EDITORIAL: Aggressively market Indiana's attributes

2014-04-04T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Aggressively market Indiana's attributes nwitimes.com
April 04, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Indiana has been focused on improving the state's business climate, which now gives the state's economic development recruiters plenty of selling points.

"We're leading the nation in private sector job growth," Gov. Mike Pence said last week in Valparaiso.

Indiana also has the lowest unemployment rate in the Midwest, he said.

Even so, when it comes to creating jobs in Indiana, the more the merrier.

So the Indiana Economic Development Corp. is revving up its effort to draw businesses from Illinois with the "Stillinoyed" advertising campaign, a sequel of the 2011 "Illinoyed" campaign. That effort began after Illinois raised its corporate income tax by 30 percent and its individual income tax rate by 67 percent in response to a gigantic budget deficit.

The Illinois corporate income tax rate is 9.5 percent. It's far lower in Indiana already, and a new law will drop that rate to 4.9 percent in 2021.

Indiana has succeeded in recruiting some operations to Northwest Indiana from southern Cook County in recent years.

But Illinois attracted more than three times as many significant business investments as Indiana, according to Site Selection Magazine.

It's not good enough to have the best climate for business. Indiana has to spread the word in the business community, and do so often enough to get the attention of business executives when they're open to the idea of moving their business or a significant part of its operations.

The IEDC must aggressively market Indiana's attributes with this "Stillinoyed" campaign.

And follow up when businesses expand in Illinois to see why they didn't choose Indiana. 

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