It’s not uncommon for states to compete against one another to attract a company’s newest factory or offices, or to lure a company to move from one state to another. Tax breaks, sweetheart deals on land or buildings, or other incentives are all standard tools of the trade to win factories, distribution centers, and office complexes. Local and state agencies work every day to attract various businesses, willing to absorb costs in the near term for promised long-term economic benefits.
It’s a sign of the maturation of the commercial space industry, though, that cities and states are making more of an effort to attract such companies. There’s been some activity in the last year, as XCOR Aerospace agreed on a deal to move its headquarters to Midland, Texas (see “Texas warms to NewSpace”, The Space Review, July 16, 2012) while signing a separate deal to later establish in Florida a manufacturing and operations base. Florida also lured a smaller suborbital vehicle company, Rocket Crafters, to set up operations in Titusville. But even bigger deals—and possibly fiercer competition—are on the horizon.