Podcast

Episode: 331 |
Susan Harte :
Corporate Site Selection:
Episode
331

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

Susan Harte

Corporate Site Selection

Show Notes

Susan Harte has deep experience as a site selection consultant, helping companies choose where to place their next headquarters, contact center, distribution facility, or factory.

In this episode, Susan shares an insider’s view of the site selection process.

Connect with Susan on LinkedIn at:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-harte-esq-mcr-2002a04/

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

Will Bachman 00:01
Hello, and welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. I’m your host Will Bachman. And I’m here today with Susan Hart, who is the founder of location incentives group. She’s a site selection consultant. Susan, welcome to the show.

Susan Harte 00:20
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Will Bachman 00:22
So when we were chatting before it hit record here, you were telling me that you’ve been doing this for so long that it kind of surprised you that it would be news to anyone. And I was saying like, I’ve never even knew that this world of site selection even existed, maybe just start by saying, like, what does a site selection consultant do?

Susan Harte 00:44
Right. So mainly, we assist our clients and the site selection process, determining what their location drivers are for establishing either new operations or maybe expanding a business where they are or relocating to another site, I think, you know, most organizations recognize that, you know, geography is really a key driver of corporate performance. And, you know, it can affect your company’s p&l, their ability to attract and retain talent, efficiently service their customers. So location and geography are actually a very important tool that a company can leverage to its advantage. And many companies don’t, you know, oftentimes, they don’t go through a location analysis, and they end up moving to somewhere where maybe they saw an ad in the paper or somewhere where they know there’s a good golf course. And, you know, we try to focus companies and identifying, you know, what are the location drivers? First of all, what are the the non economic location drivers that and then once they determine that we help them decide out of the shortlisted places that work for them, as far as labor and certain time zones and things like that, after they’ve determined those locations, that what is out of those locations, what’s the most economic place to locate to

Will Bachman 02:35
Okay, now, when we talk about location, your role is distinct. I mean, oh, you personally may be qualified for But typically, the site selection consultant is distinct from a broker, right? So your job is not to find the specific, you know, office building, or floor or room that’s available or factory, but more helping to, you know, figure out what metro area within you know, the East Coast or, you know, what potential where you might want to locate your factory in terms of county or metro area. Is that, is that right? We just have or maybe Correct, correct me if that’s wrong.

Susan Harte 03:14
No, no, that’s correct. I mean, often with a site selection team, depending on what the client’s needs are, and if it’s a corporate relocation, if it’s an industrial project, there’s all sorts of subsets that that can can join the team. The real estate broker is one of them that usually comes in later once the locations are shortlisted, however, if you have a very specific real estate need, I’ve been working with a pharmaceutical company that has very specific real estate needs that is sometimes you actually have to start with the real estate. And find you know, in this region, here are the buildings that meet the criteria and then run your your sort of run your location analysis backwards. But normally, a site selection team can consist of someone like me that manages the process. And then there’s more specialized subsets like a lot of warehousing and distribution operations, we can bring in a logistics consultant and these guys can say, you know, basically for every mile that you’re away from these major customers that’s costing you X dollars a year so that translates into a big factor and and your location costs. We have very sophisticated labor analytics that determine not just you know the, the quality of labor, but the quantity of labor and what your the cost of labor is and what your retention rates are and what colleges are nearby. That are going to create a pipeline of talent for what your needs are. So you know, there’s there’s a bunch of different subsets depending on sort of the industry and what your your goals are that you want to accomplish. But typically, we, you know, work with a client, and we ended up getting down to a subset of, like, five, we’d like to kind of get down to at least five locations, and then we’ll bring a real estate broker in to identify potential sites for the building. But if typically, if it’s an office type operation, you know, the real estate brokers a little later in the game, because it’s usually not an issue to find sort of generic Class A Class B, office space.

