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Building A Resilient Supply Chain

By the BF Staff
From the November/December 2020 Issue

As the coronavirus disrupted global supply chains earlier this year, manufacturing executives were forced to embrace a new paradigm for their logistics priorities; their focus shifted from minimizing lead times and lowering costs to ensuring that critical supply chains are resilient enough to keep operating under crisis conditions.

According to Foley & Lardner LLP’s recent Global Supply Chain Disruption and Future Strategies Survey, 70 percent of 150 respondents indicated that the pandemic has downgraded sourcing from the lowest-cost supplier as the primary factor in supply-chain decisions; 62 percent of those surveyed indicated they might shift from just-in-time manufacturing of goods to an increase in warehoused inventories; 40 percent embraced dual-sourcing or multi-sourcing strategies.

logistics supply chains
(Photo: Georgia Ports Authority/Jeremy Polston)

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated trends toward reshoring of overseas supply chains and “local for local” logistics strategies. Shortages of personal protection equipment and other critical medical supplies in the early days of the pandemic have opened the eyes of supply-chain planners in many industries—prompting many to rethink their risk/benefit analyses of a globalized supply chain.

Building a more resilient supply chain doesn’t mean surrendering access to global markets. It means being smarter about making sure your chain doesn’t have a weak link. Here are some logistics leaders that are doing it right.

GEORGIA PORTS: EXPANDING CAPACITY

In order to accommodate record growth in containerized trade, the Georgia Ports Authority is making significant infrastructure enhancements at the Port of Savannah. These improvements are accompanied by strong private sector investment, with nearly 9 million square feet of industrial construction now under way in Savannah’s private market.

“We appreciate the decisions of cargo owners to place their trust in Georgia. As our economy recovers, customers continue to be attracted by Savannah’s strong fundamentals—including the people who make our ports work,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “I want to thank our GPA employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association and our many partners across the logistics industry for their dedication to service.”

As the most westerly major port on the U.S. East Coast, featuring the largest single-terminal container operation in the Western Hemisphere, on-terminal rail and direct interstate connections, the Port of Savannah is the nation’s busiest export port and the fastest growing U.S. container port over the past decade.

In the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2021 (July-September), the Port of Savannah handled 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 1.6 percent or 19,663 TEUs. The port set a monthly record in September, growing TEUs by 11.4 percent, or 42,140, for a total of 412,148 TEUs in September.

According to Cushman Wakefield, the Savannah market comprises 79 million square feet of industrial space. Another 8.7 million square feet are under construction, for an 11 percent increase in inventory. Lynch noted there is enough land permitted for private development to accommodate another 130 million square feet of distribution center space within 30 miles of the port—nearly twice the area’s current industrial space.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said private development projects delivering thousands of jobs and millions of square feet of industrial space mean the long-term outlook for the state’s ports is strong.

“Over the past year, our nation has faced unprecedented challenges that have impacted our daily lives and our economy. We’ve had to rethink how we handle the logistics of healthcare, retail, manufacturing—and the global trade that supports these endeavors,” Kemp said. “Through it all, our ports have remained steady, keeping cargo moving, attracting investment and building market share.”

Kemp said that as the nation’s top export gateway, the Port of Savannah provides the cost-effective connections that farmers, manufacturers and other exporters need to compete globally.

Will McKnight, chairman of the GPA board, said helping to bring new business to Georgia is part of GPA’s central mission—and a main reason the Authority is stepping up its capacity. “We’re making strategic expansions to ensure cargo fluidity as Savannah’s container trade increases,” McKnight said. “Our long-term infrastructure investments ensure GPA is ready when our customers are ready to grow.”

Ongoing infrastructure improvements include:

  • Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. Deepening the harbor to 47 feet at low tide is now 75 percent finished, with completion expected in late 2021.
  • Mason Mega Rail Terminal will double the Port of Savannah’s annual rail capacity to 2 million TEUs. Nine new working tracks have been commissioned, with another nine slated for completion in 2021.
  • Expanding container handling capabilities at Ocean Terminal to serve smaller ships while berth renovations are ongoing at Garden City. This project will be completed by the end of 2020.
  • Straightening Berth 1 to allow Garden City Terminal to dock four 15,000+ TEU vessels and three additional vessels simultaneously. The project will take approximately two years.
  • Expanding container storage onto 145 acres recently added to the now 1,345-acre Garden City Terminal.

Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said the state has maintained powerful momentum in attracting new business. “We have more projects than we have probably ever had. Businesses are making decisions. This is not a true recession in the sense of there was a decline in need, it’s just that the world shut down,” Wilson said. “Businesses are taking this opportunity to make investments to continue to grow, and they’re planning for the future, for when we come back.”

In FY2020, the state of Georgia won projects bringing $7.4 billion and 24,000 jobs, across sectors including manufacturing, logistics and technology. In Chatham, Effingham and Bryan counties alone, private investors announced more than half a billion dollars in industrial projects and more than 1,200 jobs just last fiscal year.

Recent economic development announcements include:

  • FedEx is taking 415,000 square feet in a brand new, 1.2 million square-foot facility in Bryan County being built by medical goods provider Medline. Construction is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
  • Hooker Furniture, HMI, will open a new 800,000-square-foot distribution facility in Liberty County’s Tradeport East Business Center. The $23.5 million investment will deliver 50 new jobs.
  • MSI Tile plans a 675,000-square-foot distribution center in Chatham County. MSI projects it will bring 20,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of new business to the Port of Savannah annually, and provide 225 jobs.
  • Logistics provider World Distribution Services is opening a 280,000-square-foot facility in Savannah in November.
  • Georgia Exports Company has established a location 1.5 miles from GPA’s Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County, where it will load logs into containers for export. GEC is expected to export more than 28,000 TEUs annually.
  • Huali Floors is establishing its first U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Murray County, GA. The $27 million project will create 315 new jobs.

MARION COUNTY, SC: FINDING SUCCESS IN A CHALLENGING YEAR

When one door closes, another opens. There are many words we can use to describe 2020, most of them negative and not suitable to print; however, in the northeastern corner of South Carolina they’re using a different word: resilient.

Among the member counties in the North Eastern Strategic Alliance, perhaps there is no better example of this than Marion County. In mid-July, Groupe Beneteau—a manufacturer of Beneteau and Jeanneau sailboats—announced they would be closing their facility in Marion County after 33 years in business there. The announcement sent shockwaves throughout the region, especially for the 180 employees expected to lose their jobs.

logistics
Shovel-ready parcels are available in Marion County, SC.

“This was tough to hear,” Marion County Economic Development Director Dr. Julie Norman said. “Especially from a company that has been so great to this county and community for so many years. We immediately started making calls to ask them how we could get them to stay.”

Then, just a few weeks following the closure announcement, Dr. Norman received an unexpected phone call. It wasn’t the one she’d been hoping for from Groupe Beneteau’s corporate headquarters in France, but from Knoxville, TN. Leisure Pools and Spas North America, Inc., a leading fiberglass in-ground pool manufacturer, was interested in Beneteau’s building. Not only that, they wanted to act quickly so they could retain and grow the existing workforce.

And that’s how in 57 short days, Marion County turned loss into victory, announcing Leisure Pools and Spas’ plans to establish operations and create 200 jobs with a capital investment of $6.1 million.

“This just doesn’t happen in this industry,” Dr. Norman said. “I have been in economic development for a while and I have never seen a turnaround quite like this.”

David Pain, Leisure Pools Group CEO and Co-Founder, called this a “timely purchase” in a press release from the South Carolina Department of Commerce in September.

“The manufacturing facility is a world-class composite manufacturing facility coupled with a very talented team that has a strong work ethic and pride in their work,” Pain said.

Currently, luxury sailboats and swimming pools are both being made in the same facility as the transition occurs.

Facing down tough odds isn’t something new in Marion County. At the height of the Great Recession, the county saw its unemployment rate skyrocket to 21.3 percent in December 2009. Over the next decade, Marion scrapped and clawed its way back from the economic wilderness. In September 2019, the county hit a record low of 3.1 percent unemployment. When COVID-19 and the forced economic shutdowns came, it would have been easy to fall back into the doldrums.

