Tag Archives: Barry Broome

assembling-opporunities

Manufacturers Find Business-Friendly Environment In Arizona

Gov. Jan Brewer has done a lot to make Arizona more competitive for manufacturing, economic development leaders say.

“The repeal of the energy sales tax on gas and electricity is very big for us,” says Mark Dobbins, co-chairman of the Arizona Manufacturing Partnership at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “We have a business friendly reputation and this change makes a big difference in our attractiveness to manufacturing.”

But there is one piece of the puzzle that still creates concern.

“Businesses wanting to relocate to Arizona are impressed with the business-friendly climate in the state,” Dobbins continues. “The question I hear most is, ‘Will I find an educated and experienced workforce for my business?’”

Concerns over education bring the Partnership and other economic development advocates around to the next focus — a quality, educated workforce to serve Arizona’s growing job demand. The conversation started with business, the community colleges, state universities and schools during the depths of the recession.

“The tax cut makes a major difference for a corporation,” says Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Tesla, if it locates here, saves $30 million to $40 million a year with that bill in place.”

Broome considers SB1413 the most important bill for business in the current session. “The (manufacturers electricity sales tax) exemption brings us in line with most of the rest of the country; only 15 states had such a tax. For big power users, this is a make-or-break proposition. High technology companies spend more on power than payroll.”

“Continuous innovation is what keeps Arizona competitive in manufacturing,” says Sandra Watson, CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We believe that the future is in research and development and Arizona has one of the most competitive R&D tax credits in the country.”

The ACA manages that tax credit and it’s not handed out lightly or just for large manufacturers. The state has seen much of its manufacturing employment growth, now six percent of the workforce, from the smaller businesses. The ACA makes the credit available to any sized qualifying firm.

The state’s manufacturing history is sometimes lost in the ads for golf courses and new subdivisions. “We have a history of solid manufacturing in the state that goes back 50 or 60 years,” recounts Steve Macias, president and CEO of Pivot Manufacturing, Arizona Commerce Authority board member, and chairman of the Arizona Manufacturers Council, which falls under the umbrella of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “This gives us a solid workforce with experience, ability and productivity that is a plus for any manufacturer wanting to relocate or expand.

In addition to the cut on the utility sales tax, SB1484 was another breakthrough for manufacturers. The bill created energy tax credits that can be claimed by manufacturers generating renewable energy to power Arizona operations.

Dobbins says that Arizona has all the right assets in place for manufacturing today, but can’t rest on what we have now for the future. “We need to invest more to build our assets up,” he says. “We need a lot of work to build our competitive logistics infrastructure.”

He lists logistics where the state needs to invest more money and projects. “We’re in great shape when it comes to passenger traffic with Sky Harbor and (Phoenix-Mesa) Gateway airports. We need to do more for air freight.”

Dobbins believes Arizona’s manufacturing future is in building our exports with Canada, Mexico and South America. He’s not alone in that view. State Transportation Board Member Joseph La Rue emphasizes the same position. “Interstate 11 makes this market a crossroads. Right now, we’re just connected to the east and west.”

The state is taking effective action, says Macias. “With the change in (sales tax on energy) and (research and development) tax credit, we’re a state that is very appealing to a capital intensive business. Arizona is moving in the right direction.”

Arizona’s manufacturing opportunities are spread across the state. Most people think of Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma as the places where the businesses cluster, but small manufacturers are seeing emerging markets in Flagstaff, Prescott and Kingman, according to Dobbins.

With the tax credits and incentives offered through the ACA and some local governments, Macias says a small manufacturer can take advantage of an underemployed workforce in a rural area. Arizona provides significant tax credits and incentives for businesses to train and develop their employees. These come through ACA and the Department of Economic Security Workforce Arizona programs.

“We’ve always had aerospace, defense and semiconductors as our base,” says Broome. “We’re starting to build manufacturing industry clusters in high technology glass. GT Advanced Technology in Mesa and Rioglass Solar Steel in Surprise are a start. Once businesses start to cluster, more become interested because it means there’s a growing, skilled workforce.”

“We need to do more to build our workforce,” says Dobbins. “Arizona has consistently underfunded education and we’re paying that cost now. Common Core standards will give us a business-accepted measure of how our workforce stacks up. We don’t just mean in college education, but also in the important areas of technical education.”

“Common Core (education standards) are driven by business so that there is a national standard of comparison,” says Macias. “We’ve been working on the need for a trained and educated workforce so that we don’t slip into a deep recession in the future. We were too dependent on construction.”
Arizona needs to get the word out, experts say.