Will Bachman 05:47
Alright. So want to understand some of these terms. So the location drivers, you have talked about some of them, but I’d love to know, because I bet there’s a long list what that long list looks like. And I mentioned a few that you already said, I think we talked about, you know, distance from an airport, what are the cultural amenities in that city, if you’re trying to attract, you know, a certain type of talent that wants to have theater or nightlife or music? There’s probably what’s the, you mentioned? What labor is available? What skill sets are available in that area? What’s the cost of labor? I’d love to hear more about retention. And then there’s probably things like the distance from your, from your customers, what are some what’s the rest of that long list of factors that you might consider?

Susan Harte 06:40
There’s, some are purely geographic, I don’t want to be in a flood zone area where there’s tornadoes, were there forest fires, some are timezone, especially with our contact center clients, you know, whether they want to be Eastern, some are regulatory, you know, California, New York, some of the the labor laws, and also whether or not it’s a right to work state, which has to do with the the union rules, others are, maybe where are your competitors located. And then some can be sort of just corporate culture and image, you know, especially working with foreign companies. We had a Chinese customer not too long ago, and had narrowed down some, some sights for them. And they ended up going to Princeton, just because in China, because of Princeton University, it had some, you know, a bit of prestige, they thought so, you know, there’s there’s numerous other drivers, I suppose, but it’s it’s often very specific to the type of industry and and the client that we’re working with.

Will Bachman 07:54
What are the sort of data sets out there that are available or subscription services, or, you know, that let you know about this labor analytics? I’d love to hear what sorts of information are available that you can find out what skills are available by city that that that’s kind of news to me, I’d love to hear more about that.

Susan Harte 08:15
Right. So there are some, I think, some proprietary databases that you can get subscriptions to, and there are some groups that I think some within the the big real estate firms that specialize and labor analytics. But traditionally, there’s also a great source, which is called the BLS, the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a federal resource that I think is updated every quarter, that has a huge amount of data where you can sort through, you know, what, almost county by county, and any MSA or any MSA, what the comparative salaries are for an administrative assistant and Atlanta versus San Francisco. It’s got all the federal si si codes and the the job codes that can show you, you know, the employment rates, the salaries, and then each. Every state and often every municipality within the state usually has some economic development agency, whether it’s either directly an arm or branch of the government or more of a sort of marketing firm that subcontracted out. A lot of these agencies have very good data on their workforce, because, you know, their whole job is to attract companies to come to their locations. So they’re often armed with a lot of labor data. Oftentimes, insight selection will take a client to a location that they’re interested in and the economic developer The agencies will actually, if we want them to set up meetings with other employers in the area so that they can share what their experiences in the labor market. And traditionally, yeah, but yeah, economic development agencies, I say, are a good source of that type of information.

Will Bachman 10:24
So this is this, now we’re getting into the area that really blew me away when when you and I first spoke about a week ago, that I just had no idea of this world of all these economic development agencies, I’d heard of them before, but didn’t really occur to me what they were doing, it sounds like they’re effectively going to marketing arms of local governments trying to convince businesses to come and locate in in their area. And that one of the big, you know, roles of the site selection consultant is not just picking a location, but also seeking out incentives from these local governments to move your business to their space. Could you talk to me about that process of, of the incentives and just how that works?

