Doing Business Here

Regional Connectivity


We know location matters and that’s the reason that manufacturers from around the globe are choosing the HTL region. Haywood, Tipton and Lauderdale counties are just a short drive-time to Memphis and its incredible infrastructure and business assets. These include the Memphis International Airport (MEM) – which is currently undergoing $1 billion in improvements – and the International Port of Memphis is the 2nd largest inland port on the Mississippi River and the nation’s 5th largest inland port. These infrastructure assets propel our national competitiveness in transportation, logistics and manufacturing – meaning expertise and efficiencies for companies looking to grow.

The HTL region offers direct access to Interstate 40 and near proximity to Interstate 55. Most sites within the region are within a half hour drive from Memphis, an area known world-wide as America’s Distribution Center, due to its ideal location and transportation infrastructure. In addition to I-40, U.S. highways 70, 79 and 51 provide excellent highway access. Interstate 69, now under construction, will offer direct access to Canada and Mexico.

CSX and CN Railroads offer connections to three other Class I rail systems in the Memphis area, BNSF, Norfork Southern and Union Pacific. The International Port of Memphis and the Port of Cates Landing allow shipments via the Mississippi River. Multimodal loading facilities and established logistics expertise make the region a perfect location within the global distribution network.

The Memphis International Airport is home to the FedEx Superhub, which offers the latest dropoff times for overnight shipping in the country. Memphis International also offers robust passenger service from multiple carriers including ALLEGIANT AIR, AIR CANADA, AMERICAN, DELTA, FRONTIER, SOUTHWEST and UNITED Airlines. McKeller-Sipes Regional Airport in Jackson, TN also offers boutique services to a variety of destinations.


  • The HTL region offers direct access to Interstate 40 and near proximity to Interstate 55. U.S. highways 70, 79 and 51 also provide excellent highway access.
  • Nonstop FedEx destinations from Memphis include scores of cities across the continental U.S., plus Anchorage and Honolulu, as well as numerous Canadian, Mexican, and Caribbean cities. Intercontinental nonstops include Cologne, Dubai, Paris, London, Sao Paulo, Seoul and Tokyo.
  • Interstate 69, now under construction, will offer direct access to Canada and Mexico.


  • Operates and maintains 1,572 miles of track and also maintains more than 1,575 public and private grade crossings in Tennessee.
  • CSX has invested more than $65 million in the network in Tennessee and more than $490 million on freight cars and other rolling assets to serve customers throughout the network.


  • Today CN owns approximately 20,400 route miles of track in 8 provinces, as well as a 70-mile stretch of track into the Northwest Territories;
  • Has extensive tracks in the central United States along the Mississippi River valley from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • It is the northernmost rail line anywhere within the North American Rail Network, as far north as Anchorage, Alaska.

The region features five class one rail lines

Port of Memphis

  • The International Port of Memphis is the second largest inland port on the shallow draft portion of the Mississippi River, and the 4th largest inland Port in the United States.
  • There are 68 waterfront facilities within this 15-mile reach, 37 of which are terminal facilities moving products such as petroleum, tar, asphalt, cement, steel, coal, salt, fertilizers, rock, gravel, and grains.
  • The International Port of Memphis is 400 river miles from St. Louis and 600 open river miles from New Orleans with no locks and is ice free year-round.

Port of Cates Landing

  • Close proximity to major interstates: I-55, I-155, I-40, I-24, I-69
  • Expandable Intermodal Port Dock and transload facility serving barge, rail, and truck
  • 9,000 linear feet of slack water Harbor operable year-round

Memphis International Airport

  • Memphis International Airport is home to the main FedEx Express global “SuperHub”, which processes a significant portion of the freight carrier’s packages.
  • Nonstop FedEx destinations from Memphis include scores of cities across the continental U.S., plus Anchorage and Honolulu, as well as numerous Canadian, Mexican, and Caribbean cities. Intercontinental nonstops include Cologne, Dubai, Paris, London, Sao Paulo, Seoul and Tokyo.
  • From 1993 to 2009, Memphis had the largest cargo operations by volume of any airport worldwide. Major national and international distribution facilities for Flextronics, Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Sharp and many others have located in Memphis largely to be near the FedEx hub.

McKeller Sipes Regional Airport

  • Home to a 6,000-foot grooved-surface primary runway with a category 1 instrument landing system, plus a 3,500-foot secondary runway.
  • Scheduled airline service is provided by Pacific Wings regional carrier, Tennessee Skies, with three daily flights to and from Nashville/Atlanta. (Not sure if this is accurate)

Business Climate & Economic Profile

  • Right-to-work state
  • Strong and capable regional workforce (within a 45-minute drive-time)
    • 600,000+ in the labor pool
    • 62.5%: Labor force participation rate
    • 82.1%: Prime-age labor force participation rate
    • $47,800 Average Annual Wage (all occupations)

Source: JobsEQ, 2021Q4

Combine lower wages, low unionization rates with a cost of living nearly 20% below national average and 9% below state average provides opportunities for companies looking to be an employer of choice.

Area Development Magazine has ranked Tennessee (2020) in the Top 5 for Doing Business, Overall Cost of Doing Business, Incentive Programs, Competitive Labor Market and Speed of Project Permitting. The HTL region strives to be among the best in the state to heighten those advantages.

We offer the insight, services and support to allow new and existing businesses to grow.

