for quality of life. 

It’s not surprising.  Unemployment rates with this demographic group are high.  They must be able to lower their personal overhead cost and many are avoiding auto purchases and looking at shared living arrangements.  This make public transit and public spaces important.  When you think about baby boomers retiring we find similar interests as they lengthen their retirement savings by slashing their personal overhead. 

If we are a community that wants to attract and retain these generations, we must reimagine certain aspects of our community and create the kind of quality of life amenities in demand by these important groups.

Something to think about…

Bill Cork

Friday, September 5, 2014

Study: Is American Entrepreneurship Growing "Less Dynamic Than Ever?"

Entrepreneurship is often touted as the fuel that fires our economy.  But this new study casts doubt on that assumption.

Here in Texarkana USA, we need to find new ways to fuel entrepreneurship to include:

·         Establishment of a small business development center that is active and thriving;
·         Development of venture and early phase start-up capital programs that connect high net worth individuals and funds with individual entrepreneurs; and
·         A university culture at Texas A&M University Texarkana and in our community colleges that encourages innovation and risk taking.

Thinking about how we create and sustain a viable culture of entrepreneurship is something we are working on at your Chamber.

America’s leadership in media and information content exported around the world is certainly one area were entrepreneurs are flourishing.  To make Texarkana USA a viable option for this kind of market, we need make sure we can access the latest in communications and broadband internet technology.

Just like the new interstate highways bring new opportunities in logistics and manufacturing, development of our information networking capability will help us grow that part of our economy.

Next week we will be hosting a meeting with leaders from the States of Arkansas and Texas to help our region begin the planning process to revolutionize our broadband network.  Subsequent meetings will involve business and institutional leaders who will help us inventory and plan for our future broadband needs.

This unseen and often taken for granted infrastructure will be key to the success of companies who need to move information globally.  Stay tuned for more updates on this vital effort.

It’s another great day at the Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce….Bill Cork

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I think most of us probably realize that technology is transforming the world, including our workplaces.  It’s hard to believe that the iPhone and other mobile devices came onto the scene just a few short years ago (2007).  I was in Austin, TX recently and the restaurant we went to had their wine list presented on an iPad that was left on the table.  The wines presented on the tablet had detailed descriptions and reviews and you could order a glass or a bottle right from the table.

We've already witnessed in our own lives the impact technology has had on the workforce.  But where does this end?  The video below predicts that in the very near future technology could cause the displacement of 25% of our workforce, exceeding the unemployment rate of the great depression.  As a society, we need to understand what the implications are for business and for the people that businesses serve.  This is a really profound topic to think about and it could be a strong indication of why our current economic recovery hasn't been felt by everyone the same way.

-Bill Cork

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Recently I was invited to participate in a meeting with Amtrak, Main Street Texarkana, local community leaders and downtown property owners to discuss  a collaborative effort to increase Amtrak ridership, provide those riders with attractions and amenities that will make them want to stay and enjoy Texarkana USA and advance the improvement of our local railway station.  While ideas have been generated for a very long time, there seems to be a renewed momentum in expanding the discussion and taking some next steps.  While a number of us are working on this, I thought you might find it interesting how the station is being used today.

Below you will find a table of data below that we received from Amtrak that illustrates the Origination/Destination passenger counts at the Texarkana Station.  The way your read this is to look at the cities on the left column and then track how many riders departed FROM Texarkana to that destination as well as how many people started at that city and came TO Texarkana.  It’s fascinating to learn how people use the train to get to and from places like Chicago, St. Louis, Austin, and Los Angeles.  It is an incredibly diverse list of destination options. 

Our goal at the Chamber is to work with our local partners to find ways to increase the likelihood that more riders will 1) make Texarkana a destination to enjoy our amenities; 2) stop over on their way to somewhere else and spend a day or two visiting our wonderful city; and 3) consider making us a transfer point for places like Shreveport, Houston and even Dallas via bus, thereby reducing their transit times and offering a stopover point here that is a positive and memorable experience.

In the coming weeks, we will also talk about plans for high speed rail that could be coming to our area in the next couple of decades.  The sooner the better!!  Plans are already in the works to connect Dallas and Houston with a privatized high speed rail line that could come as soon as 2020.

Twice a year, my mom comes to visit me from Chicago and she always takes the train.  So, Amtrak is important to me because she is someone who doesn’t like to fly and isn’t really able to drive long distances.  Without this option, I wouldn’t get to see my mom as much!!!  So, I am personally vested in seeing the service here be the best that it can be.  Maybe you know of someone like my mom who enjoys this form of travel and uses it frequently.  If you are interested in helping on this project, please contact me or Ina McDowell with Main Street Texarkana and help us with this vital and often overlooked transportation option.  It’s one of the assets we have that we need to promote and defend!!!

