Top leaders with Indianapolis-based KSM Location Advisors say 2018 saw some big economic development wins for Indianapolis, but challenges could lie ahead. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook says Indianapolis deserves credit for landing Infosys as a tenant for the former Indianapolis International Airport site, and says the city earned some "bragging rights" for being a finalist for Amazon.com Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) HQ2 project. However, President Katie Culp says not landing Amazon’s second headquarters or logistics center shows the city still has "things we have to grapple with."
During an interview on Inside INdiana Business With Gerry Dick, Cook said the economy in 2019 could be "poised for recession," while Culp was a little more optimistic.
Culp believes, even though Amazon ultimately chose New York City and northern Virginia for HQ2, the bid was a positive experience for Indianapolis, to help the city see "what works, and what do we need to tweak a little bit." Cook says a key part of Indiana’s ongoing strategy needs to be getting more people from throughout the United States to consider moving to Indiana by making sure the state retains an inviting culture.
One crucial element of that, says Culp, is passing hate crime legislation during the upcoming legislative session. She says the state does not need "another RFRA experience," where corporate America sees Indiana as unfriendly to workers. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the idea, and a group of business, nonprofit, education and faith leaders has launched a coalition to push for a hate crimes law in next year’s legislative session.