But Marion County is resilient.

Three more announcements followed Leisure Pools, including expansions by DMA Holdings, Inc.—an established supplier to the North American automotive and heavy-duty aftermarket parts—and Maxwood Furniture—a manufacturer and distributor of bedroom furniture. Those two expansions will create a combined 55 new jobs and $9.7 million in capital investment. Then, a new business—Rivers Plumbing and Electric, Inc.—an engineering and design, prefabrication, construction and post-construction firm—announced it would establish operations in Marion County to the tune of 150 new jobs and a capital investment of $9.1 million.

“For a county that has had historically very high unemployment, this has just been a remarkable stretch for us,” Dr. Norman said. “We are very happy to be landing new companies and expanding our existing industry base.

It shows we are doing something right here and the opportunities we have here are either providing, or will provide, success for these companies.”

What’s driving companies to Marion County?

Companies have taken notice of the advantages the region has to offer. Communities like those in Marion County don’t just keep companies competitive, they give them a leg up.

supply chain
Inland Port Dillon, an extension of the Port of Charleston, is a logistics gem drawing economic development projects to Marion County, SC.

Marion County has invested in future development and it is paying off. Over the past several years, the county has spent considerably to enhance its product base, streamlined regulatory processes and positioned themselves to attract new jobs and investment. The result has been two fully constructed speculative buildings—with four others purchased by the county—along with multiple sites completing due diligence programs and several infrastructure improvement projects now complete.

Inland Port Dillon also gives the region a distinct logistics advantage and has been a driving force for Marion County’s recent success. An extension of the Port of Charleston, the inland port is connected directly to the most efficient port on the east coast by Class 1 CSX rail. Inland Port Dillon allows importers and exporters to receive all the benefits of doing business at a seaport without the high tax rates and land costs. Several buildings and thousands of acres of developable property are within minutes of Inland Port Dillon and available at a fraction of what you’d pay seaside in Charleston, with even better access.

These developments would be welcomed in any location, but Marion County’s position at the center of the East Coast and in the heart of the booming Southeast makes it too good to pass up. It is located halfway between New York City and Miami, and just 15 minutes from I-95, where companies can reach most major markets along the east coast within a day’s drive.

From its state-of-the-art training facilities to skilled and available workforce, this is a region that can truly provide everything a company needs to start fast and remain competitive for years to come. Contact Marion County directly to learn more. Call (843)423-8235, email [email protected] or visit www.marioncountysc.com.

supply chain
Sailboat manufacturer Beneteau is ending its production in Marion County, but another manufacturer has quickly stepped in to claim the facility’s advanced composites fabrication line: Leisure Pools Group. (Photo: Marion County, SC)

UNION COUNTY, SC: MULTIMODAL SUCCESS

Union County, SC offers close proximity to major transportation nodes focusing on land, air, rail and sea, giving this rural community a competitive advantage in attracting manufacturers, warehouse/distribution and e-commerce companies from around the globe.

With its highly developed infrastructure and focus on innovation and technology, Union County is part of a dynamic economic boom and home to global companies such as Milliken, Timken, Standard Textile, Gestamp, Webb Forging, Kemper Corporation and CSL Plasma, just to name a few. Six countries have their global footprint in Union County and depend on its logistics infrastructure to move goods and product to customers.

Companies relying on “on time” deliveries appreciate Union County’s multimodal transportation options offering economical, efficient and environmentally friendly benefits to achieve offloads to their destinations.

The County’s central location in Upstate SC provides convenient access to interstates, air, railways and ports, accommodating its business sectors as a means of shipping goods and maximizing their supply networks. Just a short drive or a quick flight provides connections to nearly every metropolitan city in the Southeastern U.S. Positioned right off the I-85 corridor, the area is served by three major airports (GSP International, Charlotte Douglas International and Columbia Metropolitan), two railways (Norfolk Southern and CSX), the inland Port in Greer, SC and a major shipping port in Charleston, SC. Having access to this multimodal channel is a key advantage for Union County’s global industry base.