It’s another great day at the Texarkana Chamber!  -Bill Cork

Amtrak Texarkana USA Ridership
Fiscal Year 2014 Year to Date
Station Name From Texarkana To Texarkana Total
Alton, IL 15 15 30
Alpine, TX 3 0 3
Arkadelphia, AR 7 6 13
Austin, TX 61 70 131
Benson, AZ 0 1 1
Bloomington-Normal, IL 68 55 123
Cleburne, TX 7 6 13
Chicago, IL 876 937 1,813
Carlinville, IL 4 7 11
Dallas, TX 419 426 845
Del Rio, TX 2 2 4
El Paso, TX 5 5 10
Fort Worth, TX 241 238 479
Hope, AR 32 42 74
Joliet, IL 58 53 111
Los Angeles, CA 168 176 344
Lincoln, IL 8 6 14
Lordsburg, NM 0 0 0
Little Rock, AR 136 106 242
Longview, TX 241 291 532
McGregor, TX 6 9 15
Marshall, TX 21 24 45
Mineola, TX 12 11 23
Maricopa, AZ 82 60 142
Malvern, AR 8 4 12
Ontario, CA 19 16 35
Poplar Bluff, MO 23 20 43
Pontiac, IL 9 5 14
Pomona, CA 0 2 2
Palm Springs, CA 2 3 5
San Antonio, TX 150 175 325
San Marcos, TX 35 35 70
Springfield, IL 93 79 172
St. Louis, MO 361 361 722
Taylor, TX 20 19 39
Temple, TX 41 43 84
Tucson, AZ 6 7 13
Walnut Ridge, AR 33 34 67
Yuma, AZ 0 0 0
Total 3,272 3,349 6,621

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


As I complete my fourth week as your Chamber President & CEO, I've had the opportunity to listen extensively to many voices with thoughts, opinions and directional suggestions for the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce.  It’s a great gift to be in this position…to be able to listen to what people have to say and to encourage them to say what’s on their mind.  I want to thank those of you who have taken the time to call, stop buy or meet with me formally.  “My listening tour” continues, and I encourage any partner that wants to chat with me to call the office and set up some time or to give me a ring on my cell phone at (903) 278-2886.  I especially want to hear from you if you are a “fallen away” partner.  We want you back.

While I begin to assimilate these ideas into future proposed plans of action for the staff and the partnership, it gave me some time to think about how I want to provide leadership to this organization.  It also gave me the opportunity to revisit good leadership models and to refresh my own perspective.  In that search, I came across this video.  Scott Williams does a fantastic job of motivating the question:  “Are you a Leader or a Manager?”, and he addresses why you might want to think about this question.  Please take 5 minutes to get a tune up on this important professional development concept and let me know what you think about it by commenting on this blog, posting a comment to Facebook or messaging me.  Share this with others who might benefit.

It’s a great day at the Texarkana Chamber!  I hope you have one wherever you are!

-Bill Cork

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Labor Reporting is the Key to Site Selection

In last week’s blog post we talked about the competitive landscape for large corporate site selection based on incentives.  The response we had was really great from emails to Facebook comments to calls we received from local folks who care about growing our region.  However, incentives are one of many key economic development drivers (and usually NOT the most important one!). 

The most important driver of economic development success is the quality of the talent and availability of our local workforce.  Texarkana has been blessed with abundant labor, people with a great work ethic and a willingness to go the extra mile to support their employer.  However the real match that employers are looking for is more nuanced than that.  Specific skills are critical.

To highlight how important this issue is please watch the attached video that was sent to us by one of our Chamber partners who works in economic development.  It’s time to ask the Arkansas and Texas Workforce agencies to answer the question: “What does our workforce look like and how do we position it to compete and win new companies in this global economy?”.  If we don’t have those answers ready, it’s time to get it done.

This site selector makes the case that we should sell to our skills instead of trying to “waste our time” trying to sell to a company that has a skills mismatch.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What does it cost to attract a new industry?

Did you ever wonder what it would cost to land a Toyota Plant? Would you believe $146 million or $195,000 per job?  That’s the incentive package that Toyota received when they relocated to Kentucky.

The Site Selection Group recently identified more than 320 economic incentive packages offered to companies, like Toyota, across the country in the 2nd quarter of 2014. The estimated value of these incentives is in excess of $1.7 billion. This represents a huge increase over the 1st quarter report which totaled $450 million.

Interestingly, the top 25 incentive packages during the 2nd quarter of 2014 accounted for $135 billion of the total $1.7 billion.  However, 90% of the incentive packages provided during the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2014 were for $5 million or less. The Site Selection Group found that the most common forms of incentives offered are tax credits and cash grants.
As an example of the importance of the state incentive package in the process, of the top 25 incentive packages in the 2nd quarter of 2014, nine were in New Jersey. This is primarily the result of its new initiative, Grow New Jersey. Since New Jersey enacted the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, they have awarded $1.1 billion to 45 projects. Below are the top 25 packages.


Value ($M)

United Technologies


JPMorgan Chase


Toyota Motor


Philadelphia 76ers


RBC Capital


General Electric


Toyota Motor




Starwood Worldwide


Kum & Go


Princeton Tectonics


Northrop Grumman


Lee Company


ArcBest Corporation


Metropolitan Foods


Enable Midstream Services


Advance Auto Parts




Rent the Runway


Baked by Melissa




Fuyao Glass America


Better Team USA Corp


Alliance Data Systems






Read More Here