“When people come in to Sky Harbor, they’re overwhelmed with ads for golf, resorts and housing,” muses Macias. “That’s why they’re here in the winter. We need to overwhelm them with a message of what we do in Arizona. We do a lot, and we do it very well.

global

GPEC position aligned with WTO ruling on tariffs

A ruling by the World Trade Organization earlier last week affirmed the position the Greater Phoenix Economic Council held in 2012, opposing the countervailing duties placed on Chinese-manufactured solar panels.

The ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) counters the position taken by the International Trade Commission (ITC) in 2012, which imposed tariffs on Chinese-manufactured photovoltaic cells and modules. In a formal letter to the US Department of Commerce, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) strongly opposed the tariffs on the grounds the duties would have a detrimental effect on the existing solar and renewable energy industry in the Greater Phoenix region.

“We are encouraged by the decision of the WTO, and are optimistic the US will move quickly to reverse its course on these tariffs,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Our state leaders have enacted sound pro-business policies, including renewable energy tax credits, which have resulted in significant investment to the region. The 2012 decision by the ITC was completely antithetical to those efforts.”

The ITC is currently considering additional rounds of countervailing duties on solar goods from China; however the recent announcement from the WTO suggests bringing the US measures in line with the ruling offered by the WTO.

For additional information on GPEC’s previous statements regarding this issue, please visit www.gpec.org/tariff.

4127 E. Van Buren

Prosper Marketplace expands into Phoenix

Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc. negotiated a 17,998-square-foot lease for Prosper Marketplace, a peer-to-peer lending company that opened a new office at Airport Tech Center, 4127 E. Van Buren St.

It is the first office outside the company’s San Francisco headquarters. The Prosper platform connects people who want to borrow money with people who want to invest money, offering an alternative to traditional banking institutions.

“They initially toured over 20 locations and buildings,” said Larry Downey, Vice Chairman for Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona. “Airport Tech Center gave Prosper Marketplace a central location within the city and great access to the transportation freeway corridors. This is a very functional building for them and gives them the flexibility and room to expand within the project.”

Located minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the new location is currently recruiting, with plans to expand to 40 employees in its first year. The office will eventually employ about 150 people.

“The Prosper platform has grown more than 400 percent over the past year, and we expect continued growth in 2014. Prosper Marketplace is excited to open a new office in Phoenix to support our growth, and we are looking forward to being part of the local business community,” said Josh Tonderys, Chief Risk Officer, Prosper Marketplace.

“We are encouraged by the expansion of companies like Prosper Marketplace,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The new jobs that will be available at the Phoenix office show a transformative shift from traditional back office jobs, providing exciting new opportunities for the existing technical talent in the region.”

Downey and Curtis Chickerneo of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant. The landlord, Arden Realty Limited Partnership, was represented by Jerry Roberts and Corey Hawley of CBRE. Occupancy is in late July.

Broome

Broome taking part in Global Cities Initiative

As part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council president and CEO Barry Broome, will join various business and elected leaders for a discussion on the development of a metropolitan export strategy.

“The mayors and business leaders from the region have led in the transformation of our economy” said Broome. “Developing a metropolitan export strategy through the Global Cities Initiative is a critical step toward ensuring our economic future.”

The forum, Going Global: Boosting Greater Phoenix’s Economic Future, taking place today at ASU Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will feature many speakers, including Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce William M. Daly, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program co-directors Bruce Katz and Amy Liu, and Chase market manager for Arizona and Nevada Curtis Reed, Jr.

The half-day event will center on preliminary market assessment findings on how the Greater Phoenix region can better position its global competitiveness. The city of Phoenix is part of a network of regions across the nation participating in the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange to help develop global engagement strategies

Closing out the forum, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker will join the program via satellite to make an announcement regarding the National Export Initiative.

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:15 p.m.

phoenix

GPEC Earns Economic Development honor

Cited as one of the Best to Invest Top U.S. Groups of 2013, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) has once again made Site Selection magazine’s annual ranking for top U.S. Economic Development Groups.

“This recognition is a reflection of our elected and business leaders working together to promote Greater Phoenix and Arizona as business friendly,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The Arizona Competitiveness Package of 2011 and subsequent economic development policies have dramatically shifted our market’s competitive position towards advanced manufacturing and other high-tech industries.”

