#10: Economic development agencies know their communities - all of the local information that you can't get from data tools. EDOs know who just laid-off, who closed, who expanded, who has training programs and dollars.
#9: International support (investment and trade) through the Office of International Business Development (OIBD) - don't speak the language? No problem
#8: Labor interviews with existing companies - EDOs have the connections and the contacts to make this happen.
#7: Facilitation and introductions to the approving agencies, boards, and municipalities, supply chain, customers, and elected officials.
#6: Incentives - everyone wants them, but not everybody knows how or where to access them - workforce training, tax credits, low interest financing. There may also be soft local incentives which include start-up marketing and new hire assistance, paid accommodations for executives and trainers, membership in Chamber, trade organizations, young professional groups....
#5: Economic developers may be aware of sites that aren't on Loopnet, CoStar, or word of mouth from your peers.
#4: Help with permitting at the local and state level - economic developers can advocate for the project - High priority economic development projects for the community. Also, economic developers will typically get the phone call when a project runs into permitting trouble.
#3: LERTA, TIF, KOEZ, KIZ, MTF, BIOS, RACP, CDBG - Oh need some help with the acronyms? EDOs know them all.
#2: Economic developers roll out the red carpet for prospects.
#1: Economic developers understand the importance of confidentiality and maintaining the integrity of site selection. They help you get the deal done.