Area Development magazine recently ran a really helpful article on what we’ve come to call the “Digest of Uncertainty.”
Starting with the 2007 collapse of key U.S. markets, the writers summarize the seismic activity that rocked the U.S. , and follows the money all over the globe, finally landing in Europe, where fiscal concerns have morphed into a continental crisis.
But don’t stop reading there. Uncertainty – historically a big deal killer – has lost some of its power to dampen economic development. Some experts believe that since 2007, business investors have come to understand that uncertainty is the new normal.
What’s the best time to invest, to grow, to expand? Nobody may know. But they do know reassuring signs exist and that growth will come again. And smart communities are getting ready to reap the rewards.
Among the global vital signs they’re tracking:
- “Available Capital: Major banks have resources, and companies have cash.
- “China: Chinese firms are ready to invest in U.S. markets. However, delays in such investment seem to result from extensive government involvement in deals.
- “Consumer Demand: Households now have very modest mortgage rates; so when a recovery starts, they should be in a stronger financial position to spend.
And South Carolina is ready for the next boom. In another article, the Area Development editors give high marks to South Carolina (#2 in the nation for business environment!), owing largely to favorable tax programs, readySC workforce training and existing infrastructure. Those are critically important to site selection consultants we work with to help businesses make location decisions.
And what happens when they decide to relocate? It all starts with a call to someone like Mark Sweeney, a pro featured in this great “Anatomy of a Deal” piece which identifies the high-stakes, high-touch, and information-laden role well-connected consultants play matching communities to companies. The journey from initial contact to ribbon cutting is fraught with intrigue, pleas for data and more.
We appreciate the article’s implicit message that smart, successful communities are well prepared and well-armed when the fierce competition begins.