Susan Harte 11:11
Sure. So in most sites, elections, at some point, you know, economics does become a location driver. So we, in our, in our analysis of comparing different shortlisted sites, we usually create a comparative cost analysis between different states, different locations that include all your variable operational costs, so the cost of your labor, real estate, construction, taxes, utilities, and then we have a line where these costs are offset by incentives. So most states have incentive programs that are used to basically I mean, they’re basically pricing tools that help them compete against other states. So typically, in order to get incentives, well, there’s there’s sort of two types of incentives there kind of as a right, incentives, which are usually tax credit based. So some states say, you know, if you create 20 new jobs in a year, you’re gonna get a tax credit. And sometimes they’re agnostic to the fact of whether or not it’s a competitive type scenario. So some, some tax incentives are just, you know, straight as of right, kind of a quid pro quo. Others, though, are discretionary. And there has to be some type of competitive strategy, because if if a state thinks that they’re not competing against anybody else, they’re not going to waste the incentives on that client. So incentives typically are based either tax credits, sometimes there are refundable tax credits, or they have very long carry forwards, then there’s cash grants, there’s real estate tax abatements, there’s special bond financing. Some agencies sort of partner with the local agency, and will sort of lead the process. So if I call one state up and say I’ve got a client, and we’re looking in your area, and we’re bringing 300 jobs, and here’s the area that we’re looking at, they will then bring in the county and sort of make a pitch together and submit a an incentive package. Often we then, you know, take those incentives, and we we look at them and try to evaluate them not just on the the economic value, but sort of on the qualitative value in that, you know, is it going to take you 10 years to realize these incentives, because they’re all tax credit based, and it’s going to take, you know, three years to become profitable. How reliable is the funding source is this incentive that you say, you’re going to give me, you know, a cash grant every year for for the next 10 years? You know, what happens when the new governor comes in? And is that incentive still going to be around? Or does it have to be allocated in a budget every year? So we look at sort of all the different scenarios and often things to that that aren’t on the books. So I remember how to client in the past where there was a regulatory tax regulatory issue about where income was earned. And this one rule was costing the company about a month. million dollars a year. So the company started doing a site selection because their lease term was up, and they were planning on moving out of state, although they were still, you know, they were still interested in the possibility of staying where they were. And so we went to the tax Commissioner, and we were able to get a ruling, change that then save this company, basically a million dollars a year. So, so that was basically, you know, while it wasn’t a programmatic incentive, it was something that we were able to, to do what accomplish and, you know, that’s, I think, sort of a difference of having a site selection consultant, and an incentive consultant that sort of, can look beyond, you know, a website that might say, you know, here’s some some benefits we can give you, if you come to our, our location.

Will Bachman 15:55
It’s interesting, because it really is putting the government quite a bit much more in the space of kind of picking, you know, picking winners, it seems like very discretionary, on, on, you know, who they’re going to tax effectively, if they’re sort of doling out incentives to selected companies, it effectively means that, you know, other companies are paying, you know, higher taxes, right?

Susan Harte 16:21
Well, it’s, it’s funny, because there’s often some tension sometimes between existing companies that are there and incoming companies and the fact that, you know, you might have a competitor coming into moving into the state, and they’re having the advantage and benefit of maybe getting tax incentives or other incentives that you don’t get as an existing business. But at the end of the day, you know, there are very sophisticated ROI models that these economic development agency use, and most of the time, the payback period, for these getting these incentives back is very short. And the ROI is are very high. So, you know, for every dollar that is that you might get as an incentive, or an agency might grant as an incentive. At the end of the day, they’re getting $10 back and economic activity, because that job, you know, it’s not just that, that job that’s coming to the state, and you’re getting the payroll taxes for that job. Those people then are, you know, buying houses, and they’re paying real estate taxes on those houses, and the company is making, you know, moving into a new building, and they’re probably spending 10 million in FF and E, and they’re paying sales tax on that. So the you know, it’s not as I guess, is as random or discretionary. I mean, and also, you know, states often want to target certain industries where they want to create an industry cluster, so then even more companies come to a specific area. So some states, you know, and it depends on what the state’s resources are, and often what their workforce resources are. So, in some areas, it’s interesting, because you think that if you come to a state, and you’re going to bring really high paying tech jobs, that you’re going to get a lot of incentives, because it’s a high economic multiplier, but in some areas, it’s the blue collar worker, you might get more incentives for a distribution center project, because in that area, that is the demographic that the state needs to employ. So it really just depends on, you know, the area, and many states have very different levels of incentives, depending on where you go. For instance, in North Carolina, I think there’s like three, three major tiers. So all the counties are classified in either tier one, two, or three. And the level of incentives greatly varies for the same project, depending on which tier county you go to, because they, they can use incentives as a tool to basically, you know, direct economic activity and certain areas of the state that they feel need more development.