Top Industries

By Employment

Company Type of Industry Employee Count County
Ford & SK Innovation (announced Sept 2021) OEM & EV Mfg 5,600 projected Haywood
Unilever Food Mfg 800 Tipton
Teknor Apex Chemical Mfg 700 Haywood
Lasco Fittings Plastic Fabrication 600 Haywood
Marvin Windows Wood & Other Wood Product Mfg 600 Lauderdale
Charms LLC Food Mfg 300 Tipton
SRG Global Automotive Products Mfg 300 Lauderdale
Komatsu/Pierce Distribution Distribution 300 Lauderdale
Mueller Brass Fabricated Metal Products Mfg 200 Tipton
Delfield Appliance Repair & Service Mfg. 200 Tipton
Precision Coils, LLC Precision-Engineered Replacement & OEM Coils Mfg 110 Haywood
Existing Industry

Success Stories

Companies thrive in the HTL region thanks to our skilled workforce, transportation infrastructure and low cost of doing business. Learn more about some of the companies that have found success here.

Tipton County is home to the largest ice cream manufacturing facility in North America, Unilever Covington. Their presence has spurred the relocation and expansion of suppliers and transportation partners, which has helped the company reduce its environmental footprint.

Teknor Apex, an international compounder of polymer materials recently completed a $7.4 million expansion of their Brownsville facility. The company, which manufactures garden hoses and other consumer and industrial products, has benefited from the region’s strong rural workforce.

Marvin Windows & Doors’ Ripley facility was the first within the Marvin companies to implement the “5S” Workplace Management System, a system that helps organize and maintain the work environment as safe, clean, efficient and productive.




  • Local Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) Incentive

    PILOT’s may be offered in Haywood, Tipton & Lauderdale counties to both new and expanding companies that are expanding or relocating to the region. PILOT’s are determined on a case-by-case basis based on a combination of factors, including job creation, capital investment and average annual wage.

  • Foreign Trade Zone Designations

    Industrial Parks in the HTL region have been designated as part of Foreign Trade Zone Number 283. This designation enables companies locating in those areas to apply for sub zone status to receive equipment, raw materials, inventory and elements that might be added to the manufacturing or distribution process without paying federal duties until the finished product is sold. A duty is a federal tax generally charged on foreign trade items. This status now enables rural communities, like those of Haywood, Tipton, and Lauderdale Counties to offer the same logistical and competitive advantages as larger cities like Memphis, Nashville or Atlanta. Operation of the 10-area trade zone is overseen by the U.S. Border Patrol’s Memphis office.

  • Industrial Property Discounts

    There are multiple government owned industrial parks in the HTL region, many with direct rail access. These parks have been developed to serve heavy and advanced manufacturing. For companies created a significant number of new jobs and investing large amounts of capital may qualify for a discount in the price of industrial property. For more information on our sites click here.

State Level Incentives

These incentives are offered to both existing companies and those considering locating new operations in the State of Tennessee. Application for these incentives should occur before any property for the project is leased or bought within the state.

Download an overview of available incentives and assistance

  • Workforce Investment Network (WIN) / Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development

    Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) – The Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) program is coadministered by WIN and the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDOLWD). This program focuses on upgrading the skills of existing full-time employees so that employers can remain competitive and the State of Tennessee can continue to retain viable,
    progressive businesses.

    On-the-Job Training (OJT) – WIN contracts with businesses in the public, private non-profit,
    and private sectors to provide On-the-Job Training (OJT) to eligible WIN participants.

  • Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD)

    FastTrack Job Training Assistance Program (FJTAP) – This discretionary grant provides direct assistance to companies to support the creation of new full-time jobs.

  • FastTrack Infrastructure Development Program (FIDP)

    This discretionary grant is provided to local governments for infrastructure needs for new and expanding companies. TNECD will work with the local officials to identify eligible needs for a project, such as water, sewer, rail, gas, electric, roadway, telecommunications, or other site improvements.

  • FastTrack Economic Development Fund (ED Grant)

    This discretionary grant is provided to local communities for eligible expenditures not covered by infrastructure or job training grants.The grant can help offset expenses such as relocation, temporary office space, capital improvements, and retrofitting.

  • Job Tax Credit

    Provides a credit of $4,500 per position to offset up to 50% of franchise and excise tax (F&E) liability in any given year, with a 15-year carry-forward. Companies must create at least 25 net new full-time positions and invest at least $500,000 in a qualified business enterprise within a 36-month period.

  • Enhanced Job Tax Credit

    Allows an additional annual credit for locations/expansions in designated Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4 Enhancement Counties. Enhanced Job Tax Credit can offset up to 100% of F&E liability.

  • Industrial Machinery Tax Credit

    A credit of 1% to 10% for the purchase, third party installation, and repair of qualified industrial machinery.

  • State Industrial Access Road Program (SIAP)

    Other state assistance can be considered for
    providing needed transportation improvement for the project.

Utility Incentives

  • Investment Credit 

    the Investment Credit is an economic development incentive jointly offered by TVA and participating local power companies. Investment Credit awards are paid as monthly power bill credits to qualifying companies that make a five-year or ten-year commitment to several economic and power system categories. To receive an Investment Credit award, an eligible company must submit a certified Investment Credit Award Application. Investment Credit awards may be adjusted according to the company’s performance.

  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Valley Investment Initiative (VII)

    The VII is an economic development incentive program jointly offered by TVA and participating distributors of TVA power. VII offers financial incentives to qualifying power customers who contribute to the economic development of the seven-state Tennessee Valley region and complement TVA’s power system resources.

    More information on TVA’s incentives

  • TVA Consulting and Technical Services

    Engineering and Design Services – TVA’s team of professional engineers and designers can help companies make better decisions, yielding time and money savings, by providing preliminary site evaluations and layouts as well as conceptual building
    designs and models.

    Economic Analysis and Market Research – TVA can provide a wealth of economic, demographic, and industry data, which can include analyses and potential supplier/customer listings, to support your Valley site search.

    Loan Fund – The TVA loan program can be used to assist in financing industrial development projects including new industrial plants, existing industry expansions, infrastructure development and service industries.

    More information on TVA’s incentives