by Christopher Finn, Research Manager
Incentives are a common tool utilized by states and regions to leverage job creation and investment amount from business attraction projects. For certain companies/industries, incentives are critical to a project’s success; however, in others they play only a supporting role. In a recent blog post from the International Trade Administration, (ITA), they state that in regards to companies investing outside their home country via Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), “…financial incentives (including tax or funding incentives) have played a minor role in company location decisions over the last nine years and are decreasingly important.”
If incentives are not driving these FDI projects, what are the primary criteria used during the site selection process? Two of the top three are assets of the Buffalo Niagara region that we use to market Buffalo Niagara to the world – Proximity to Markets and Skilled Workforce Availability.
These two factors, plus the others listed in the report, drove many of the 75 FDI projects BNE attracted to our region. The educated/skilled workforce and university system pumping out thousands of new workers every year, factored with the ability to reach over 125,000,000 people in a 10 hour drive, makes Buffalo Niagara an ideal location for FDI.