Union County’s Highway System (US Highway 176 and SC Highway 49) plays an essential role in transporting goods to destinations around the globe. Easy and convenient access to major interstate routes (I-26, I-85, I-77 and I-95) provides connections to air, ports and rail intermodal infrastructure. From Union County’s Upstate SC location, one day’s truck service reaches approximately 44 percent of the U.S,’s population, in addition to major markets and suppliers.

Union County is centrally located between three international airports offering more than 600 daily flights to domestic and international locations. Greenville Spartanburg International (GSP) is less than a 45-minute drive time and offers non-stop international cargo service with regular flights to Germany and Mexico. Charlotte Douglas International (CLT) is 62 miles away and Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is less than a three-hour drive time.

Union County’s rail system is well connected and served by major rail providers, CSX and Norfolk Southern Railways. Norfolk Southern links Union County industries to worldwide markets and serves every major container port in the eastern US. Norfolk Southern Railway was also instrumental in bringing the Inland Port to Greer, SC.

As the largest intermodal network provider within the U.S., CSX offers nationwide transloading and distribution services to maximize Union County’s industrial supply networks.

Located within a three-hour drive time of Union County, the South Carolina Ports Authority serves as an international gateway of goods exported and imported into Union County, the State of South Carolina and entire U.S. The Ports of Charleston, Georgetown and Inland Ports in Greer and Dillon, SC ensures the efficient movement of goods between businesses and global markets. Union County is positioned within 42 miles of the Inland Port of Greer extending the Port of Charleston’s reach by providing the County’s businesses access to more than 95 million consumers worldwide.

“Union County’s multimodal and logistics options serve as an economic development driver and force in growing the local, regional and state economy. The majority of Union County industries are heavy exporters and depend on multimodal options to streamline their supply chains and encourage future growth and investment in the area.

ODESSA, TX: MAKING IT EASIER FOR BUSINESSES

According to many businesses, the biggest obstacles encountered in the process of relocation or expansion are finding available land and employees, and achieving financial stability. The Odessa Development Corporation (ODC) has resources at their disposal that can help make a business’ relocation to, or expansion in, Odessa, TX a smooth process all around.

These resources include an extensive property database and possible economic development sales tax incentives.

Available space or property for relocation or expansion can be difficult to find. The ODC has precise resources to make that step in the process easier. This database includes properties in the city of Odessa, but also within Ector County, and could help prospective businesses find a property for their relocation or expansion that they were not aware was available. To access the ODC’s property database, visit odessatex.com.

Odessa has the resources to train its citizens for careers in medicine, manufacturing, agriculture and more. The city of Odessa holds multiple vocational training centers and an endlessly open job market, which makes its workforce an invariable commodity in the midst of a varying economy.

Businesses who relocate to Odessa face significantly fewer hiring challenges than they might in other cities. Odessa is strengthened by one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States at 2.9 percent, as well as some of the highest wages in the country for skilled workers. While population and community growth moves upward, unemployment numbers are slowly shrinking in Odessa.

The community experiences frequent relocation of new businesses, world class facilities and vocational training programs in association with those businesses. The Odessa community is the Odessa Development Corporation’s biggest aid in achieving its goal of creating an expanded and thriving economy.

In 1989, the legislature of the State of Texas passed into law an economic development sales tax. With this revenue, and with city council approval, economic development corporations like the ODC and others across the state of Texas can use incentives to support projects that enhance and grow their respective cities. This sales tax is in turn a huge benefit for the citizens of these communities. This initiative is what allows the ODC to invest in the future of Odessa. It gives ODC the ability to offer competitive incentives to companies that are creating jobs and driving innovation in the Lone Star State and around the world. ODC offers incentives to local businesses and to those outside the area based on the number of new jobs created, annual payroll and the amount of capital investment, among other requirements.

There are plenty of reasons to relocate your business in Odessa, but the local and Texas economic development incentives are the ones that can positively affect your bottom line.