The ranking took into account four objective categories: new jobs, new jobs per 10,000 residents, new investment amount and new investment per 10,000 residents. “This year’s Best to Invest Top Groups in the U.S. all demonstrated an ability to reach new markets while reaping significant reinvestments from their existing industries,” said Ron Starner, general manager and executive vice president of Conway Data Inc. and Site Selection magazine.

The magazine also features a ranking for top North American deals of 2013, highlighting the Apple, Inc. locate to Mesa, Ariz. The collaboration included a partnership between GPEC, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the city of Mesa, DMB Associates, Maricopa County, and Salt River Project.

Several factors contributed to determining the Top Deals of 2013, including: level of capital investment, degree of high-wage jobs, creativity in negotiations and incentives, regional economic impact, competition for the project and speed to market. “Trends among this elite group of projects include a penchant for free trade zones and an awareness that sometimes facility reuse is as good as brand new,” said Adam Bruns, managing editor of Site Selection.

Broome credits the successful consummation of the project to “years of work on infrastructure, permitting, and crafting performance-based incentives.” He also cited the ability to offer a “turnkey real estate option” as a key factor in sealing the deal.

Marina Heights rendering courtesy of DAVIS.

Arizona Commercial Real Estate Experts predict slow recovery leading to better 2015

In the ’90s, the joke was that the state bird was a construction crane, says AAED’s Executive Director Joyce Grossman. She motions out the window of her downtown Phoenix office and says, “You look around here, and you see cranes in the air. That means jobs.”
Arizona isn’t seeing the growth it did in the ’90s, Gorssman continues, but at least we’re not going backward. Arizona is slated to be one of the fastest growing states over the next five years, and GPEC CEO Barry Broome predicts 2014 will see a lot of creative and risky development.
“It’s going to be a developer’s paradise around here for the ones who are really smart and creative, and it’s gonna take some guts,” says Broome. “So, if you’re waiting for your building to be 50 percent leased before you break ground, you’re going to miss a lot of opportunities.”
Phoenix is running out of space, as far as large-scale investment goes, but Broome says  that will be cause for in-fill and urban development. Also, next year will bring spec business development opportunities to people who own land in the West Valley.
“If you have a building, it’s going to go off the market,” Broome says. “If you don’t’ have a building, you might not be in business. In the next two years, there’s going to be so much capital moving from the balance sheets of corporations and into the economy that you’re gonna see a lot of large-scale appetite for buildings.”
Another prediction, looking 25 years ahead, is the importance of transit-oriented development — particularly that along the light rail and Loop 303.
“The old model is going to be in business, but the new model is where the action’s going to be,” Broome says. “My concern is the Valley is an increasingly more complicated market to understand.”
Rural America is growing at a faster rate than the urban areas, and Mignonne Hollis, executive director of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation, suggests the state is headed in the right direction with Arizona Commerce Authority’s rural grants.
The East Valley has seen significant increase in development and business attraction — “I can point to almost any point of the city and say, ‘There’s the growth,’” says Mesa’s Director of Economic Development Bill Jabjiniak. “It’s just a matter of figuring out how the city helps.” (See page 26 for more details on SE Valley development.)

LAYING A NEW FOUNDATION
The economic developers aren’t the only ones touting innovation. Construction costs and a labor shortage meant a modest year of growth in 2013.
“Twenty-thirteen was a year of reinvention,” says Weitz Executive Vice President Mike Bontrager of the construction industry.
The recession and evolving technological tools were the two major incentives in expanding the company’s services.
“We took a big, hard look at how we were building and how we could add more service and more value to our customer base.”
For Weitz, that meant expanding its front-end services, from site selection to in-house designing and equity and debt prototypes.
“The cautionary forecast is that if (construction costs) go up too much and rents and revenues do not go up to match that, building stops and so construction stops. Some inflation on the material side is being seen but it goes up and down.”
The labor shortage is an issue, Bontrager says.
“In some cases, projects will have to be redesigned,” he says, adding, “Arizona is a race horse in the gate; We just need to get the gate open.”
Next year will be one of recovery. Bontrager forecasts that in the fourth quarter the construction sector may see some pickup in projects.
“I don’t think 2014 is going to be the breakout year a lot of people have forecasted,” Bontrager says.
“Last year was another modest growth year coming out of the recession,” says McCarthy Building Companies Southwest President Bo Calbert. “I say modest, but we were up 20 percent in revenue from last year. We’re experiencing a trend back to normalcy. There’s nothing booming. There’s nothing really taking off. It’s just slow steady growth in a lot of different market sectors.”
Similar to Weitz, McCarthy diversified its company. McCarthy is taking interest in utility-scale solar work and wastewater treatment plants.
“There’s a lot in planning, and I think the commercial developers are seeing that and there are some projects being planned now we won’t see for a year or two.”
As far as education goes, Calbert says, K-12 development is at the mercy of bonds and most of the opportunities remain in community college expansion. Calbert also foresees a slowdown in healthcare projects.
McCarthy has found success in developing its job order contracting market and may see more P3 opportunities due to lack of funding.
“It’s still important to be diversified geographically because of the size of the market out there,” Calbert says. “Most people will tell you it’s going to be that way for another two or three years. You really have to have some market penetration outside of Arizona.”
“The only way we’re going to attract the workforce to Arizona is to raise wages,” Calbert says.

