Pence heads to New York to woo firms to Indiana

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Gov. Mike Pence returned to the New York area on Wednesday for a two-day jobs mission to pitch Indiana as a lower-cost place to do business.

Pence and members of a trade delegation left Wednesday morning to meet with location advisers, developers and company executives from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut "to share Indiana's story, including our bright and innovative future,” Pence said in a statement.

The trip marks the ninth annual economic development mission to the area by state officials, who have been keen to woo East Coast firms to Indiana. In January, the state aired a 30-second TV commercial during the AFC Championship football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots. Last year, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. ran a full-page ad in The New York Times that invited area businesses to move to Indiana. And in 2013, the state spent about $66,000 to run a couple of 15-second ads every hour on a 26-foot-wide digital screen for four months in Times Square.

The most recent ads refer viewers to IEDC officials say the site has had more than 118,000 visitors and the campaign's digital advertisements have been viewed more than 34 million times.

Pence will be joined by Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith, several employees of the IEDC, and executives from utilities that operate in Indiana, such as Duke Energy and Hoosier Energy.

Pence's travel is being funded by private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation. The IEDC is covering the costs of its employees and Smith, and other delegation members are handling their own expenses.

The cost of travel and lodging for the IEDC contingent is $4,899.70, according to an IEDC spokeswoman.

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