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(i) on Economic Development: Mass Transit, Indy’s Incentives Roadmap, and More

Aug 29, 2019 Tim Cook, JD Katie Culp, MBA Tags: , , , , ,
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Having just returned from the Trustbelt national site selection conference, Tim Cook and Katie Culp had a mass of issues to discuss on the most recent (i) on Economic Development with Gerry Dick.

Indianapolis Red Line

After years of anticipation, the Indianapolis Red Line is nearing completion. Ever a fan of mass transit, KSM Location Advisors explains that the short-term growing pains associated with its construction and implementation will pale in comparison to its long-lasting benefits.

“Change is hard, but I think it’s such an important tool from a workforce standpoint – not just for those who may not have cars, but for millennials who don’t want to drive.” Culp states. “From a business attraction standpoint, this is a good investment and a first step towards differentiating ourselves.”

Inclusive Economic Growth Strategy

As a result of a new plan laid out by Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Indiana Chamber, Indianapolis will soon see changes to the way the city collaborates with companies, and inclusivity is at the heart of the matter. Indianapolis’ “Inclusive Incentives Roadmap” ties economic incentives to companies’ community impact.

“If we’re giving incentives to companies, we should also demand they be good community partners and be involved in their neighborhoods. This is something the city has always evaluated informally, but [the roadmap] is a way to codify it,” Cook says.

Venture Capital Activity on the Rise

In Elevate Ventures’ 2019 Indiana Venture Report, Indiana ranked second in the Midwest for the number of venture capital deals in the first half of the year. While the deal size is lagging behind its Midwestern neighbors, Culp states that this ranking is impressive, given some of Indiana’s competitors in the rankings.

Signs of Recession?

Following an article in the Wall Street Journal that RV sales in Elkhart, Indiana are being used as a bellwether for the economy at large, showing a recession may be looming, Cook states that there mixed signals right now. Some indicators, such as RV sales being on the decline, point to recession. Yet others, such as a hot real estate market that’s showing no signs of slowing down, point in the opposite direction.

While it cannot be determined with absolute certainty whether the economy is actually headed towards recession, Cook cautions, “Certainly those warning signs are out there. You see it in the stock market, and I think everybody’s taking notice.”

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