FROM THE MOUTHS OF BROKERS
It’s tale of several submarkets, says Colliers International researcher Pete O’Neill of the Valley. There will be some vacancy challenges in the East Valley and north Phoenix retail markets, he says, adding that some submarkets — Chandler, Tempe and 44th Street — are seeing better absorption.
“Because of so many mixed messages in the national marketplace, it’s hard to deal with uncertainty (and gage demand),” says Colliers International Managing Director Bob Mulhern. “It tends to work against clear decisions.”
Ultimately, brokers expect more of the same in 2014 — industrial and multi-family will be strong participants, retailers may circle around in the pro-business climate and with the exception of a few submarkets office is still dragging its feet.
“An interesting event recently occurred in the office market,” Mulhern says. “There’s no trend yet, since it’s just a one-quarter trend. Rent has decreased every quarter for the last five years. In the (3Q, 2013), action has picked up a bit.”
Based on absorption numbers to date, and with companies such as Apple and State Farm coming to the Valley, Cushman and Wakefield’s Vice Chairman Larry Downey predicts Tempe will be the next big employment hub and where users will look to buy.
“Where there is activity in the office submarket, there will be gains,” Downey says. “Right now, that’s the Southeast Valley.”
As for markets that will need some more time to recover, Downey looks to retail and office within some submarkets.
“Retail needs to shed some inventory before any new product can come online,” he says. “Office in some suburban submarkets will continue to decline or bounce along the bottom.”
“The difference between 2013 and 2014 is going to be from large users to medium and small users taking advantage of the market who are feeling comfortable expanding in the market,” says John Bonnell, managing director of office at Jones Lang LaSalle. Dennis Desmond, senior managing director at JLL, says coastal cap rates are below those in Phoenix, which makes the Valley more attractive.
“We’re seeing a shift back to Phoenix,” Desmond says, adding that JLL recently sold a building at the aggressive rate of 6.15 to a German investor. “Investors realize the worst is behind us now, housing’s going up, we’re getting strong employment numbers again, so from a macro-perspective, acquisition directors can come to Phoenix and go back to their investment committee and say this is why (we should invest).”
Desmond is also excited by the prospect of core product coming back onto the marketplace. Concessions, he said, are also beginning to diminish. Desmond suggests that educating investors about lesser known, burgeoning markets such as those in the East Valley is going to be an important step in office.
The industrial market had a great 2013, says Steve Sayre, executive vice president of industrial services at JLL. He adds the Valley has announced the kind of spec development that hasn’t been seen in years taking the form of the 900KSF industrial business park planned for development near Sky Harbor Airport by a Clarion-Wentworth Property parternship. Sayre predicts more build-to-suits in the Southwest Valley from businesses moving out of Los Angeles. Bill Honsaker, managing director of industrial at JLL, is seeing more confidence in the market.
“I tell people there is more good money out there looking for good product than there is good product,” he says, adding that lease terms are lengthening and more specialized, large spaces are coming to the Valley.
Multi-family will see year-end numbers just under 2012’s $2B for 4,000 units. JLL’s Vice President of Multi-family Investments, Charles Steele, says 2014 will see a bigger influx of delivers between 5,000 and 5,500 and at rents that haven’t been introduced to the Valley before.
“Most are being built at $200 per SF, which is very expensive for Phoenix,” he says. “Typically, we’re asking for rents that haven’t been achieved previously in Phoenix.”
The Broadstone on Camelback is close to 50 percent occupied with rents close to $2 a SF, which is about 50 cents higher than rent prices previously in the submarket. Steele rhetorically asks, if there are enough people making more than $100,000 a year who want to rent in north Tempe and Scottsdale; it takes nine jobs to absorb one unit in Phoenix over the last 25 years, he says.
One of the biggest challenges brokers will face in 2014, Downey says, is the price of land. As it continues to escalate, he says, it will be difficult to break ground on new projects.
Multi-family has already started to adapt its construction from garden-style apartments to podium or wrap projects built around parking garages. Before this cycle, there were less than 10 structure-park apartments, at the end of 2013 there were 25.
About half of the units in 2014 will be structure-park apartments.
“This is uncharted territory,” Steele says. “Houston went through it last cycle. We’re hoping we will go the same way. So far it’s been well-received. The question is how deep is that pool?”