Will Bachman 19:28
So who makes the call on these on these decisions? And kind of at what level? Is this a political appointee that’s making these decisions? Is this more just sort of it career type administrators who are making these decisions? what’s the what’s sort of the approval process? Is there different levels of approval, depending on the size of the incentive? Just tell me a little bit about how that process works.

Susan Harte 19:56
Right? Well, it’s it’s extremely diverse across the state. So in some states, you’re dealing with sort of a quasi governmental agency. Usually, when you start out in the process, you have somebody who’s sort of like a project manager who takes all the information is the first one to kind of reply about the programs that are available and what this company might be eligible for, then they usually put together a term sheet. And in most cases, with the state, it’s usually a cabinet level position, like the Secretary of Commerce. Or like, in New York State, there’s Empire State Development Corporation, which is a quasi governmental, public private corporation, and there’s a director of that organization. So usually, there’s a committee type process. And then final approval is made by somebody sort of a cabinet level, if it’s at the municipal level, it’s usually a town board or a city council that has to approve these benefits. And then if it’s a really sexy, big, high profile projects, like, you know, GE moving from, I think they moved from Connecticut to Massachusetts, you know, oftentimes, it’s at the governor level that’s involved, and, you know, the economic development agencies will use sort of that politicals star power when they need to, and offer to, you know, take the client out to dinner with the governor or host events or, or fam tours, and, you know, some economic development agencies are very aggressive and their marketing and attraction efforts and are constantly in contact with people like me telling them about their latest programs, or the latest wins that they’ve had. And, you know, I would say, at least 10 states usually have a governor come to New York, and host a lunch or dinner with site selection consultants, like me, to, again, sort of, you know, raise attention to their states and encourage us to, you know, make sure we keep their state on on the radar, and that, you know, they’re going to be open for business and want us to, you know, direct our clients and to consider that that location.

Will Bachman 22:40
How much are we talking about in terms of dollars per job that’s created, quote, unquote, created? I’m really curious to hear about that, like, let’s take sort of blue collar jobs, you know, Transportation Center, what sort of give back or incentive would be the range of what you might typically see for that.

Susan Harte 23:03
That’s really tough to say again, because it’s, it’s so diverse. In, for instance, you New Jersey, used to have a program that has recently expired. But if you created a job in, in Camden, it didn’t matter what what the salary was. But Camden was an area for instance, that New Jersey really wanted to focus more economic development, and you could get up to $15,000 per job every year for 10 years and a refundable tax credit. Other areas, you could go with that type of job and get zero incentives. So it’s it’s extremely diverse. Again, it depends on, you know, not just what state you’re going to, but what state, you know, within that state, the area that that you’re going to, and and like I said, it’s in some states have no incentives, because they’re, you know, what we try to do is, is not get the client to be solely focused on incentives, but but make them understand at the end of the day incentives are just economics, and they’re just cost offset. So you may have one jurisdiction where the incentives are really high, but the overall cost of business are as well. Versus you may look at another state where there’s zero or very little incentives, but there’s sort of built in incentives in that it’s it’s it’s low cost, and they don’t, you know, the state isn’t going to give you a corporate income tax credit as an incentive as because they don’t have any corporate income tax in that state. Right. So it really just, it’s, it’s really diverse. So it’s kind of hard to say I mean, I have, you know, a heat map of areas that that generally have high incentives. Some areas like California, the state of Washington, Oregon, like typically, not very, practically zero incentives. And, you know, a lot of that is also because those states don’t really have high unemployment, they have very, very low vacancy rates and their real estate, they’re very tight, you know, the labor markets very tight. So the state doesn’t see a need to offer incentives, because they’re like, you know, we, we have this, you know, great place already. And that if you know, you, if you’re in tech, and you want to be in the game, you’re going to be in Silicon Valley regardless. And, you know, you want to use incentives to really help drive a location decision, as opposed to a company that, you know, they have to be there anyway, because that’s where all their customers are. And that’s where the talent is. So to deploy incentives for a company in an area that you feel that that they really going to have to be in any way, then it’s, it’s sort of a waste of resources.

