Largest Economic Incentive Deals of 2021

by Kelley Rendziperis, on Feb 15, 2022 3:06:49 PM

Site Selection Group estimates that in 2021 more than $8.9 billion in economic incentives were offered to attract various projects in the United States ranging from office projects, such as headquarters and data centers, to industrial facilities, including manufacturing plants and distribution centers. Incentives are a vital tool for state and local jurisdictions looking for an extra edge to make their communities more attractive and cost-effective for competitive projects. 

To help understand economic incentive trends, Site Selection Group has evaluated the economic incentive deals announced during the calendar year 2021. 

$8.9 billion in economic incentives

As of the date of publication, Site Selection Group identified 2,236 economic incentive packages offered to companies across the United States during 2021. These economic incentive deals represent an estimated total incentive value of approximately $8.9 billion. To garner these economic incentives, companies are expected to make roughly $177.9 billion in capital investments and generate 375,453 new jobs, resulting in:

  • A total return on investment of approximately 5%
  • An average economic incentive award of $23,761 per new job
  • An average incentive award of approximately $4 million per project
  • A median economic incentive award of approximately $430,000

When compared to 2020, 2021 had a decrease in the number of announced awards by roughly 13.4%, from 2,582 to 2,236 projects; however, there was an astounding increase of 94.8% in the total value of announced economic incentive awards and a 60.8% increase in the average award per job. Other major metrics increased as well, with committed capital investment increasing by 150% and the number of jobs to be created by 21%.

The largest announced economic incentive package this year was offered to Ford Motor Co. Tennessee offered $884 million in economic incentives for Ford to build an electric vehicle mega campus near Memphis. $500 million of the package will go toward supporting the project, and $384 million will be used to build roads, infrastructure and even a trade school on the site. The company plans to create 5,800 jobs, and the new facility will be producing batteries and electric vehicles.

States with the largest awards and greatest number of announced projects

Tennessee and North Carolina offered the largest amount of announced economic incentive awards with $1.18 billion for 93 projects and $1.14 billion for 142 projects, respectively. While Ford’s electric vehicle campus was the largest announced project in Tennessee, the most notable project announced in North Carolina was to lure Apple, which was awarded an $848.5 million grant over a 39-year period through the North Carolina Job Development Investment Grants (JDIG) program. This is contingent on Apple meeting a 3,000 job creation target.

Overall, the 2,236 projects announced during 2021 represented 43 states, led by Ohio with 352 announced projects and Indiana with 204.

Top 10 States for Number of Announced Incentive Packages

Incentive Charts-01Data Source: IncentivesFlow, a service from WAVTEQ Limited

Number of announced projects by economic incentive value

The following chart depicts the number of projects announced during 2021 broken out by estimated economic incentive value:

Number of Projects by Incentive Value

Incentive Charts-02Data Source: IncentivesFlow, a service from WAVTEQ Limited

Approximately 68%, or 1,525 of the 2,236 announced projects, were awarded economic incentive packages valued at $1 million or less and 91% were awarded economic incentive packages valued at $5 million or less. While the average economic incentive package was valued at approximately $3.99 million for all 2,236 announced projects, the average award for the top 25 deals was approximately $208.85 million. There is a sharp increase in the number of awards in excess of $10 million.

Economic incentives and industry trends

The following chart depicts the breakdown of the 2,236 announced projects during 2021 by industry function:

Number of Projects by Industry Function in 2021 (Annual)

Incentive Charts-03Data Source: IncentivesFlow, a service from WAVTEQ Limited

Manufacturing continues to be the top incentivized industry function this year. The sector was led by Ford Motor Co., detailed above. The chart below illustrates the level of capital investment committed by industry sector in 2021:

CapEx Value By Industry Sector in 2021 (Annual) (USD m)

Incentive Charts-04Data Source: IncentivesFlow, a service from WAVTEQ Limited

The top industry sectors in terms of projected capital investment were the electronics and basic materials sectors, which together account for nearly 55% of all the investment announced during this period.

Notable economic incentive packages in 2021

The top 25 economic incentive packages announced in 2021 represent approximately $5.2 billion of the total $8.9 billion of estimated incentives for all projects, or approximately 58.53%. These projects in isolation will account for:

  • $95 billion of capital investment;
  • 47,826 new jobs;
  • A return on investment of approximately 5.5%; and
  • $110,650.71 average award per new job.

