Advantage

The energy and vitality of Orange County as part of the South Central Region fosters an environment that is conducive to personal and business success. The people, infrastructure, and programs available in Orange County and South Central Indiana work together in perfect harmony to nurture emerging start-ups and business expansions a like.

Home » Advantage

The energy and vitality of Orange County as part of the South Central Region fosters an environment that is conducive to personal and business success. The people, infrastructure, and programs available in Orange County and South Central Indiana work together in perfect harmony to nurture emerging start-ups and business expansions a like.

Advantages of doing business in Orange County as part of the South Central Indiana Region:

An abundant, hard-working, and cost-effective workforce. The lowest costs in the Midwest-based on total business taxes. The lowest electric power rates in the Midwest. A business-friendly tax structure that is routinely ranked among the most pro-business in the country. Hundreds of millions of dollars of new infrastructure investment, including a new interstate highway that intersects the Region. State and regional incentives for businesses in any life stage. A score of recent business expansions. An abundance of affordable properties appropriate for industrial and commercial businesses. Access to unparalleled business development opportunities through NSWC Crane.

Our incentive programs are designed to expand both the County’s and your company’s return on investment

Orange County is committed to creating a business climate that’s attractive to new businesses, and supports the sustained growth and success of existing ones. Incentive programs play an important part in achieving this goal, and a wide variety of options at the state, local and regional levels mean that if you have a need, we probably have a program that can help you meet it. Orange County will take the time to understand your goals and deliver a customized incentive plan designed to achieve them.

For more state-wide business incentives visit Indiana Economic Development Corp.


Grants

Specialized programs for technology and industrial development investments

The State of Indiana aggressively supports advanced manufacturing and other technical expansions and relocations. The Orange County team can help you apply for this funding and make you aware of other grant options for which you may be eligible. 21st Century Research and Technology Fund

  • Created to diversify State’s economy
  • Helps develop and commercialize advanced technologies
  • Awards approved by a board made up of academic and commercial representatives

Industrial Development Grant Fund (IDGF)

  • Funds off-site infrastructure projects that help expand an existing Indiana company or support location of a new facility
  • Grant provides money to local governments who then fund projects
  • State IDGF funding must be matched by a combination of local government and company financial support

Small Business Innovation Research Initiative and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (SBIR/STTR)

  • Sister programs that encourage small businesses to explore technological potential
  • Funding available through 11 participating agencies through the U.S.

 


Loans

Innovative loan programs can help meet your unique lending needs

Reliable, affordable funding is critical to the success of your expansion or relocation-especially in today’s challenging lending environment. Our loan programs are designed to help companies that might not meet traditional lending requirements or that offer unique value to Orange County. Your Orange County project manager will help you apply for these programs and make you aware of other specialized loan programs for which your company may be eligible.

Tax-Exempt Bonds

  • Issued by state and local governmental entities
  • Created to benefit private, job-creating companies
  • Interest on bonds usually exempt from federal income taxes (for investors)
  • Interest rates to borrowers typically lower
  • Often called Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs) or Industrial Development Bonds (IDBs)

Loan Guaranty Program (Guaranteed by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC))

  • Helped fund over $84 million in loans
  • Provides a loan guaranty to the lender
  • Designed to benefit companies that create/retain a significant number of Indiana jobs in a high-growth/high-skill area including:
    • Manufacturing
    • Rural development
    • Value-added agriculture

Capital Access Program (CAP)

  • Designed to aid small businesses that might not meet conventional lending requirements
  • Creates a cash reserve fund for a lender to use as additional collateral for loans enrolled in the program

USDA Rural Development Loan Programs Small Business Administration Loan Programs

 


Special Programs

Additional state and regional programs to foster investment and success

Both new and growing businesses can benefit from the breadth of special programs available Orange County.

Shovel Ready Certification

  • Certification program that qualifies sites as “ready for development”
  • Helps to speed site location and development
  • Provides competitive advantage for Indiana and drives job growth
  • To view Shovel Ready sites in the County, click on Available Properties.