Will Bachman 26:10
Sure. Now, my understanding is that a common practice in the site selection consultant industry, is that the site selection consultants will kind of do the, they won’t charge a fixed fee, or a kind of time and materials, but Wanstead get compensated based on a percentage of the incentives that they obtain. Is that is that correct?

Susan Harte 26:36
Yes, I think it’s industry standard, when you’re doing sort of a typical incentive transaction where, for a typical site selection, where you know that the company is going to want to pursue incentives, and you feel that that’s the areas that they’re looking that there is going to be some significant incentive opportunity, what we will do is basically, you know, run the site selection process and, and do all the comparative analysis and bring in the labor analyst, analytics or the logistics team, and then take our fees based on the level of incentives that we negotiate for our clients. So at the end of the day, it’s kind of a win win in the sense of, you know, they’re not, they’re only going to pay a fee for, for a net positive benefit. So if we end up not getting any incentives for the project, and the company doesn’t owe us anything, but a lot of times people like for us to have a little skin and a little risk in that game as well. So now, the corporate real estate executive can go back and say, you know, we found this great location and to boot we’re getting $5 million a year and incentives, and, you know, they just pay the site selection, team or consultant, then a portion of the value of the benefits that they negotiate. So it, you know, works for us, it makes us do our job, you know, a little harder because we are, you know, our interests are aligned and getting the best deals for our clients.

Will Bachman 28:27
Yeah, um, I guess, if I were a CEO of a company, hiring a site selection consultant, I might be concerned to say, Well, wait a minute, you know, there’s some areas are some states that don’t really offer incentives, right. So I’m thinking my site selection consultant is not going to be super excited about, you know, really banging the drum for those areas, like you just mentioned, Washington, California, they don’t really offer a lot of incentives. So I would say, well, geez, I mean, a rational site selection consultant is not going to really, you know, do everything they can to bubble those areas to the top of the list. They might be grudgingly, you include them. I might say, instead, look, let’s look at my total cost of ownership of my real estate of my taxes of my employee labor, of these things that depend on the location. And let’s say it’s $100 million over the next 10 years, we’re going to forecast what those total costs are going to be based on the local wage rates on the local taxes, plus any incentives plus the local rents in the place, so that we find, and I will give you site selection consultant, a percent of the difference if it’s less So, if we land at 92 million forecast over the next 10 years, that’s 8 million savings. I’ll give you whatever 10% of that, or 5% of that. But I’d be concerned about giving a percent of just the incentives because you might end up finding me a place That gives me like great incentives, you know, $10 million in incentives, but the place is gonna be, you know, total costs are gonna be 120 million. So I net out the 10 million of incentives, but I’m still paying more than I do today, it seems that, like incentives aren’t, you know, aren’t aligned. Tell me a little bit about how companies, you know, I mean, I’m not like genius to think of that. It’s kind of common sense. So, so, you know, other companies must also react that way to the pricing structure, what was your reaction to that,