The announced economic incentive awards for the top 25 deals alone account for more incentives announced than the entire year of 2020. The following table identifies some of the largest economic incentive deals (removing real estate development and film incentives) offered in 2021. These projects provide a great way to benchmark the potential range of economic incentives for a variety of project types. However, it is important to understand these values are estimated and typically only reflect state-level incentives.

Company Location Industry function Incentives Value (USD m) Capex
(USD m)
Jobs Created
Ford Motor Company Unspecified (TN) Manufacturing $884.0 $5,600.0 5,800
Apple Unspecified (NC) Research, Design & Development (RDD) $845.8 $1,000.0 3,000
General Motors (GM) Lansing (MI) Manufacturing $838.1 $2,500.0 1,700
Samsung Electronics Taylor (TX) Manufacturing $677.0 $17,000.0 2,000
Ford Motor Company Elizabethtown (KY) Manufacturing $400.0 $5,800.0 5,000
Freeport LNG Development Quintana (TX) Warehousing and Distribution $178.0 $2,400.0 55
Great Lakes Cheese Franklinville (NY) Manufacturing $166.0 $500.0 200
Texas Instruments Sherman (TX) Manufacturing $148.0 $30,000.0 3,000
Fiserv Berkeley Heights (NJ) Business Services $109.2 $105.0 1,927
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Tarrytown (NY) Manufacturing $100.0 $1,800.0 1,000
Intel Chandler (AZ) Manufacturing $90.0 $20,000.0 3,000
Toyota Motor Liberty (NC) Manufacturing $86.6 $1,290.0 1,750
Dana Fort Wayne (IN) Manufacturing $70.0 $0.0 0
Oracle Corporation Nashville (TN) Business Services $65.0 $1,350.0 5,989
JM Huber Cohasset (MN) Manufacturing $64.3 $439.0 123
Ultium Cells Spring Hill (TN) Manufacturing $60.0 $2,300.0 1,300
Malouf Logan (UT) Headquarters (HQ) $56.0 $450.0 4,200
Alphabet Columbus (OH) Data Center $54.3 $300.0 20
Magellan Enterprise Columbus (OH) Data Center $54.3 $300.0 20
Elanco Animal Health Greenfield (IN) Manufacturing $54.0 $92.5 337

Data Source: IncentivesFlow, a service from WAVTEQ Limited

Notable awards in the business services industry during 2021

Most projects are not nearly as sizable in terms of incentives offered as the top 20 highlighted above. Thus, we like to share notable 2021 projects garnering economic incentives in the business services and call center industries:

Company Location Industry function Incentives Value
(USD m)
(USD m)
Jobs Created
Fiserv Berkeley Heights (NJ) Business Services      109.23                             105.0         1,927
Oracle Corporation Nashville (TN) Business Services         65.00                          1,350.0         5,989
Microsoft Multiple locations (CA) Business Services         35.00                             175.0         2,085
Microsoft Atlanta (GA) Business Services         28.00                                75.0         1,500
Torch.AI Leawood (KS) Business Services         27.00                                45.0            500
CoStar Group Richmond (VA) Business Services         15.00                             460.0         2,000
Infosys East Providence (RI) Business Services         12.91                                    -           1,000
Zoom Video Communications San Jose (CA) Business Services         12.50                                  5.0         1,222
Consumer Cellular Louisville (KY) Call Center           5.50                                15.5            486
Tekion West Chester Township (OH) Call Center           1.00                                    -              160

Data Source: IncentivesFlow, a service from WAVTEQ Limited


In sum, while there were fewer projects announced in 2021, the value of economic incentives offered in total, as well as per project on average, were significantly higher than 2020. The 375,453 new jobs committed to in 2021 is the highest amount since 2017 and 21.2% higher than new jobs in 2020. The increase reflects an influx of investment and significant market activity. We will analyze these findings further in the upcoming release of our 2022 Economic Incentives U.S. Market Report.

Please note that the analysis above is based on publicly available data at the time of this blog. In addition, the current data is compared to the information available at the time of prior blogs.

For additional information about these projects and others, please contact me at with any questions.

Contributions by Matthew Kahn.

Topics:Economic IncentivesEconomic DevelopmentSite Selection Group



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