Chief Executive magazine ranks Indiana as the fifth best state in the nation for business. And just five months on the job, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers says the state’s economic outlook is strong, despite a variety of challenges. “The business economy in Indiana…is robust and I think it’s really because of our decades-long reputation as a place to do business,” says Chambers. “So, Indiana businesses have the confidence of Indiana’s stability and they’re investing.”
Chambers discussed his thoughts on Indiana’s economic future on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“Average hourly wage is up, which is a really important metric for us on the transactions that have happened in 2021, and that results in total payroll being up in the state of Indiana. It’s over $1.6 billion, I think,” said Chambers. “Total investment by businesses, foreign and domestic, is up 23% in 2021. That’s a big number. That means confidence in our state.”
Indiana saw major economic development announcements this year, including Toyota’s $800 million expansion in Princeton, which could create 1,400 jobs by 2023.
But Chambers says energy is a big focus for the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
“The energy transition is here and what are we going to be doing about it as a state and are we going to lead or are we just going to participate? We have been the recipient of one of the largest – I think it’s the largest – solar installation in the United States of America in northern Indiana and that’s the Mammoth Solar [project]. It’s a billion-and-a-half-dollar investment.”
Chambers says the $500 million Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, which was launched in May, has also seen major interest from communities throughout the state. The final decision on funding is expected later this month.