Susan Harte 30:29
um, I would say, it’s not really an issue, because we, you know, our analysis, and the presentation that we give is all data driven. So there’s not, there’s not a way to sort of pull the wool over somebody’s his eyes, I mean, when we present our analysis, so if there’s, you know, we’ve got it down to three locations, we, you know, present this very detailed comparative cost analysis that has all the variable operational costs, so we say, you know, inside a, b, and c, here’s the cost of your real estate, here’s the cost, your labor, your construction, your taxes, everything. And then here’s the incentives that are being offered. And you know, that numbers one line on the spreadsheet, basically, and then you have a bottom line number for A, B, and C. So we’re not, we’re not driving that decision towards, you know, from a subjective standpoint of, you know, go here or there, because the incentives are good. I mean, we present the, the data behind it. So if it ends up that, that, and, you know, and it definitely happens, it may be that a location that is not offering incentives is the lower cost and the preferred location, and we ended up not getting paid. But, and sometimes there is a lower cost location that is not getting incentives, but the company prefers to go to a location that actually is offering incentives. I think, because there is a little bit I mean, you know, maybe not solely, but I think there is sort of a non quantitative value to incentives that it makes a company feel good that a state or locate keishon is, wants them bad enough that they’re willing to compete for them, and they’re willing to, you know, give them money to come there. And it shows that they value that company’s presence and the jobs that they’re bringing, and that has, you know, some I think, psychological value to other states that say, We don’t care that you’re bringing in 500 jobs, we don’t we don’t, you know, we’re low cost anyway, no, we’re not going to give you any incentives. So, you know, there’s not really a risk that that, you know, we’re going to kind of steer a client towards an incentive rich location, because we want to get a bigger fee, because it’s all, you know, data driven. So there’s, you know, it’s really, and we discussed, that, you know, thoroughly to with our clients and, you know, discuss sort of not just the the quantity of incentives, but the quality of them, as I discussed before. And, you know, at the end of the day, we want our clients to be happy. And you know, we want repeat business. So we’re not just totally, you know, fee driven. So I know, there have been times where, you know, there’s states that that just offer you a heap of incentives. And a lot of times the programs aren’t reliable, there’s so much red tape, you’ve got to do so much paperwork and monitoring and compliance and build your job, prevailing wage, and everything to get this one benefit, versus there’s another location that maybe the benefits aren’t as great, but there’s not as many strings attached. And so we have these discussions with our clients so that they can, you know, make a better informed decision based on, you know, their project and their needs.

Will Bachman 34:22
How much influence do elected officials have on this process? And, you know, if you’re a big political donor, and you’re friends with the, I don’t know, the governor or the commissioner or whatever. I mean, are people getting kind of, you know, good deals if they’re among the Platinum bundler, you know, high ranking kind of kind of donors is the you ever see that kind of thing happening?

Susan Harte 34:47
You know, I think it used to happen more in the past and now because of, you know, Sarbanes Oxley and just to avoid The appearance of conflicts of interest and things like that, that most economic development agencies sort of have a process of approval and have certain, you know, programmatic parameters, which say, you know, incentives can exceed X amount of jobs and an order, you know, that a lot of incentive calculations are formulaic. So it takes that it takes sort of the opportunity away for sort of, you know, backroom deals and things like that. I mean, that’s not to say that, that, you know, there aren’t political players that that try to get involved or influence the situation. But most, like I said, most programs have very specific parameters, which are really put in place to try to, you know, eliminate any opportunity for funny business.

Will Bachman 36:03
Can you walk us through at the very detailed level, you know, how the process works? Let’s say you’ve picked two or three metro areas, and the key. So now you’re going to start your incentive discussion? Like, who would you approach? Let’s say, you’re looking at I know, St. Louis, and, you know, Tampa Bay, Florida. So right, who would you approach? How long does the process take? What’s the approval look like? Just what, you know, how much do you have to submit? Is it just sort of a one page form? Is it 10,000 pages of documentation? What what’s what’s it look like in practice?

