Doing Business in the South Bend Region

The South Bend Region is in North Central Indiana and encompasses St. Joseph County and cities like South Bend, Mishawaka and New Carlisle. We're home to companies and firms like AM General, Bayer, Honeywell, Tire Rack, Data Realty, Union Station Technology Center, Crowe Horwath and Press Ganey—just to name a few. Plus, we are the only place the University of Notre Dame has called home. Below, we’ve outlined many of the reasons why our area is a great place to do business. These reasons, in addition to state and local incentives—tax abatement of real property, personal property, and assistance with required infrastructure improvements—are available, based on the project criteria.


Choose the South Bend Region

Indiana ranks 6th in the nation for best business environment. (Site Selection)

Indiana ranks 1st in the Midwest and 5th in the nation for best states to do business. (Chief Executive)

Indiana ranks best in the Midwest and 5th overall in “Best States for Doing Business." (Area Development)

Indiana boasts a AAA credit rating (Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s).

Corporate income tax rate of 6.5%.

No inventory tax.

Right-to-Work state.

South Bend is among 10 worldwide cities “reinventing themselves through technology.” (Smart+Connected Communities Institute)

South Bend is the economic hub in a nine-county region with nearly one million people.

South Bend is the first city in the world to run its water systems in the cloud, according to IBM.

R&D tax credit equal to 15% of a company’s first $1M of qualifying R&D expenditures, one of the highest R&D tax credits in the nation.

5 major universities, including the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, Holy Cross College, Bethel College and IU South Bend, IU’s largest regional campus.

One of top 5 college football towns. (USA Today 2012)
Logistics & Transportation

Perfectly situated within a one-day drive of approximately 80% of the U.S. and Canadian populations, making it second in the country in the number of people accessible within a day’s drive.

Located at the “Crossroads of America” with easy accessibility, 14 interstates and a regional airport, the South Bend Airport, with nonstop flights to 10 cities, including Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Tucson and more.

South Bend International Airport (SBN)—regional, international airport, second busiest in the State of Indiana.

Freight railroads running through St. Joseph County: Canadian National, Norfolk Southern and CSX. Norfolk Southern’s East Coast to Chicago mainline and Canadian National’s Canada-Gulf-U.S. mainline converge onto a common right-of-way through downtown South Bend.

Interstate 80 and Interstate 90, the two longest interstates in the nation, share a common right-of-way as they pass through St. Joseph County.

FedEx, UPS and Airborne/DHL have distribution centers located at the South Bend Airport.
Connectivity, Fiber & Power

One of the lowest costs of redundant power in the country, an extensive fiber network and competitive costs for labor, land and materials. St. Joseph County occupies the largest concentration of fiber-optic, long-haul carriers in the U.S. This, in combination with a local, nonprofit dark fiber network (more than 60 miles and growing), provides fast connectivity at a low cost.

Data-centric firms are a focus of our economic development efforts. Our county championed Indiana Senate Bill 448, which created a property tax exemption for data center operations.

Industrial power prices (per million BTU) are one of the lowest in the nation at $17.02. St. Joseph County benefits from a utility infrastructure that was developed to move and use large quantities of power—in excess of 350 megawatts. It is served by I&M Power, a division of AEP, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. Our proximity to Lake Michigan causes the regional transmission system to converge as it passes below and around the lake. The area benefits by having a utility system that has excess capacity and provides a reliable, redundant supply of power through the highest quality transmission lines at one of the lowest rates in the nation.