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Lewis: Why your next startup/business should be in the East Valley

John Lewis is president/CEO of the East Valley Partnership. (Special to MyNewsMesa.com)

The six cities that make up the PHX East Valley region are known as a business community with world-class innovation. Nationally ranked for entrepreneurial activities, we have the expertise and support needed for emerging high-growth companies. Entrepreneurs find our region to be a place where they can grow quickly with a strong local workforce and low costs to do business. Local entrepreneurs also appreciate the availability of local programs and tools that help them take “cutting edge” ideas from thought to actual business units.

In summary, here are five reasons why your next startup should be in the PHX East Valley:

  1. Attractive cost of living and doing business

Compared to neighboring states, the cost of living in the PHX East Valley is lower, utility rates are lower, and median household income is higher. Examples include:

  • Our freeways and railroads connect to major markets reaching 65 million people within a day’s commute.
  • We have a pro-business climate with aggressive tax credits and incentive programs.
  • Our region “Cost of Living” Rating (100.7) is below the national average and is 77 percent less on average than leading California markets.
  • Gilbert was recently named one of the Top 5 Safest Cities to Build Your Startup (source: Tech.Co).
  1. Regional collaboration paired with a skilled workforce 

Continued regional business optimism is thriving in the PHX East Valley and our talented workforce is ready to new startups and expanding businesses.

Businesses operating in the PHX East Valley benefit from one of the largest, skilled and diverse talent pools in the nation. A few statistics include:

  • The PHX East Valley has a labor force of more than 800,000 with 120,000-plus college students building a talent pipeline for the future.
  • We are home to the Nation’s Most Innovative School, Arizona State University and one of our country’s Best Community College systems: Maricopa County Community College District.
  • Thirty-six percent of our population age 25-plus have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Chandler was ranked the seventh hardest working city in America (source: Smart Asset)
  1. Access to business resources

With a strong emphasis on innovation, incubators and co-working spaces are thriving in the PHX East Valley. Here are a few resources available to entrepreneurs:

  • SPARKSpot
  • LaunchPoint
  • THINKSpot
  • Gangplank
  • TechShop
  • Innovations Incubator
  • BRiC
  • ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation State
  1. Access to capital investment

Startups and growing small businesses need access to capital. Resources help connect a business to federal grants, venture capitalists, banks as well as offer programs that expand reach of capital providers. Here are a few resources available to entrepreneurs:

  1. This is a region primed for growth

The PHX East Valley is approaching a population of 1.4 million residents with 800,000 jobs. Population estimates show that we may add another 1 million residents and 400 new jobs in the next 30 years. With these population estimates, starting a company in the PHX East Valley has a promising future. A few recent accolades for our state:

  • Arizona is the best state for future job growth (Forbes, 2016)
  • Arizona is the sixth best state to do business (Chief Executive, 2016)

Clate Mask, co-founder and CEO of Infusionsoft (a PHX East Valley startup) recently said that the ingredients for a successful innovation hub to attract entrepreneurs is “talent with an entrepreneurial and engineering focus, capital, and government support in tightly bound communities.” That is what the PHX East Valley is striving to be and our region is committed to your business success. Be innovative, be creative and be the next big thing in the PHX East Valley.

To learn more about the PHX East Valley region, visit: www.phxeastvalley.org.

– John Lewis is president/CEO of the East Valley Partnership, a regional coalition of business, education, community and government leaders based in Mesa.

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