Patent Tax Exemption

  • Allows tax exemptions for certain income derived from qualified patents (utility and plant)
  • Total annual exemptions claimed may not exceed $5 million

Regulatory Ombudsman

  • Assists companies in obtaining permits/approvals for business operation
  • Serves as a liaison between companies, communities, local economic development organizations and regulatory agencies

International Trade Show Assistance (TSAP)

  • Provides financial assistance for small Indiana businesses to participate in international trade shows
  • Encourages companies to explore overseas markets
  • Helps promote Indiana exports

Server Equipment Tax Exemption

  • Supports the attraction and growth of companies with large server operations
  • Server equipment is tax-exempt

 


Tax Credits

Our tax credits are an important reason why Forbes calls Indiana the best in the Midwest for the cost of doing business.

Companies expanding or relocating to Orange County have a number of targeted tax credits available to them, designed to nurture and promote specific kinds of investment. Your Orange County project manager can help you determine those for which your company is eligible and help you apply for them.

“The community went out of their way to make this location work for us. They’ve pinpointed grants and tax abatements and held a job fair to expedite our hiring process. I’ve traveled and worked all over the country, and this area offers cooperation and support that you won’t find just anywhere.” Jim Shelby
President, Pro Fab Custom Metals

Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Tax Credit

  • Refundable tax credit
  • Rewards companies for creating jobs and contributing to the growth of Indiana’s economy
  • Credits calculated as a percentage of payroll tax withholding for net new Indiana jobs
  • Awarded for up to 10 years

Headquarters Relocation Tax Credit

  • Awarded to companies that locate their principal office of principal executives to Indiana
  • Credit against state tax liability equal to half of relocation costs
  • Must have annual worldwide revenue of $100 million+ to qualify

Hoosier Business Investment Tax Credit (HBITC)

  • Encourages capital investment by providing a credit against Indiana tax liability based on investment
  • Final credit amount determined by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, based on analysis of economic benefits of proposed investment

Industrial Recovery Tax Credit

  • Facilities requiring significant rehabilitation/remodeling-and designated as an industrial recovery site-may be eligible for tax credits
  • Credit calculated as a percentage of qualified rehabilitation expense

Venture Capital Investment Tax Credit

  • Improves access to capital for fast-growing companies
  • Gives individual and corporate investors additional incentives to invest in early-stage companies
  • Provides credit against Indiana income tax liability to investors who provide qualified debt/equity capital to Indiana companies

Media Production Sales Tax Exemption (MPETC)

  • Established to grow the Indiana production industry
  • Tax credit up to 15% of amount spent in Indiana for qualified production expenditures.

 


Workforce Training

Sustaining an Indiana hallmark: workforce excellence

Today’s dynamic, international economy demands a flexible workforce that’s committed to maintaining up-to-date skills. Our training reimbursement programs are an affordable way to help ensure that your company maintains a well-rounded competitive workforce.

Skills Enhancement Fund (SEF)

  • Financial assistance to businesses committed to workforce training
  • Trainees must be Indiana residents
  • Eligible expenses reimbursed over a two-year term; companies may reapply for additional assistance
  • Training required by law not typically reimbursed

Technology Enhancement Certification for Hoosiers (TECH)

  • Reimbursement grant program
  • Designed to help Indiana increase the number of information technology (IT) workers
  • Financial assistance for companies committed to expanding their IT employee base

Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA)

  • Community Development Block Grant Micro Enterprise Assistance Program: Eligible projects will be designed to assist micro-enterprise businesses owned by low- to moderate-income persons and/or microenterprise businesses that will create jobs for low- to moderate-income persons. Projects will provide training, technical assistance, and low-interest loans for eligible applicants.
  • Community Development Block Grant Community Economic Development Fund: Eligible projects will be designed to assist businesses to create new or retain existing jobs for low- to moderate-income workers. Projects can be used for land purchases, construction or renovation of a building to accommodate the business, purchase of capital equipment, and provision of job training.

And learn more about our educational partnerships at local universities and technical colleges.

Business experts agree: Indiana offers one of the country’s best tax climates

Locate in Orange County and take advantage of Indiana’s business-friendly tax structure.