Odessa is unique. The city offers a quintuple Freeport Exemption from all taxing entities on goods in transit. Just one more reason that Odessa is the right place for your business. This business incentive is designed to exempt some or all of a company’s inventory from property taxes. Businesses involved in the export of tangible property such as goods, wares and merchandise may be eligible for the Freeport Exemption. For your business to be eligible, all property must be assembled, stored, manufactured or fabricated locally and then exported out of the state within 175 days. Other possible incentives include infrastructure improvement grants, property tax incentives, vocational training and recruiting and screening of employees.

Lucrative financial incentives, site selection, logistics, a qualified workforce, easy access to foreign markets, low cost-of-living and the greatest resource, its people, make Odessa an increasingly attractive place to do business.

When a business is looking to move to a new location, there are a number of factors to consider for employees and their families. The ODC can help you make Odessa home. The staff at the economic development department can put you in touch with the local school district, area community colleges and universities, workforce solutions centers, land developers and residential real estate professionals to make the transition as easy as possible.

The best development corporations in Texas use an annual action plan. The Odessa Development Corporation uses a similar plan of action that helps them proactively recruit businesses and projects that keep Odessa, TX in the ranks of the best and most economically sound communities in the state of Texas.

Texas as a state is the best at local economic development. It has the resources, the economic development professionals, the can-do spirit and supports efforts at the local level.

Local business retention and expansion is the heart of growth for any city. Existing businesses are invested in Odessa, and the ODC believes strongly in investing at home. ODC would welcome the opportunity to walk you through the process of applying for Odessa Development Corporation funding.

MICHIGAN: A STEP AHEAD OF RESHORING

There is no doubt the coronavirus pandemic has had a tremendous impact on industries across the globe. The abrupt shock to our economy interrupted the supply chain, leaving many companies who typically rely on goods from other parts of the world with a gap in the production cycle and increased delays.

The disruption in the supply chain has led manufacturers to re-evaluate logistics strategies and assets to mitigate risk by considering onshore or near-shoring solutions, moving production closer to their customer base and allowing for quicker service and minimized breakdown in supply. However, to move production is not an easy task and manufacturers will be looking for a highly trained workforce, adequate warehouse availability, a strategic location and proximity to their customer base. Moreover, they will be looking for a business climate where their company network can thrive.

As countries around the world begin to look toward economic recovery, companies should consider Michigan as they re-evaluate supply chains.

Michigan is building from a strong foundation when it comes to the ecosystem necessary for successful onshoring or reshoring. While many are just now seeing the benefits of a domestic supply chain, Michigan recognized this opportunity long ago. Onshoring and near-shoring were imbedded into the state’s FDI strategy and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) five-year strategic plan long before the virus arrived.

Due to smart planning and strategic investments to double-down on our unique strengths, Michigan is poised to deliver the solutions critical to reshoring success.

Companies will find the workforce they need in Michigan. The state has the nation’s highest concentration of engineers and ranks in the top 10 for number of skilled trade workers. In May, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created the Michigan Workforce Development Board, which is responsible for the continuous improvement of the workforce development system, to achieve her goal of helping 60 percent of our workforce achieve a post-secondary degree or certification by 2030. Additionally, the Jobs Ready Michigan program is helping businesses like Detroit Manufacturing Systems, LLC—a Tier 1 auto supplier—to grow by addressing the costs associated with recruiting and training individuals for occupations that are high-wage, high-skill or high demand. As a result, the company is able to prepare the next generation of skilled workers while remaining competitive in today’s economy.

Michigan sits within 500 miles of nearly half the U.S. and Canadian population and commerce centers providing unparalleled access to market. A quarter of the more than $700 billion in annual trade between the U.S. and Canada crosses the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, the most active border crossing in North America. The Detroit region also sits along the St. Lawrence Seaway, a major port providing central access to the Midwest and international borders. Michigan’s 120,256 miles of paved roadway, 33 active deep water ports, 26 freight railroads with 3,600 miles of track across the state and 18 commercial airports including one of the largest U.S. air hubs in North America provide the unique connection of transportation and distribution routes necessary for a cost-effective supply chain.

