Why Companies Should Onshore in Mason County

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

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Onshoring is top of mind for business executives who have watched their supply chains be disrupted and product deliveries delayed to COVID-19. For four decades, companies have offshored manufacturing operations overseas in order to save costs. COVID-19 has forced companies to ask, “At what cost?” If the cost is an inability to supply customers and fulfil contracts it may not be worth it. With 60% of U.S. manufacturing companies surveyed by Thomas reporting COVID-19 business disruptions, this is a widespread issue impacting virtually all industries. 

Onshoring is the logical solution to reducing the risk of future disruptions and delays, at least in part. Though companies may not be looking to move their entire operations back to the United States, opening U.S. manufacturing facilities as part of their global operations certainly is. In that scenario, Mason County can be competitive with other areas by having the advantages of a lower cost of living, available sites and properties and a proximity to close urban areas.

In addition to companies onshoring directly, 28% of suppliers surveyed reported that they are seeking domestic sources. This will create expansion opportunities for current U.S. manufacturers. Mason County is uniquely positioned to support that growth and to be a home to growing companies, or those onshoring for the first time. 

Why Companies Should Onshore in Mason County 

Location

Mason County is located within the booming Seattle region, yet far enough from the big city to enjoy small town charm and the surrounding natural beauty of the Hood Canal, Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest. The resultant cost of living in Mason County is less than nearby counties, making it easier to operate a business.

Transportation Assets

Mason County offers easy access to the Pacific Northwest primary urban areas. Local businesses can utilize the I-5 corridor, waterways through the county’s many ports and readily available rail systems to receive supplies or transport goods throughout the country without paying the high cost of operating in larger port cities like Seattle or San Diego. 

 Available Commercial Sites

Mason County has available office, industrial and retail buildings. One such property zoned for all three is 23,400 square-feet and is located in Allyn-Grapeview, a half hour drive to Tacoma. Mason County also has properties available to lease, such as a 1,915 square-foot professional office space in the town of Belfair, only 3.7 miles from the Bremerton Airport. A 45 minute drive to Tacoma and just slightly longer to Seattle. And for those looking to start from scratch, Mason County has many sites available, such as a 0.9 acre lot just off Highway 101, the main artery to downtown Shelton. It is zoned for mix uses, such as business and professional offices, medical, assisted living, day care, retail, auto repair and services.

Workforce

Mason County has a talented, dedicated, hardworking and generational workforce adaptable to any business. Current or new employees can gain the preparations necessary for the in-demand jobs of the future thanks to the local Olympic College and several community colleges vocational, technical and degree programs. It is common in Mason County for generations of families to work for the same business while taking pride in the contributions they are making to its longevity and future.

Reasons to Onshore Now

COVID-19 has demonstrated the scope and scale of the impact a global pandemic can make, but it’s not the only disaster that can disrupt supply chains. Environmental factors are another one. The world has suffered an increase in severe hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, etc. - all things that are unpredictable and cannot be controlled. Unfortunately, many of the same countries where U.S. companies have manufacturing operations have been hardest hit by these disasters and their infrastructure is not secure enough to withstand them. For example, the 2001 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand had crippling effects on the electronics and automotive manufacturing sectors. Put simply - the global supply chain is fragile. Businesses who want to protect themselves must onshore at least part of their operations to protect their interests.

We Can Help

The process of finding a site, obtaining permits, constructing a facility, hiring and training a workforce may seem daunting. The Economic Development Council of Mason County understands and is here to help. If onshoring is part of your business protection strategy, we can provide assistance throughout the entire process. Contact us to learn more.

Resources and Further Reading 

https://www.thomasnet.com/insights/60-of-u-s-manufacturers-say-business-has-been-impacted-by-coronavirus/ 

https://knowledge-leader.colliers.com/bret_swango/covid-19-the-great-accelerator-of-onshoring-part-1/

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