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Businesses from other states find plenty of incentives to move to Northwest Indiana

24 Marble St. in Hammond
A 400,000-square-foot commercial spec building at 24 Marble St. in Hammond is underway. Completion is expected in late 2024. (Provided by the city of Hammond)

 By  February 1, 2024 – Article
With its business-friendly climate, Northwest Indiana has been setting the table for out-of-state companies, especially from Illinois, to pull up stakes and migrate to the Hoosier state. Now the feast is well underway.

In the past 20 years, an influx of businesses has come to Northwest Indiana, sometimes at the expense of Cook County, Illinois.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ quarterly census of employment and wages, the four-county Northwest Indiana Region (Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties) added 1,585 new firms, an 11% percent increase, since 2012. On the other hand, Cook County lost 9,091 establishments, a 6% loss. In 2022 alone, Northwest Indiana added 805 new establishments, a 5% increase, while Cook County lost a net of 89.

“This is an incredible statistic, as Cook County alone has an economy roughly 12 times the size of the economy in Northwest Indiana,” said Micah Pollak, associate professor of economics in Indiana University Northwest’s School of Business and Economics and director of the Center for Economics Education and Research.

“There are a number of factors coming together simultaneously,” he said. “Northwest Indiana has always been interested in trying to create and promote a very business friendly environment, with lower taxes and improved infrastructure.”

Not least among the factors likely to spur further growth is the South Shore Line’s Double Track Northwest Indiana Project. The project, which involves improvements to more than 26 miles of track from Gary to Michigan City, is expected to reel in 6,000 new jobs and $3 billion in economic impact by 2048.

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Martin Huttenlocker Headshot

Martin Huttenlocker

Development Manager

Leveraging 17 years of relationships and extensive background in the commercial real estate industry, Martin provides direct strategic and analytical support as part of the Great Lakes Capital development team. Since joining the firm in 2017 he has performed a hybrid role in asset management and brokerage services within the GLC portfolio. Martin earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Missouri/Columbia and an MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago.