10 ways the elections can impact site selection decisions

by King White, on Nov 11, 2014 10:30:00 AM

With the elections last week, there will be significant political changes occurring across the United States in the New Year. These changes are happening at all levels of government and will create new opportunities and challenges for companies seeking the optimal location to expand their business. To understand the impact on corporate expansion decisions, Site Selection Group has identified 10 ways political changes can impact the site selection process.    Industrial_54316891

Many site selection factors are influenced by politics

Corporations look at a multitude of site selection factors when they are trying to determine if they should expand at an existing facility or locate to a new greenfield location. The importance of each of these factors to a particular company will vary depending on the type of project (i.e. manufacturing plants, distribution centers, contact centers, shared service centers, data centers, headquarters, etc.). Site Selection Group has identified 11 primary location factors that companies typically evaluate during the site selection process. The amount of influence that politics has on these factors will range significantly. The following table categorizes the typical site selection factors based on potential political influence:

  Low Political Influence  Moderate Political Influence  High Political Influence
  Logistics   Labor availability   Taxes
  Accessibility   Real estate availability   Labor Laws
  Disaster Recovery   Utilities and infrastructure   Regulatory environment
      Economic incentives

10 ways politics may influence site selection decisions    

As shown above, there are a significant amount of site selection factors that are influenced by politics and can dramatically impact the desirability of a location. The following list identifies some of the ways that politics can influence the site selection process:

  1.  Overhaul of federal and state policies (i.e. healthcare, tax
     structures, energy, etc.).
  2.  Modification of minimum wage laws (i.e. federal and state).
  3.  Modifications to business and personal tax structures.
  4.  Modification of labor laws (i.e. right-to-work).
  5.  Changes in economic development structure and budget allocation.
  6.  Changes in leadership and staff within economic development
  7.  Pre-election delays on economic incentive grants.
  8.  Overcommitment of economic incentives for political gain.
  9.  Post-election renegotiation of economic incentive grants.
  10.  Leakage of project information for political gain.



Site selection projects often take one to three years to complete.  During this period of time, the political climate can change dramatically causing delays and restructuring of deals. The most critical thing is to be prepared for change so always keep a back-up option ready. The most recent election will create a wave of policy changes that will influence site selection decisions for years to come.  

Topics:Call CenterDistribution CentersManufacturingEconomic IncentivesEconomic Development



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