startup

Getting an angel to open the checkbook

Governor Jan Brewer touts her policies and business regulatory climate as the reason Arizona is growing new businesses. That may be a factor, but it’s not the major reason Arizona topped the Kaufman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity in 2012. If it were the case, Arizona would have been on top again in 2013—instead of plummeting to 20th nationally.

“Just because there are a lot of startups,” observes Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, “doesn’t provide a measure of the economic growth in the Valley.” A startup can be someone opening a consultancy, a contractor or the next Apple. Self-employment is a form of startup. The challenge is nurturing a startup so it grows with high value jobs.

Local governments and the Arizona Commerce Authority see major value with growing Arizona startups into enterprises. Chris Mackay, economic development director in Chandler says, “There’s staying power when a business is local. It’s connected to the local community and if the economy falters, the owners are more willing to keep going locally as opposed to closing up shop.” That local staying power is one reason Mackay says Chandler makes big investments in growing future enterprises.

Planting the seeds

Arizona’s new economy needs startups to scale up into enterprises. Those growing small businesses become hiring employers offering high value jobs paying home-buying income. Government policy supporting businesses that can scale up is based on simple economics.

Businesses with more than 20 employees, says the Small Business Administration, generate two of three Arizona paychecks. Those same businesses cut checks for more than 70 percent of Arizona’s private payrolls. The value in 2012 was over $100 billion.

All new businesses are “startups,” but not all startup businesses will be entrepreneurial enterprises. “There is no relation between starting a business and starting a company,” says Dr. Daniel Isenberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice and founding executive director of the Babson College Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project in Boston. “Ninety percent of companies formed don’t grow high value jobs.”

Isenberg says that the difference between a start-up and enterprise is a matter of scale. He is an international advocate for scaling a business to grow as opposed to opening a business. An entrepreneur, he points out, is a business founder with a large company that just happens to be small right now.

Arizona State University, as the new American university, is at the cutting edge of helping turn ideas into enterprise. Recently, the college joined the elite ranks of schools offering a stand-alone degree in entrepreneurship. It’s on that list with Harvard Business School, Babson, and University of Texas. Its goal is getting new businesses that can grow into the market.

Locally grown

ASU says more than 70 percent of its W.P. Carey School of Business MBA graduates remain in Arizona. Keeping these graduates in state provides the human resources necessary to building new enterprises fueling the future economy.

“Starting a company — as opposed to just starting a business — is hard work,” says Isenberg. “An entrepreneur looks at the business and sees it growing. It’s a time of sleep deprivation, hard work, and endless pitches.” Few startups achieve quality growth—less than ten percent, he believes. “The golden triangle of a growing enterprise,” he continues, “is cash, customers and people.”

“An entrepreneurial endeavor isn’t limited to startups,” Isenberg emphasizes. “University research, family businesses, mature companies, all can be turned into a growing enterprise. Most startups tend to stay small.” The key to the economic contribution of startups in Arizona is scalability. He is adamant about it, “Ambition is not a dirty word. A business founder without ambition does not significantly contribute to overall economic growth.”

“There are a number of entrepreneurial success stories arising from a new direction for an existing, mature business,” Isenberg reports. Sometimes it takes a new owner with a vision; sometimes the existing management team finds a new direction. It can be a license from a university, a new product, or an innovative use of an existing product. Entrepreneurship can occur anywhere in a business’ lifecycle.”