Susan Harte 36:42
Right? Um, well, I would say, again, it’s, there’s a wide variety depending on where you’re going, but But typically, I would reach out to a contact at the state level, and let them know, you know, I have a client with this project, we’re considering their, their state, and then either that state official would bring in the, the local or municipal contact. And we would basically send them a project profile, which has all the Well, typically, it’s a lot of times we present it sort of in an RFP type format. So we’re basically Okay, we have this amount of jobs. And these are the salaries and here’s the timing, and here’s the capital investment. And this is the industry and this is the, the ramp up schedule of the jobs. And these are the payroll taxes, we’re expected to pay, and we do it almost like in an RFP format, and then the company that the DA will usually reach back to us for to fill out some general kind of application type materials, then, there’s usually, depending on how involved the client wants to be like, sometimes the will have a meeting with the Economic Development Agency, sometimes the client has no interested in having a meeting and a dog and pony show. So then typically, the county and the state will return to us a term sheet that basically says, Okay, here’s what we’re willing to do for you. And then, you know, we look at that we analyze it, we look at comps, of similar companies to see what they get, and is that on par. And, you know, often try to push to get a little bit more in value, or maybe, you know, we try to mitigate some of the risks. So, you know, a lot of times incentives will come with, with strings, like you have to maintain, you know, 80% of the jobs and, you know, maybe it’s a company that has surged labor and so we’re, that’s not really going to fit for us. So we try to, you know, go through all the technicalities and then basically negotiate best and final offers. And then usually, the client, you know, we tried to start this process, we say, at a minimum of 90 days before a company wants to sign a lease or sign a contract. And often we do this process and kind of another advantage of having a site selection consultant, we do it, we keep the name of our client, confidential. So, you know, a lot of times secrecy is very important, especially if a company is relocating out of state. They don’t want all their their people starting to quit before they’ve made a decision. They might not want their customers No, they might not want their competitors to know that you know, they’re coming into a market. So keeping this you know their name out The process until sort of the very last second possible, helps, you know, control the flow of information and, and the the transaction details. So we start the process about 90, at least 90 days beforehand, because oftentimes, for final approval of the incentive package usually has to be approved by some kind of a board, like I mentioned earlier or town, a city council or town board, and often these boards only meet once a month. So, you know, you want to give yourself as much lead time as possible to go through the process.

Will Bachman 40:42
And let’s say you get one of these offers from the local economic development agency, are those typically going to binding? I mean, are they if they if you say, Okay, great, we’ll move to St. Louis, or move to Tampa Bay? You know, how confident are you that they’re gonna actually stick with it? Or then does it have to get approved? And, you know, even once it’s approved? Is it is it kind of locked in stone, like you can count on it?

Susan Harte 41:05
Right? So, look, in any transaction, like there’s, there’s always going to be risk that the company that the, you know, the locality or the state does not follow through. And all my experience, I would say, one state, in particular, has not been very good, and has not funded their programs and sort of kept up their end of the bargain. But I would say, most states are very good at at keeping the promises and delivering what they’re promised. Because, again, if they get a reputation of not delivering what they they have approved, then no one else is going to come to that state. And, you know, that’s the history that, you know, we know, too, you know, I know what markets are really solid, and I know which one have you know, a little greater risk. And, you know, I think I did a deal for Maytag, like, 10 years ago, when they were doing something in Iowa and, and the council Chairman, I called his house and his wife literally, you know, had to go out in the field, to the tractor, you know, get the guy to, like, approve this spinal thing or whatever. So, you know, if there’s, there’s all kinds of levels that you deal with. And, you know, at some states, the incentives are very centrally controlled and administered and an others. It’s very decentralized, so they leave it, you know, up to the regional people to decide and, you know, some states they the the bulk of your incentives and value of benefits come from the local level from real estate taxes or sales tax exemptions, and not from the state and some or vice versa. Some states do not allow the localities to offer somebody a real estate tax rebate at. So it’s it’s really extremely varied.

Will Bachman 43:17
Well, well, certainly when Amazon did their whole HQ to competition, it was so much in the news. And it’s interesting to hear that that’s not the exception. This is happening all the time. Amazon did it maybe at a larger scale, but just it’s just happening every single day. Well, Susan, this was really a fascinating discussion. If people wanted to follow up with you. where’s the best place to find you online?

Susan Harte 43:46
Um, actually, LinkedIn is pretty good. It’s just Susan Hart at location incentives. If you type that in, my name will come up

Will Bachman 43:57
great. And we will include the link to your LinkedIn profile in the show notes. So Susan, it was amazing having you on the show. Thank you so much for joining. Okay, thanks. Well,

Related Episodes

jay-altizer-bain-alum-dallas-tx

Episode
440

Food Industry 101

Jay Altizer

Episode
439

Craig Beal on the Travel Business

Craig Beal

Episode
438

Rob Ristagno on Customer Segmentation

Rob Ristagno

Episode
437

Equity Research

Neeraj Monga