Economic Incentive Trends for Headquarter Projects

by Kelley Rendziperis, on Jul 19, 2021 5:05:39 PM

From the beginning of 2018 through the end of May 2021, approximately 791 headquarter deals were announced in the United States. The charts below demonstrate the number of deals announced and the value of the economic incentive packages awarded over the period. Note that we have excluded any projects under code names and not yet disclosed.

Total Number of Deals

Incentives Charts-_Number of Deals

Total Incentives Value (USD M)

Incentives Charts-_Total Incentives ValueSource: IncentivesFlow, a service from WAVETEQ Limited

The total number of announced deals from 2018 through mid-2021 declined; however, the value of economic incentives awarded fluctuated. The notable increases in the second half of 2018 and 2020 were driven primarily by two highly publicized projects. In 2018, the significant increase was due to Amazon’s pursuit of a second headquarters, Amazon HQ2. The online retail giant, which received offers from communities throughout the United States, was offered $968 million in incentives by Crystal City, Virginia. The increase of economic incentives awarded in the second half of 2020 was spurred by the $439 million package North Carolina offered the Centene Corporation.

Approximately $19.6 billion of capital investment and 167,000 new jobs were announced from 2018 through May 2021 associated with headquarter projects in the United States. The Amazon HQ2 project was a significant driver in the upward spike in committed new jobs and capital investment in the second half of 2018.

Total CapEx (USD M)

Incentives Charts-_Total CapExTotal Number of New Jobs

Incentives Charts-_New JobsSource: IncentivesFlow, a service from WAVETEQ Limited

The top five states with the most announced headquarter projects from 2018 through May 2021 were Indiana, Ohio, Florida, New York and Virginia, representing approximately 40% of all announced headquarter projects. 47% of all estimated net new jobs created by headquarter projects were committed to Virginia, Utah, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee. Finally, the largest committed investment was in Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Tennessee, or 46% of all committed capital investment. Interestingly, half of all the announced headquarter projects were in the Services or Information Technology & Telecom industry sectors.

State Total No. of Deals
Indiana 113
Ohio 79
Florida 47
New York 45
Virginia 41


State No. of New Jobs Created
Virginia 30,937
Utah 12,884
North Carolina 11,312
Ohio 10,771
Tennessee 10,418


State Capital Investment (USD m)
Virginia 2,889
North Carolina 1,874
Ohio 1,723
Florida 1,339
Tennessee 1,338

Source: IncentivesFlow, a service from WAVETEQ Limited

The most frequently used programs by the states listed above were:

  • Indiana Economic Development for a Growing Economy,
  • Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit,
  • JobsOhio Economic Development Grant,
  • Florida Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund,
  • Virginia Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund,
  • Virginia Jobs Investment Program,
  • Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant,
  • North Carolina Job Development Investment Grant,
  • Tennessee FastTrack Economic Development Program,
  • Tennessee FastTrack Job Assistance Training, and
  • the Utah Economic Development Tax Increment Financing programs.

Most of these programs are grants, refundable tax credits or withholding rebates which are largely aimed at incentivizing companies to create new jobs.

To no surprise, Virginia falls within the top five of all three categories above primarily because of Amazon HQ2, which invested $2.5 billion into their second headquarters and created 25,000 new jobs in the State of Virginia.

In general, the number of deals, new jobs and capital investment committed for headquarter projects has declined over the past year. This is not surprising since most headquarter projects locate in commercial real estate buildings, and COVID-19 has kept most of its associated workforce remote. As people go back to working in the office, I would expect to see the number of announced headquarter projects increase. It will also be interesting to analyze how much more aggressive states will be in competing for these projects.

For additional information or questions, please contact me at

Contributions by Luciana Arteaga-Nemtala.

Topics:Economic IncentivesSite Selection Group



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