By Chuck Hammond
Iowa is flourishing. With one of the lowest costs of doing business in the country, our state is an attractive destination for companies looking to relocate or expand. In recent years, Iowa has emerged as a leader in several industries — such as manufacturing and bioscience — thus contributing to overall economic growth.
Despite having economic growth that outpaces the national curve, state policymakers have made it their mission to ensure Iowa’s success in attracting new business. The state has pledged to create a substantial number of new jobs and significantly increase income in the coming years. To do this, state leaders have committed to measures such as the High Quality Jobs initiative to provide assistance for growing businesses.
Tax credits and other economic incentives are important ways policymakers help Iowa grow. They can be a crucial component in a company’s decision whether or not to relocate or establish themselves in our state. Additionally, tax credits play heavily in domestic manufacturers’ plans for expansion.
Simply put, economic incentives are investments in the future of Iowa, and as such are essential instruments for state policymakers. Few would argue against the merits of investing personal income as a means of saving for retirement. State tax credits and other incentives are not much different.
By investing in new and growing business, policymakers are contributing to job growth and future economic improvement in our state.
As the CEO of a manufacturing company, I have firsthand experience in this issue. When we purchased Raining Rose 10 years ago, we had no more than 15 employees. Within the past decade, however, state incentives and tax credits have contributed significantly to our research and development, employee training, and expansion efforts — especially after the devastating floods of 2008. We now employ 130 workers, and our team will likely grow to 200 by the end of 2013.
While our success can be attributed several factors, our rapid recovery and growth would not have been possible without these targeted efforts.
Economic incentives have positively impacted Cedar Rapids area businesses, creating many new jobs in our hometown. An expanding workforce keeps commerce alive by increasing the spending power of families in this part of the state. The benefits are then felt within all sectors of the local economy.
Tax credits and other incentives are good for both state and local economies. When businesses decide to relocate, expand, or remain in our state, the possibilities for Iowa’s economic future grow.
Chuck Hammond is the president and CEO of Raining Rose in Cedar Rapids. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org