Follow these Steps to Prepare for Site Selector Requests for Benton County

Friday, October 30, 2020

Main News Photo

Community leaders, property managers, and developers in Benton County, Minnesota should prepare for the opportunity to attract new manufacturing companies to the area as a result of the recent onshoring trend. Site selectors have been issuing requests for information as companies throughout the United States and the world look to protect their supply chain from future disruptions caused by pandemics like COVID-19 and the growing number of natural disasters. Those who prepare will have the opportunity to compete, and hopefully win, new business for their communities. 

What the Site Selectors Guild had to say about onshoring in 2020 and 2021 -

“Guild members predict COVID-19 will accelerate the regionalization of supply chains, with 81 percent of respondents saying COVID-19 will have a major impact on global supply chain strategies.

Members pointed out that the previous focus on the lowest cost scenario, which led to growth in China and Southeast Asia, will now become more balanced as companies look to reduce risk. This could benefit North American locations as more companies look to locate production facilities close to the customers they serve and increase redundancy. Many Guild members predict an uptick in on-shoring to the United States, Canada and Mexico – especially in the pharma and life sciences industries.”

How communities can prepare to attract new businesses

Communities should prepare for the opportunity to work with site selectors and executives by preparing information on their communities assets, available properties, location advantages, and workforce well in advance of any requests. Doing so will make it possible to respond quickly. Time is uniquely of the essence due to the ever-shifting supply chain landscape. Until now, location decisions have typically taken more than a year, but there will be companies that need to act fast in order to adjust to changing rules and regulations, respond to new demand within the United States, and protect their supply chain from future disruptions. Because of the opportunities that are wide open right now, property owners should put in the effort up front so that if a site selectors calls, they are ready. 

Put together information that contains the following - 

#1 Available Commercial Sites

Communities should prepare information on property listings that includes proximity to infrastructure and the availability of utilities. Be sure to include information on how quickly permits could be issued and building commence. Available Benton County sites can be found here.

#2 Utility Advantages

Prepare information on utility availability, rate advantages, and fiber and broadband access. Benton Economic Partnership (BEP) can assist you with this.

#3 Location Advantages 

Present location advantages. Benton County gives you room to stretch with a mix of downtown density adjacent to rural spaces. Located just 65 miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul and 150 miles from Duluth, it is easy to get to everywhere from Benton County with MN State Highway 23, MN State Highway 25, and U.S. Highway 10 running through it. 

#4 Transportation Assets

Manufacturing can conduct business easily in Benton County. Besides the network of highways, it is served by rail and airlines: the Burlington Northern Line and the St. Cloud Regional Airport. These location advantages, along with interstate access, need to be quantified and placed into easily read marketing materials. 

#5 Strong workforce

The strength of educational institutions and the local workforce need to be captured in marketing material that can easily be shared with site selectors and executives. Benton County is a region that is home to a growing educated and skilled workforce. In fact, the region is expected to enjoy continued population growth in the next 20 years. Leading sectors in the region include health care and social assistance, manufacturing, agriculture, education, and construction. 

Our website has many of these tools

Much of this information is already available on Benton Economic Partnership (BEP) website. You can search for sites and regional resources, and combine them into a report that can be shared with site selectors. To do so, simply click the icon on the page that says “Add to report”. Once the desired pages have been added, click “View custom report” to generate it. Since we know that site selectors and executives are making fast decisions, BEP is pleased to provide the ability to create this report immediately. Follow BEP on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Site Selector Report

References and further reading

Category: News