Phoenix is one of America’s top five cities for creating small business opportunities and opening doors for entrepreneurs according to the National Federation of Independent Business.
The national organization cites “Phoenix’s rebounding economy, favorable climate and entrepreneurial culture” as elements that attract small business owners.
NFIB specifically recognized the City Council’s recent steps to improve efficiency and make it easier to do business with the city. Phoenix now offers online review of building plans and has co-located city and Maricopa County permitting services at City Hall.
“This ranking is a testament to the actions we’re taking to lift small and local businesses,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “We’re moving in a new economic direction – one that creates real opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs.”
NFIB State Director Farrell Quinlan said one of Phoenix’s advantages is that it is a relatively young big city. “The majority of people starting small businesses and prospering were born somewhere else,” Quinlan said. “That kind of ‘new blood’ and vitality means opportunities in Phoenix aren’t encumbered by an ‘old boys’ network.”
“This puts Phoenix in a position to compete in the global economy, making us faster, smarter and better than our competitor cities,” said Councilman Sal DiCiccio. “Getting 24-hour permitting and the ability to submit plans online allows businesses to open today, not months from now. The Mayor and Council recognized that it grows our economy faster when we help businesses take off quickly.”
DiCiccio and former Councilman Tom Simplot led a 125-member Ad Hoc Development Task Force that provided recommendations for how to streamline the city’s permit process.
Under Stanton’s leadership, the City also adopted a Shop Local policy that increased the value of procurement contracts to local businesses from just $50,000 to more than $2.3 million in just two years. The same concept was applied to local banking practices – the city has more than $36 million deposited in local banks, with plans to invest more.
The other cities that round out NFIB’s list are Casper, Wyo.; Jackson, Miss.; Las Vegas, and Orlando, Fla.