Utility Companies: Powerful Economic Development Partners

29 Dec 2016


In the Q3/2016 issue of Area Development magazine, I provided commentary on the results of the 2016 Top States for Doing Business Survey. I briefly discussed the role a well-funded and organized electric utility can play in shaping a state’s business environment, especially as it relates to attracting industrial investment. Specifically, I noted:

One major reason for these states’ successes is their comprehensive economic development programming. With few exceptions, the states scoring best in this survey tend to have the most robust and capable state-level economic development platforms. Although these state-level efforts demonstrate each of these states’ commitment to long-term economic development, I firmly believe that the vast majority of the Top States for Doing Business have one severely underrated (at least to the casual industry follower) asset in common: the strong support of well-organized and well-funded power companies…These competitive states are supported by utility companies that often have more marketing and project management resources than the state economic development agencies themselves. In addition, these utilities can play a positive role shaping a state’s business environment.

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