Indiana Makes Public Pitch For GE Headquarters Relocation

Earlier this month, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt made it known that he had assembled an exploratory team for looking into the company’s options to relocate their corporate headquarters.

GE Fairfield, CT HQ entrance

GE Fairfield, CT HQ entrance (photo -Markvs88/wikipedia)

This was after the Connecticut Legislature passed a budget bill that included a significant tax hike on businesses and the imposition of retroactive taxes.

It was hardly a surprise that neighboring state New York immediately reached out to GE officials, seeking to bring back the GE headquarters to its historical home in the Empire State where the company still has significant operations with thousands of employees. Besides, they wouldn’t need to relocate any of their Fairfield, CT-based headquarters workforce for a move to a nearby site in New York just across the state line.

But there are also a host of other states and local governments who are interested and have reached out to GE, Aetna and other companies that have expressed their displeasure at the tax hike.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has already spoken to GE officials and is scheduled to speak with Immelt. The Tampa-Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. has publicly stated that it is interested in this opportunity to bring a headquarters operation from the northeast to Florida. Hamilton County, OH officials have likewise called GE and are looking to set up a meeting to pitch Cincinnati and other Hamilton County locations for the headquarters.

But Indiana has taken this opportunity to take out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal that includes an open letter from Governor Mike Pence to the CEOs of General Electric, Aetna Inc. and Travelers Companies, expounding the virtues of Indiana’s business-friendly climate and inviting the CEOs to visit.

“We welcome you to stop by Indiana for a visit. Our leaders are dedicated to helping you succeed. I’d love to meet with you personally and share the many ways you can grow your business and create more jobs in Indiana. Our workforce is ready to work for you,” says Gov. Pence in the letter.

You can see the full letter in this photo from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. This may all turn out to be nothing if Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy manages to get state lawmakers to roll back the tax hike and GE shelves its relocation plans.

However, should GE get serious about its headquarters relocation, the ad will help Indiana’s bid to attract these companies. Even otherwise, it provides the added benefit of pushing Indiana as a business-friendly state to attract other companies in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut markets where the WSJ ad will be seen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.