What Attracts Businesses to Hamilton County?
By Ann Craig-Cinnamon
If it seems like barely a week goes by that there isn’t an announcement of a new company moving into Hamilton County, it’s not your imagination or much of an exaggeration either.
According to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, in the last three years, from 2017 through 2019, 93 companies moved here either from outside the state or from within Indiana. That’s an average of almost three per month. This migration translated into almost 10,000 new jobs and an investment of a whopping $850 million over that three year period.
Hamilton County has established itself as having an entrepreneurial climate. It doesn’t hurt that both Carmel and Fishers have won national acclaim several times in recent years, landing in top spots on Money Magazine’s annual list of the best places to live and work in the whole country. Additionally, both cities are aggressive in their approach to luring new business and it has paid off. Noblesville and Westfield have also landed big companies recently. Here’s a sampling.
Stanley Security moved just up the road from Indianapolis to Fishers in 2017. Stanley is a world leader in commercial electronic security with 300,000 customers in North America alone, providing security for high profile retailers, schools, hospitals, airports, governments and more.
Stanley Security President Matthew Kushner says their office on Sunlight Drive in Fishers is now the company’s global headquarters. He says they studied their site options for about a year before making Fishers home. “Having the opportunity to build this state-of-the-art headquarters has provided us a powerful new springboard from which to grow our business and develop the innovative security technologies of the future,” he says adding that access to top technical talent from nearby Rose-Hulman, Purdue University and Indiana University was an important factor.
“We are more than happy with our decision to bring so many of our Indianapolis employees together in one location in Fishers, as this community continues to offer easy access in a great location and a talented workforce,” says Kushner.
Kar Global has been in Hamilton County for decades, but in 2018 recommitted itself by building a new worldwide headquarters in Carmel. Kar describes itself as a technology, analytics and auction company in the global wholesale used vehicle industry. It sold nearly 3.5 million vehicles valued at over $40 billion through its auctions and generated $2.44 billion in revenue in 2018.
There are 900 employees at the Carmel headquarters and 15,000 total, scattered among the company’s 200 operating facilities around the world.
Jim Hallett, KAR Global chairman and CEO, says the city of Carmel and the state of Indiana provided more than $11 million in economic incentives without which the project would not have been possible. He points to Carmel’s business climate, quality of life strategies and low local property taxes as reasons to build the headquarters in the community.
“We have found that Hamilton County fosters a business-friendly environment with a robust talent pipeline from top-notch Indiana colleges and universities. Communities in Hamilton County often appear on “Best Places to Live” lists thanks to great schools, low cost of living, diverse cultural options, a thriving sports and entertainment scene and proximity to nationally-recognized health care providers,” says Hallett, adding that their location along the Meridian Street corridor provides easy access to highways and a 30 minute drive to Indianapolis, which is a benefit as well. “Our employees value working in a community that is also a great place to live,” he says.