Montrose Group 2021 Corporate Site Location Trends Illustrate COVID 19 Impact

Forecasting corporate site location trends is always a tricky business. Montrose Group, based upon negotiating over $1 B in corporate site location projects and advising communities across the U.S., is providing their 2021 Corporate Site Location Trends White Paper based upon existing economic and demographic data that illustrate what trends will continue and which ones will slow. COVID 19 will remain to have a dramatic impact on corporate site location projects. Montrose Group suggests the following 2021 corporate site location trends:

  1. New tax incentive strategies are going to be an even more important focus for companies and communities seeking to ensure good companies are protected for future growth even though 2020 was not a positive economic year.
  2. Remote working will grow into potentially a more permanent company model that dictates a need for changes in local and state economic development incentives as well as the need to address the survival of critical quality of life services such as the arts, restaurants and hospitality facilities that make communities attractive to potential companies and talent.
  3. California will continue to hemorrhage jobs and companies as the high tax rates and high cost of living drive growth into the Desert Southwest.
  4. Technology companies leading the way to disrupt traditional markets like retail, insurance, banking, and retail will remain solid targets for corporate site location projects as COVID 19 dictates new, more efficient approaches to traditional industries but these economic disrupters will continue to be focused on regions with highly skilled IT workers.
  5. Data center growth will continue as COVID 19 “throws gasoline on the fire” of e-commerce transactions with a focus on regions with friendly tax policy and incentive programs.
  6. Logistics will drive commercial and industrial growth across the United States again driven by the expansion of e-commerce transactions focus on sites with Public-Private-Partnership in place.
  7. Food and beverage manufacturing and processing will be a major manufacturing driver supporting additional projects focused on large markets and markets with strong access to agricultural products.
  8. Indoor agriculture will be another critical growth sector driven by the explosion of medical and recreational marijuana laws in states across the United States.
  9. Rural communities will remain strong locations for manufacturing facilities as a lower cost option compared to urban centers.
  10. Supply chains will be drawn back to the United States as a long-term result of COVID 19 as U.S. manufacturers learn critical lessons from the current public health crisis.

2021 is going to be a challenging year. However, that challenge can be met by regions, states, and nations that focus on smart economic development policies, investments in public infrastructure and use of targeted economic development incentives. Many successful companies and regions give credit for that success to smart decisions made in a crisis. However, regions, states, and nations as well as companies with a thoughtful approach can come out of this crisis in better shape than they entered it.