#146 – Inside Our Industry – Top Ten Site Selection Factors

Posted on | Inside Our Industry

As an industrial developer, we agree wholeheartedly with this report from Whittaker Associates that reviewed Area Development’s 37th Annual Corporate Survey of corporate executives.

Top Ten Site Selection Factors
by Jami Gibson | Mar 31, 2023 | Whittaker Report

Area Development recently published several articles related to the results from their 37th Annual Corporate Survey of corporate executive readers. Owners and executives from companies across several sectors were polled at the end of 2022 to determine their biggest priorities in site selection. Those surveyed included decision-makers within the following industries: Manufacturing; Distribution & Logistics; Business Services; Construction & Trades; Energy; Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate; Healthcare & Life Sciences; Hospitality; Retail & E-Commerce; Tech & Software; Agriculture; and Other. When considering the factors of combined importance (voted “very important” and “important”), their responses indicated that the top ten site selection priorities are as follows:

  1. Labor Costs
  2. Quality of Life
  3. Availability of Skilled Labor
  4. Energy Availability
  5. Construction Costs
  6. ICT/Broadband
  7. Corporate Tax Rate
  8. Energy Costs
  9. Environmental Regulations
  10. Available Land

Does this ranking surprise you? A few things to note:

  • Labor Costs were also ranked #1 in the 2021 Corporate Survey.
  • Quality of Life and Construction Costs were tied in 11th place in the 2021 Corporate Survey and are now #2 and #5, respectively.
  • ICT/Broadband was ranked 26th in the 2021 Corporate Survey and jumped all the way to #6.
  • Available Land jumped to #10 from its rank at #19 in the 2021 Corporate Survey.

It’s interesting to see the shift in site selection priorities in such a short amount of time. If you’re an economic or workforce developer, how do you address the most important factors to ensure your community is the best place to work and live for potential business and employee prospects? Does it feel like you’re trying to hit a moving target?

Bear in mind that 48% of the survey’s respondents operate within the manufacturing industry. This top ten list could look significantly different depending on the sector. Do you know what factors are the most important to your target industries?