Bringing ideas to market

Arizona colleges are on that licensing bandwagon. Entrepreneurs complain that it takes years to license patents or transfer technology from most universities. In ASU’s Office of Knowledge and Enterprise Development, the Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator — first project of its type in the world — slashes technology transfer time from years to months. The AZ Furnace is a joint venture of ASU, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Dignity Health. Funding partners include the Arizona Commerce Authority, BioAccel, and additional support from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“There are hundreds of patents sitting on shelves at universities that could be in the market earning money for creators, colleges and businesses,” enthuses Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group in OKED. “We started a program to get patents into the market quickly.” The startups selected for incubation in AZ Furnace are either entrepreneurs in search of an idea to market or idea-creators ready to market through a business entity. The fledgling enterprises are capital-ready in 12 months or less.

Enterprise starts with a leader and a vision. The scale of the vision is what makes the difference, says Isenberg. The vast majority of business owners are thinking of a model that gets them to the point that they’re putting money in the bank. He says, “Entrepreneurs are thinking of a model that finds smart people, willing customers and puts the cash to back into the enterprise.”

“Angels invest in businesses they understand or CEOs they respect,” says Broome. “There’s a need for more of that in the Valley. We’re just not seeing the next Apple or Google evolving here.”

Gaining visibility

“The biggest challenge about getting angel and venture money is visibility,” says Brandon Clark, region coordinator for Startup Arizona.  “If you’re a promising digital startup locally, it’s a little harder to get noticed nationally being from a region not known for its digital startups.  That’s starting to slowly shift.” National publications, FastCompany and Entrepreneur Magazine, have eyed Arizona as an emerging technology region.

The development opportunity for the small business is capital. Combine the “Broome Factor”—known businesses; known leaders—with the large number of startups, and there are too many funding requests heading towards too few checkbooks.

What makes early investors open pocketbooks to startup businesses is scalability. Businesses with potential to grow create the greatest return on investment for the angels. “It’s also makes a difference to the local economy,” says Isenberg. “Local policymakers need to change their focus from ‘startup’ to a ‘high value growth business’.”

Cities like helping scalable startups — and provide resources that build success. There’s a loyalty factor when the business grows; it typically remains in the hometown that helped it succeed. This is important to Chandler, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Surprise. These five cities have specifically invested in incubators and accelerators to nurture and graduate businesses achieving market traction. Chandler, Phoenix and Tucson have involvement with collaborative workspaces — Gangplank and Co+Hoots — as well.

While an employee or two in a collaborative workspace works well for a while, the time comes when a move up is needed. Clairvoyant, an enterprise and analytics startup now in Chandler Innovations started with Gangplank. “We grew from four employees in March to 12 in April,” smiles Amber Anderson, a firm partner and its business developer. “We needed a place to meet with clients and work with a growing team.” Still self-funded, the growing entity plans to hit 20 employees by January.

Mackay explains, “We help a company like this grow and hope that as it expands it continues to locate in Chandler.” To that end, the city is working with landlords in its Price Corridor to offer “teenage” space that lets a business move from the heavily subsidized rents and back office support of the incubator into its own place—without too much sticker shock.

Support from cities

The difference by which startup is accepted into a city’s incubator is the ability to scale up from the garage to commercial space; from one employee to more than 20. Chandler and Mesa are looking for businesses with this capacity. Innovations gives lab and office space to businesses that have formed entities — LLCs, corporations, partnerships — and a business plan. Mesa’s new Technology Accelerator is planned with a similar focus, but is looking for businesses at an earlier stage. Surprise’s Arizona TechCelerator wants to shepherd a business to the angel investor stage.

In Surprise, scalability is one of the criteria to be accepted into Arizona’s oldest incubator. The TechCelerator is looking for businesses offering something outside the box or creating a new niche. “The company has to be started before we’ll consider them,” says Julie Neal, the economic development coordinator for the city’s enterprise. “They need a mentor, a plan and have to know where they are going.”

“Scaling up is difficult,” says Isenberg, “but doing it right defines the difference between the successful entrepreneur with a growth business and a startup that just stays small. Marketplaces are competitive. The startup has to acquire customers. That means overcoming inertia or changing buyer behavior. While established companies are cruising on their business platforms, the startup has to hire people, start a company, raise money, and all the while, it’s competing in the marketplace. That’s tough work.”

After incubation, the business must gain market traction. At this phase, the fledgling enterprise has product going out and customers paying for it. The kinks are being smoothed, and it’s time to move up to the next stage and grow. Isenberg says that the high growth criterion is simply 20 percent annual increases in sales or staff for five years.

Getting capital

To make this leap requires high levels of capital — the checks venture capitalists cut. The biggest challenge in Phoenix is that there are few sources for local venture capital. The venturists hang out in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, San Diego and Seattle. “There are even a couple of funds with deep ties to the Valley,” worries Clark, “but they have very little involvement in local startups.”

Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, had to travel out of town for his venture capital. “At one time, I was told that a fund wouldn’t cut a check for a firm in Phoenix because we didn’t have the workforce for success,” he says. “That’s no longer true; venture funds are seeing that there is a real climate for success in the Valley.”

Another resource for a growing business is the Arizona Commerce Authority’s “Growing Your Arizona Business” services. The quasi-public agency provides mentorship, regulatory assistance, access to incentive programs and site selection. It also works as a liaison connecting the growing business with other business resources. The agency mentors businesses in accessing federal procurement and grant opportunities as well as serving as an entrée to international trade.

Overall, the major resource in Arizona for start-up businesses is the universities. Anemic legislative funding for the schools causes their efforts to help to face the same struggles growing businesses face. Their efforts to improve Arizona’s long-term economy are stymied by a declining source of capital.

“ASU is underfunded,” complains Barry Broome. “The school has done an amazing job despite being financially crippled by budget cuts. It’s suffering from a lack of resources to take its programs to scale.” “Scalability” is applicable to the business-development programs at the universities and other public agencies just as it is for growing enterprises.

“Getting money for those programs is the top job for the next governor,” predicts Broome.
Opportunity in Arizona will come from the core of businesses growing today. They will create the jobs for the new economy and drive economic success for the next generation.

microchip technology

Phoenix Joins Initiative to Promote Global Trade

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council announced the region has been selected as one of eight metro areas in the country to join a new exchange network created by the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase. The Exchange is a network of metropolitan areas committed to promoting greater global trade and economic competitiveness. As part of the inaugural Exchange, Greater Phoenix will be required to design and implement a regional export plan in 2014.

In Greater Phoenix, the Global Cities Initiative will be led City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and a core leadership team including the following representatives:

> Joe Stewart, market manager – AZ & NV Middle Market, Chase
> Dennis Hoffman, professor and director, L. William Seidman Research Institute at the
W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University
> Barry Broome, president and CEO Greater Phoenix Economic Council

“A strong trade and export strategy is critical to our region’s economic vitality, so I’m honored to lead this initiative for Greater Phoenix,” Mayor Stanton said. “I look forward to working with my fellow mayors and business and community leaders to build a regional export plan that capitalizes on our unique assets and advances a stronger and healthier economic platform by expanding our global trade and investment strategies.”

Other participating groups include the Arizona Export District Council, Canada-Arizona Business Council, Intel and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Brookings selected metropolitan areas to join the network after an extensive application process that evaluated regions’ readiness and capability to pursue the Exchange’s curriculum and commitment to fulfill its goals. Greater Phoenix joins Atlanta; Greenville, S.C.; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Fla.; Milwaukee; Phoenix; Sacramento, Calif.; and Wichita, Kan., in the Exchange’s inaugural class, which will work together over the next four years to establish new metro-to-metro relationships and to share best practices in global economic development.

“For the Exchange, we selected metro areas that are committed to expanding their global economic reach by working together to identify regional competitive strengths and increase exports,” said Brad McDearman, Brookings fellow. “The eight metro areas selected for this round represent a growing group of U.S. metro areas that understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”

Over time, the network will expand to include additional U.S. and international cities working together to strengthen their local economies through increased engagement with the rest of the world. This builds on the Global Cities Initiative’s work, which equips metropolitan leaders with the information, policy ideas, and global connections they need to bolster their regions’ positions in the global economy.

“I’m delighted Greater Phoenix will be a part of this new network – it’s exactly the kind of innovative planning that is needed to ensure our community’s long-term economic success,” said Joe Stewart, market manager – AZ & NV Middle Market, Chase. “We have a long history of helping businesses connect to global markets and now the Exchange brings additional resources to help our region’s leaders design strategies to further create jobs and grow our economy through greater global engagement.”

The Global Cities Initiative supports the region’s existing efforts to implement the Brookings Metropolitan Business Plan (MBP), where business, university, political and civic leaders have adopted several core strategies to leverage  the region’s assets in a way that secures economic strength for Greater Phoenix through the 21st century. The Global Cities Initiative will serve to fulfill the MBP’s global export and foreign direct investment strategy. Further details about the MBP will be announced in early 2014.