As companies look to have greater proximity to their customer base, Michigan is the place to be to for companies in the automotive supply chain. The state is home to 18 of the world’s largest OEMs, 96 of the top 100 suppliers and an abundance of mobility tech companies. Nearly 19 percent of all U.S. auto production takes place in Michigan—more than any other state. The state also has the highest concentration of automotive employment, producers and suppliers of any state—6.5 times the national average. This unique ecosystem ensures access to a robust supply chain that spans the entire state.

Companies seeking to reshore should also look for a business climate that will position them for success. For years Michigan has worked to develop a wealth of supply chain assets and expertise. Michigan’s infrastructure of support is mature and evolving quickly to meet current industry needs—as evidenced by Trenton Forging recently winning a National Metalworking Reshoring Award for bringing manufacturing back to America. And it offers a skilled workforce, combined with low cost of living and high quality of life that creates a foundation for future talent needs.

There are challenging supply chain decisions ahead for many companies. Michigan’s many unique assets and foresight to stay a step ahead on reshoring positions the state as a premiere option for those companies looking to bring their supply chain back from overseas.

[This section was written by Drew Coleman, Director of U.S. and Foreign Direct Investment, MEDC.]

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FL: CENTRAL TO WHERE YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO BE

Indian River County—Vero Beach, Sebastian, Fellsmere—strikes a perfect balance between business and pleasure. Those who live, work or visit the area find that the local communities are safe and loaded with ecological, cultural, educational and technological amenities. Many C-level executives have located their companies to the area because of the executive’s positive vacation experience, or perhaps they own a winter home on Vero’s barrier island.

Located on Florida’s east coast, midway between West Palm Beach and Cape Canaveral, Indian River County is within three hours of over 17 million consumers, or 90 percent of Florida’s population. It has easy access to markets but is far from urban sprawl, traffic and congestion. Visitors from other parts of Florida are amazed, and pleasantly surprised, at the county’s lack of traffic.

The area is rich in history and natural resources, including wildlife reserves such as the U.S. Pelican Island National Wildlife Sanctuary—the first of its kind in the U.S. The county also boasts 26 miles of unspoiled beaches and scenic lakes, with some of the best bass fishing available in Blue Cypress Lake. It is also the center of the world-famous Indian River Citrus District.

Indian River County is a cost-competitive location for new or expanding businesses. It has hundreds of acres of low-cost land available for development, much of it located near I-95, a major north-south transportation route along the east coast—perfect for warehouse/distribution operations. The county offers competitive property tax rates, and Florida has no state income tax.

And now with the Opportunity Zone initiative, investors have an even greater reason to consider Indian River County, FL. All properties west of I-95 in Indian River County are designated as an Opportunity Zone. This includes the City of Fellsmere, a rural community in the northwestern portion of the county, with thousands of acres of developable land and quick access to I-95.

The O-Zone includes two shovel-ready industrial parks located ½ mile west of I-95 along SR60. The Indian River Park of Commerce is home to a 400,000-square-foot CVS distribution center and has 90 acres available for lease. The Vero West Business Park has 49 acres available for sale and is the future home of Boston Barricades, a national manufacturer of enclosures for commercial and construction sites. State and local incentives are also available to relocating and expanding companies, including property tax abatement, tax refunds and job training grants.

Indian River County’s superb quality of life attracts innovative businesses and talented professionals from around the country and around the world. Advanced industries from aviation to aquaculture and emerging tech to healthcare all benefit from a low cost of doing business and some of the lowest taxes in the nation. The Cleveland Clinic expanded its Florida footprint by taking over the Indian River Medical Center, now providing advanced and expanded medical services to residents throughout the region.

