#7 – Inside Our Industry – Corporate Expansions Will Be in Suburbs, Mid-Sized Cities – Part 2

Posted on | Inside Our Industry

Corporate Expansions Will Be in Suburbs, Mid-Sized Cities – Part 2
IW Staff  –  July 17, 2020

Majority of Project Activity Predicted To Resume in 2021

When asked to predict when client companies will restart expanding or adding new facilities, 13% of consultants reported that projects had already started moving forward in Q2 2020; however, with a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. in June when the survey was conducted, none of the Guild members predicted paused projects would restart in Q3 2020. Twenty-two percent indicated companies will restart projects in Q4 2020, 39% indicated Q1 2021 and 26% indicated after Q1 2021.

Food and Beverage Processing Emerges as Hot Industry, Biotech and Manufacturing Activity Continue to Hold Strong

In both the April and June surveys, Guild members were asked to select the industry sectors that are seeing the most project activity as locations across the globe begin to reopen. In June, the food and beverage processing industry saw the largest increase in project activity when compared to the April survey. The top five most active industries — with comparisons to Guild member selections in April — are listed below:

  1. Biotech and Life Sciences – 67% (down from 68%)
  2. Advanced Manufacturing – 51% (up from 29%)
  3. Food and Beverage Processing – 47% (up from 16%)
  4. Transportation and Logistics – 44% (down from 48%)
  5. Software and IT – 31% (up from 19%)

Economic Developers Should Begin Shifting Focus Back to Business Attraction

As was reported in the April survey, Guild members believe an economic development organization’s (EDO) priority focus in the COVID-19 environment should be on business retention and workforce development/talent attraction. However, there has been a shift in thinking that EDOs can begin to elevate their focus on business attraction as well. When asked what the priorities should be for EDOs – on a scale from 1 (not a priority) to 5 (high priority) – Guild members assigned a rating of 3.6 to business attraction, a considerable increase from the rating of 2.9 in the April survey.

We at Agracel are continuing to see increased activity as we maneuver through the COVID-19 environment. We will keep you posted.