Speaking at the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon Tuesday, Gov. Mike Pence called on attendees to ask their friends to bring out-of-state businesses to Bloomington.
“Would you ever be willing to talk to somebody about moving your business or growing your business in Bloomington Indiana?” he asked.
Pence went on to say Bloomington has thrived economically, even during times of financial turmoil for the rest of the nation. He says businesses don’t think to move to Bloomington because “we don’t toot our own horn very well.”
Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce President Jeb Conrad says he is glad the governor is throwing his support behind the city.
“I think a call to action for residents and other businesses in the state is a valiant effort that the governor is willing to do, which also says to people participating that we’ll help you,” Conrad says, adding that economic development incentives from the state can influence whether a business decides to relocate.
He says that many other factors also play a role, including quality of life, operating expenses and the availability of the workforce.
While state tax revenues have fallen behind (Indiana’s tax revenues have are $50 million behind projections with about a month left in the fiscal year), Pence says in general, the state’s fiscal trends are looking good, which should attract more businesses.
According to the governor, Indiana will end the fiscal year with a surplus of about $100 million, $2 billion in the bank and a AAA bond rating from all three credit rating agencies in New York.
“Indiana is the fiscal envy of the country,” he says, adding successful area businesses are evidence of that.
Now, Pence says he needs to “keep our pencils sharp” and focus on managing resources and revenues as they come in so as to preserve Indiana’s “strong balance sheet.”