Develop Indy deals led to 4,575 pledged jobs, $570M in investments, leaders say

Develop Indy, Indianapolis’ economic development agency, made incentive deals involving 71 business relocation or expansion projects during the first 11-plus months of the year, leading to 4,575 new job commitments, 2,537 retained jobs and $572 million in planned capital investments, city officials and the Indy Chamber, which houses Develop Indy, announced Tuesday.

As we worked our way through the continued challenge of the pandemic, Indianapolis nevertheless saw robust economic growth and job creation,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett in a written statement. “Thanks to the efforts of the Indy Chamber and Develop Indy, our city engaged dozens of projects, added and retained thousands of jobs, boosted the average wage, and secured well over a half a billion dollars in new investment.” 

Average wages for the newly committed positions were about $31 hourly, according to the agency. The preliminary business attraction and retention results for the year were current as of Dec. 7.

Develop Indy reported larger investment totals in 2020: $1.4 billion in capital investment and more than $728 million in real estate development, according to a January 2021 news release. The organization didn’t give an estimate on job creation that year.

For Develop Indy and the city, this year was the second under an “inclusive incentives” policy designed to benefit Indianapolis residents. Businesses that land incentives have to reinvest 5% of what they save on taxes into a workforce contribution fund for child care, training, transit or tackling other barriers to employment.

When you think about traditional economic development, the focus is on the number of jobs created and retained and the total capital investment made in a community,” said Develop Indy Vice President Portia Bailey-Bernard. “However, that is not inclusive nor equitable. Develop Indy connects leaders on development projects we’re working closely with to neighborhood groups and finding ways to recognize their impact in the community. That leads to more equitable and inclusive growth for Indy.” 

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4 thoughts on “Develop Indy deals led to 4,575 pledged jobs, $570M in investments, leaders say

  1. Median household income in 2020 in the US was $67,521, which is about $32.50/hour. Develop Indy’s average wage is $31, 95% of the national median. There’s no telling what the median wage of the new jobs is, but it is likely lower than $31…which means we’re not closing the long-time wage gap between Central Indiana and the country as a whole.

  2. Chris B. You have to factor in the cost of living is cheaper here property taxes are lower here, home prices are lower and Indiana doesn’t tax your social security. So you get way more BANG for your buck here in most cases.

    1. Chris B. – The only two areas where the cost of living is cheaper in central Indiana are (a) average housing costs and (b) private education costs. Everything else – food, clothing, cars, dining out, etc. – is pretty much the same as everywhere else in the country. The downside of the lower housing costs and property taxes are (a) homeowners don’t build wealth as much as could be achieved in other states because historically property appreciation here is minimal and (b) our public works, services, and amenities tend to be sparse because of the aversion to paying the tax rates that are needed to enhance a quality of life that would actually draw more people to the region.

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