Indiana is touting a record year for economic development despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said it secured 282 commitments from businesses to start operations or expand existing facilities in the Hoosier state, pledging to create up to 31,300 new jobs with an average annual salary of $58,510, or $28.13 per hour.
The state said it's the most job commitments since the Indiana Department of Commerce became the Indiana Economic Development Corp. in 2005, and the second highest average wage promised by companies.
“Despite being an incredibly challenging year for Hoosier businesses in many different ways, I’m extremely encouraged and inspired by the perseverance of our business community," Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said. "Achieving another record-breaking year for economic development in 2020 shows us that Indiana is on the right track and that better times are ahead for Hoosiers, with more than 31,000 new career opportunities over the next few years.”
The wages promised by companies investing in Indiana are about 22% higher than the state's current average wage of $23.01 per hour, state officials said. The state helped lure the investment with tax incentives that averaged 22 cents for every dollar of payroll pledged, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
Major projects include Corsicana Mattress Co.'s plans to bring 350 jobs to LaPorte County, Electric Last Mile's plans to hire 960 workers in St. Joseph County, and Milwaukee Tool's intent to create 450 jobs in Johnson County, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
Companies that announced plans to invest in Northwest Indiana include Corsicana, Pond Alliance Inc., Ekos Window + Wall LLC, Ardagh Metal Beverage, Indiana Face Mask and Midwest Truck & Auto Parts.
The Indiana Small Business Development Center also helped 333 new small businesses start up in 2020, creating an estimated 1,459 new jobs, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center also helped existing businesses land more than $365.6 million in federal government contracts, creating an estimated 519 new jobs statewide, the IEDC reported.
And Elevate Ventures pledged $15.5 million from the state's 21st Century Research & Technology Fund to 109 startup companies in the Hoosier state, while pledging another $12.4 million in state matching fund to federal research grants secured by 24 Hoosier firms, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
Region restaurants that closed in 2020
2020 has been a hard year for restaurants in the Region with the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns and restrictions that followed. Here's a look at the restaurants, brewpubs and chain eateries Northwest Indiana lost in one of the toughest years in recent memory:
The reason why Bakers Square abruptly shuttered its restaurants in Lansing and Merrillville over the weekend has come to light.
3 Floyds told investors it is permanently closing its landmark brewpub in Munster, which has been a major draw to Northwest Indiana.
The owner of the Schererville and Merrillville Golden Corrals faces a murder charge in a cold case killing of a Missouri teen who was found in a drainage ditch with two gunshot wounds to the head.
There's no more going back for seconds or thirds at the Old Country Buffet in Highland.
Figure Eight Brewing, a staple of downtown Valparaiso for a decade, plans to close in two weeks.
Yats Creole and Cajun restaurant geaux out of business after after six years in Valparaiso.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in another permanent closure of a Region restaurant.
The authentic southern-style barbecue restaurant, one of the first to deliver food to local hospitals and first responders during the pandemic, is temporarily closing its locations in Dyer, Mokena, Milwaukee and Madison.
Four Winds Casino New Buffalo will replace The Hard Rock Cafe with Kankakee Grille, which will feature live music and modern comfort food.
Aspen Cafe closes after 30 years in St. John, the Pancake Club closes in Schererville, Pita Stop coming to Dyer
The Stacked Pickle restaurant chain that former Indianapolis Colts player Gary Brackett was trying to expand to Northwest Indiana and the south suburbs has fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic.
NWI Business Ins and Outs: Q-BBQ closed, Chunky Tacos, Dunkin, Andrade Nails, NorthShore Health Centers, and Direct Mortgage Loans opening
Smoothie King comes to Crown Point, Kowloon and Canton House close, Caribbean jerk restaurant coming, Burger King getting rebuilt
NWI Business Ins and Outs: Domino's coming to Hobart, American Sale closes after 50 years in Lansing, sushi place comes to Winfield, and Troost closes
Pancakes are about to go global in Schererville.