An available and trainable workforce of approximately 638,000 within an hour’s drive time adds to the county’s appeal as a desirable location. Indian River State College (IRSC) has five campuses located throughout the region, offering two-year and four-year degrees, as well as several industrial and technical certifications. IRSC is wildly successful in securing training grants for local employers. They can develop specially-designed training programs in a matter of weeks v. months.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce partnered with the local school district and CareerSource Research Coast, the region’s workforce organization, to launch a Manufacturing Boot Camp program. Based on a successful program in neighboring St. Lucie County, the program gives high school seniors who are not college-bound an opportunity to see the types of jobs and skills needed within the manufacturing industry—building up that workforce pipeline. During a week-long program, students tour local manufacturing facilities each day, asking questions and getting hands-on experiences. The Chamber plans to grow this program, adding more industry sectors in the future, such as contractor trades and healthcare, as well as including students in the 10th and 11th grade.

Air transportation in the area is served by two general aviation airports which primarily cater to private and corporate aircraft. Sebastian Airport is home to Whelen Aerospace Technologies, a global leader in high-end lighting products for the aerospace industry. Vero Beach Regional Airport is a full service Fixed Base Operator with a 7000-foot runway. It is home to Piper Aircraft and Flight Safety International, plus offers direct non-stop commercial air service to Newark, NJ through Elite Airways. Both airports have plenty of airside and non-aviation land available for future development.

Regular scheduled air service is provided by Melbourne International Airport, 35 miles north, Orlando International Airport located 90 minutes away and Palm Beach International Airport, an hour’s drive south. FEC Rail provides local freight service and runs along the eastern seaboard.

Because location is central to success, Indian River County isn’t just where you want to be—it’s central to where your business ought to be. It has the perfect blend of everything the Sunshine State has to offer. For more information on locating your company to Indian River County, Florida, contact Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Indian River Chamber of Commerce, at (772) 567-3491 or [email protected] Or, visit their website at www.indianrivered.com.

YOUR NEXT INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY LIES WITHIN MIDDLESEX COUNTY

Middlesex County offers a rich rural-urban landscape in the heart of southern Ontario complete with all the must haves for multi-nationals or local businesses looking to expand or upgrade facilities, like prime location, affordable land prices, educated workforce, multilevel government support and desirable quality of life.

If your company relies on ‘on time’ deliveries, you’ll appreciate the access to three border crossings within a two hour drive. Its 401 and 402 series highways are vital in transporting goods to destinations across the globe. Rail and air transport are locally available with both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific traveling through the County and the London International Airport offering a central location for both cargo and people. Also located about an hour from here is port access to the Great Lakes’ shipping channels.

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Thorndale Business Park is an Ontario Investment Ready Certified Site, with acres of shovel-ready parcels available. (Photo: Middlesex County Economic Development)

As per the County’s economic development plan, there are eight strategically located business parks with a mix of private and municipal ownership for companies to plant their roots on. Middlesex County’s recent growth patterns reflect positively on how firms are responding to what they find. The municipality’s ‘prepared-to-do-business’ approach is credited as one of the many reasons why companies such as Bonduelle North America, Gray Ridge Eggs, Catalent Pharma Solutions (Molnar Park), Armatec Survivability (DaVinci Park), Ideal Pipe and Algonquin Bridge (Thorndale Park) call Middlesex home. The Glencoe and Thorndale Business Parks are Ontario Investment Ready Certified Sites and have set the bar for being ‘business ready’ by achieving this elite ranking. Risk reviews can be reduced and construction time advanced with the completed upfront work of gathering property information, mapping, and already completed environmental, heritage, archaeological and species assessments. Companies prospecting for the optimum mix of location, (including attractive property pricing) and additional amenities, really strike it rich in Middlesex.

With a population of 426,139, the City of London is Canada’s 11th largest city, which serves as an advantage to Middlesex given the access to established economic sectors, and the many graduates from Western University and Fanshawe College. Both education institutions rank high as leaders in research and public/private partnerships so it’s no wonder why Stats Canada (2016) identified Middlesex County residents as possessing an education level higher than the national average.

The quality of life in Middlesex is enhanced by the celebration of arts and culture and the vibrant shopping and entertainment options. As well, short commutes, traffic that moves, fresh air, safe spaces and active living options can all be accessed by families in intimate communities. This is a place where front porches are used, street hockey is played and children walk to school. Come see for yourself why businesses call Middlesex County “home.” Visit investinmiddlesex.ca.

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