  • “A” rating for tax climate (Conexus)
  • Ranked 9th in the 2022 State Business Tax Climate Index (The Tax Foundation)

These pro-business exemptions and credits can help create success for your company:

  • Tax exemption on income derived from qualified utility and plant patents
  • A new state R&D sales tax credit on research and development equipment
  • Indiana portion of a corporations’ taxable income based solely on a company’s sales in Indiana (phased in by 2011)
  • No gross receipts tax
  • No inventory tax
  • Exemption of raw materials, equipment, and utility costs from the sales and use tax

 


Exceptional transportation options speeds supply delivery and cuts time to market

Orange County’s transportation system includes SR 37, SR 337, SR 56, SR 145, providing north, south east and west access, one federal highway and easy access (45 minute drive) to two interstate highways, I-64 & I-65. Orange County is home to several interstate/intrastate trucking firms and has 3 general aviation airports. French Lick Airport has 5,570 liner feet of paved runway and is expanding. Currently, corporate jets use the facility. Commercial air service is available in Louisville, KY – 49 miles south.

Orange County is located in South Central Indiana which offers additional transportation access

  • Interstate highways I-64 and I-65 are being joined by an expansion of I-69 to create a triangle of distribution throughout the Region
  • Three nearby international airports supplement two regional airports, and a half-dozen municipal airports to provide options for chartered and commercial air travel and freight transport
  • The Region is nestled into the Ohio River Valley, providing close proximity to three ports along the Ohio River
  • The Region is within 60 minutes of the International Carrier Hubs of United Parcel Service (UPS) and within 2 hours of FedEx

 

Major City Mileage Approximate Travel Time
Bloomington, IN 47 1 Hour
Louisville, KY 46 1 Hour
Indianapolis, IN 100 2 Hours
Cincinnati, OH 145 2.5 Hours
Nashville, TN 219 4 Hours
St. Louis, MO 242 4 Hours
Chicago, IL 273 5 Hours

 

Regional and Major Airports

Muhammad Ali International Airport (Louisville, KY) – 54.2 Miles, 1 Hour.
Indianapolis International Airport – 90 Miles, 1 Hour 45 Mins.
French Lick Municipal Airport (No scheduled service but great for corporate or private)

County assets include access to utilities which are plentiful and cost-effective

Electricity is provided by Duke Energy, Orange County REMC/Hoosier Energy, and the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, depending on the specific location of the facility. Rates for industrial applications are lower than other states in the Midwest and significantly below the national average. Orange County is served by Indiana Natural Gas Corporation. Commercial rates have historically been lower than the national average, and this gap has widened in recent years, making the county’s rates relatively more favorable.

Indiana has deregulated telecommunications in order to foster competition among providers. At least four providers service Orange County, offering a broad range of fiber optic and other telecommunications services. Three main providers offer water service to multiple areas within the County: Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District, Dubois Water Service, and Posey Township Water Corporation. Remaining communities are served by other water utilities or local municipal water.


Electric

Industrial rates are well below the national average

Electricity costs are an important consideration for all relocating and expanding companies, especially for manufacturers and others that use large amounts of energy. Indiana average electricity costs are very competitive compared to other states in the East North Central area-and also come in slightly below the national average.

Source: *Energy Information Administration December, 2013. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html


Natural Gas

Multiple natural gas providers offer competitive service to County businesses

Orange County’s commercial natural gas prices have historically been lower than national averages and this gap has widened in recent years.

Natural Gas Providers

View a state map of the natural gas companies that make up the Indiana Energy Association or view a regional map of natural gas providers that are part of the Indiana Natural Gas Corporation. The primary natural gas provider in Orange County is Indiana Natural Gas Corporation.


Telecommunications

Deregulation fosters competition among telecommunications providers

Indiana has deregulated telecommunications to encourage providers to compete for business. Orange County has several providers:

TELECOMMUNICATION SERVING ORANGE COUNTY

You may also conduct a search of broadband Internet providers by zip code through the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.

Provider
New Wave
bizsupport@newwavecom.comBusiness phone 866-460-9283
Orange County Fiber
https://orangecountyfiber.servicezones.net/OrangeCounty 
Smithville Digital
www.smithvilledigital.net or www.smithville.net 
866-768-3448
Frontier
www.frontier.com 
https://frontier.com/contactus/contact-us#/business
Business phone 877-462-8188

 


Water & Sewer

Orange County is home to reliable and well-maintained water and sewer providers

Two main providers meet most of the county’s water needs:

Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District
Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer provides the majority of the water to municipalities and also provides residential water in rural areas not served by others.

City of Mitchell – Water & Sewer Department

Posey Township Water Corp.

Remaining communities are served by other water utilities. Sewage is served by local municipal sewer. To see a detailed map of sewer districts, see the Indiana Regional Sewage District Association map.

HARD-WORKING, PRODUCTIVE AND COMMITTED WORKFORCE

Workforce excellence is one of the most commonly cited reasons for companies to locate or expand their business in Indiana. Across industries and job titles, Indiana has a well-earned reputation for providing some of the country’s most diligent and hard-working employees. According to data reported by IEDC, Indiana is #1 in manufacturing productivity among major industrial states. In addition, according to a survey of Indiana employers:

  • 95% rated their workers as Good or Excellent in productivity
  • 74% rated their workers as Good or Excellent in reading and writing competency
  • Absenteeism was rated Low; Turnover was rated Very Low.

Labor Force & Unemployment

Plentiful supply of labor within Region coupled with moderate unemployment rate.

The Eight-County South Central Indiana Region which includes Crawford, Daviss, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, Washington have a labor force of 105,000. When combined with the labor shed from outside the Region but within a 30-minute commute, the labor shed grows by nearly half a million more.

Our local schools offer career pathways that engage students and prepare them to be workforce ready immediately upon graduating.

Lost River Career Cooperative

COSMOS


Labor Conditions

ONE OF THE LOWEST LEVELS OF UNIONIZATION IN THE MIDWEST

Indiana’s workforce is hardworking and stable. Formerly one of the most highly unionized states in the country, Indiana now has:

  • A long-term trend toward decreased union membership
  • Union membership levels consistent with the U.S. average
  • Lower union membership as a percentage of the workforce than five Midwestern states

Other indicators of workforce stability:

  • Indiana is a Right-to-Work state.
  • Orange County employers, employees and bargaining units work in unison to ensure a quality free work environment.

BUSINESS CLIMATE

Businesses grow better in a positive business climate

Businesses that choose to locate or expand in Orange County can expect to find progressive economic development policies that promote investment and encourage financial success. The positive business climate is complemented by the knowledge and wide scope of established relationships that Orange County connects you with – ranging from regional businesses and governmental entities to academic institutions and other resource providers. Learn more about the companies who have chosen to invest here and how our business climate can help your business:

  • A culture that fosters innovation and growth, as demonstrated by the success of local start-ups and expanding companies who have chosen to invest here in recent years
  • A very competitive cost of doing business
  • The most pro-business climate in the Midwest

Business Expansions

Continual business investment and reinvestment in the Region

Here are just a few of the companies that have expanded or relocated to Orange County in recent years.

Hudelson Machine Shop Metal Fabrication
C&M Conveyer Manufacturing
Jasper Group Furniture/Furnishings
Liner Products, a division Layne, Inc. Manufacturing
Electricom Inc Utility Infrastructure
ProFab Custom Metalworks Metal Fabrication
Boston International Warehouse Distributing
IU Health Paoli Health
Orange County Fiber Utility Infrastructure

Indiana is the Midwest’s most affordable business location

Locate or expand your business in Indiana and take advantage of the lowest business costs in the Midwest.

Business Climate Rankings

Indiana is recognized as one of the best in Midwest when it comes to business climate

We’ve methodically created a business environment where conditions are set for success. Whether it’s minimizing operating expenses or delivering the workforce training and infrastructure you need to grow, Indiana is one of the most business-friendly states in America.  

BEST BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

  • Indiana ranks 1st in the Midwest and 5th in the nation in Chief Executive magazine’s annual “Best & Worst States” survey (May 2013).
  • Indiana ranks 1st in the Midwest and 2nd in the nation in Site Selection magazine’s annual Top 10 Competitive States of 2012 ranking (May 2013).

TOP TAX CLIMATE

  • Indiana ranks 1st in the Midwest and 10th nationally in the Tax Foundation’s 2014 Business Tax Climate Index (Oct. 2013).

Source: Indiana Economic Development Corporation

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