Indiana Pushing to Poach Illinois Businesses | Bleader

Indiana Pushing to Poach Illinois Businesses

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That state income tax hike had the governors of Wisconsin and Indiana circling like sharks shortly after the Illinois General Assembly approved the 66 percent raise.

“The new marketing slogan for Illinois must be: ‘Come for the higher taxes, stay for the corruption,’” said Indiana Commerce Secretary E. Mitchell Roob.

Indiana asks if you're Illinoyed. (image via Fort Wayne Business Weekly)
  • Indiana asks if you're Illinoyed. (image via Fort Wayne Business Weekly)

Indiana is taking an aggressive approach in recruiting businesses to the Hoosier State, with a series of advertisements that ask if you are “Illinoyed” by the tax hike.

Blair West, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, says the ad campaign kicked off Jan. 24, less than two weeks after the income tax hike was approved. Ads are running on billboards, mostly on the Indiana side of the state line, and online. (I came across the ad on Crain’s Chicago Business’s website).

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Users are referred to a website, stateofyourfuture.com, that touts the benefits of business life in Indiana, comparing the costs of business in both states and promoting the state’s incentive packages and grants.

It’s elicited a “pretty strong response,” so far, West says, drawing 2,500 unique visits since the launch.

Uprooting a business is “a big decision … (that) won’t happen overnight,” she said. “We cultivate leads every time, and hopefully will see some results in the coming months and years, because that’s kind of the reality of that time frame.”

Meanwhile, the ad campaign is only in its first stages, so look for the ads to be more visible in Chicagoland. Roob, by the way, was in Chicago this week meeting with business owners, according to West.

Representatives from the Illinois Department of Commerce have yet to respond to a request for comment.

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