Ready to Move Forward

1st Quarter 2011

Market Watch
Southern Industrial Development

by Joe A. Hollingsworth, Jr.

In the battle to build business confidence, the last quarter of 2010 represented a large assault not seen since the likes of DDay in Normandy. The tide appears to have turned and the momentum of business sentiment appears to be headed toward the positive side. November elections sent a strong signal to Washington to reverse course on its anti-business policies. Politics will continue to be by nature political and will move in fits and starts toward its goals. With tax policy settled for the near term, hope for change in the health care bill passed last year, and clear signs from the incoming majority in the House that spending will begin to be curbed, businesses are beginning to feel enough certainty to commit to long term investments that allow them to grow their businesses; and ultimately hire new employees. Businesses that have trimmed their costs and learned how to survive and be profitable at much lower revenues have come out of the other side of the great recession leaner and more profitable. Adding capacity back slowly will be the focus for 2011. Many businesses will be able to reutilize equipment and real estate they already own. Many others however strategically divested assets in high cost regions of the US and are now focused on rebuilding capacity in lower cost of business parts of the country, namely the Southeast.

The Hollingsworth Companies have long been proponents of moving businesses to the Southeast to boost their profitability. For ten years our Industrial Building Program has operated four privately owned Industrial Parks in Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. We continue to maintain available industrial buildings in all of these locations. Our confidence in the change of direction in the economy in general and manufacturing in particular has inspired us to launch our new Total Industrial Readiness Reaction Force (TIRRF) program. We are actively seeking to partner with several communities in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to provide a real level of readiness that prepares communities to react to the speed of business. The TIRRF program will identify, design, permit construction and market designed facilities with the partner communities as well as construct and lease the facilities in six months or less when a business location decision in the partner community is made. Winning the fight to locate a company in your community is not simply a matter of luck. Communities “get lucky” when there is an intersection of OPPORTUNITY and READINESS. A community can make its own luck when it has invested time and effort into being totally ready to seize any opportunity that arises. The opportunity will be lost if the community has not already decided to take advantage of an opportunity before it arrives. It must already have a plan in place to seize the opportunity or it will be gone before you can figure out how to catch it. We believe the TIRRF program is the right plan.

“Joe Hollingsworth participated as one of our first equity investors. In addition, Joe Hollingsworth has served as a board member and leading advisor for strategic planning and direction.” — Scott Kelley, President and CEO, Service Center Metals