“It’s fantastic that Greater Phoenix is participating in this initiative – a reflection of our unified commitment to attract and retain export-based businesses that are ultimately responsible for regional economic growth and prosperity,” said Dennis Hoffman, professor and director, L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. “A strong research university is an important attractor for businesses seeking talent and knowledge capital that can help them succeed in global markets, and I am pleased to represent ASU in this initiative.”

Metro area leaders play a critical role in promoting trade and developing infrastructure. Regional economic development leaders representing both the public and private sectors can help local firms access new markets and align existing export services because they know their regions best. These leaders are also best equipped to coordinate regional assets—such as skills training, innovation capacities, and freight and logistics—to better support global trade.

“In Greater Phoenix, we are already making exports and foreign direct investment a central and consistent part of our broader regional economic development strategy. Adding this partnership with the Global Cities Initiative will only strengthen our results,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “I look forward to the collaboration involved – not only within our own regional leadership but also with the other participating metro areas – to advance and diversify our region’s economy and solidify our future prosperity.”

In December, the Greater Phoenix Exchange team will join those of the other accepted metropolitan areas at Brookings in Washington to participate in their first working group session, where they will learn how to develop an export plan as part of a global economic development strategy. Throughout the four-year Exchange, participating metros will periodically convene for in-person working groups and will continually engage in curriculum via conference calls and webinars.

Coinciding with the work of the Exchange, Greater Phoenix will host a forum in 2014, bringing together regional and national experts on trade. Greater Phoenix is the only metro participating in the Global Cities Initiative to host such a forum. Its proximity to Mexico and trade relationships position the region as the ideal host of a conversation on global trade and exports.

Phil Schiller

Apple brings 700 jobs to Valley manufacturing plant

Apple Inc. says it will open a manufacturing plant in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa that will eventually employ 700 workers.

“Apple’s presence in the region will be a game-changer for the Greater Phoenix area, its innovation landscape and future ability to attract other high-tech companies,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “Between their plans to hire 700 direct employees and run completely on renewable energy, I’m convinced Apple could not have chosen a better location than Mesa and Eastmark. This deal is the result of the cooperation and support of several parties, including Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri, City of Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, DMB Associates, the ACA and SRP, whose infrastructure will enable more projects to move forward in the surrounding area.”

The Cupertino, Calif., maker of the iPhone confirmed Monday that it is expanding its U.S. manufacturing operations in a former First Solar plant in Mesa. The city southeast of Phoenix already hosts a long list of high-tech manufacturing firms.

About 1,300 construction jobs will also be created as the First Solar plant designed to make thin-film solar panels is converted. The company sold the plant last month.

Apple spokeswoman Kristen Huguet says the plant will be powered with renewable energy provided by local utility Salt River Project.

Gov. Jan Brewer said Apple’s decision to come to Arizona is a sign that the state’s efforts to provide a pro-business climate are paying off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hamer - June 2011-fornewsletter

Gap is Narrowing on Immigration Reform

Various Arizona Chamber and business leaders have made numerous visits to Washington, D.C. over the years to push for reform of our nation’s badly broken immigration system. As a border state, we understand this issue well. For years, the business community in Arizona has been pressing Congress and the Administration for a secure border, workable visa and guest worker programs, nationwide employee verification programs such as E-Verify, and a way for those who did not enter the country legally but are now contributing to our state to get right with the law, especially those brought to this country as children. The failure of the federal government to act resulted in Arizona and many other states trying to do immigration reform on their own, resulting in a patchwork of policies nationwide.

But it is obvious today that all roads to reform lead through Washington, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Arizona v. U.S., which held that state attempts to regulate immigration were preempted by federal immigration law.

This past Tuesday, when a group of about 20 Arizona business, faith and law enforcement leaders visited with all nine of our U.S. House members, we were not alone. Over 600 leaders from over 40 states took to Capitol Hill to urge House Members, with a focus on the Republican majority, to support bringing legislation to the floor this year.

I had the privilege to address the gathering on Monday night at the opening reception to discuss why reform is so important and beneficial to our economy and security. Our country’s greatest comparative advantage is that the best, brightest and hardest workers from across the globe desire to work in our country.

Before we hit the Hill on Tuesday, we gathered at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to prepare. The U.S. Chamber and their Senior Vice President Randel Johnson have been the lead business organization on this entire reform effort. At the kickoff meeting we heard from conservative icon Grover Norquist, who made the free-market case for reform.  Former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Rebecca Tallent of the Bipartisan Policy Center remarked that all credible studies of reform point to significant economic and budgetary benefits. Fresno County (Calif.) Sheriff Margaret Mims made a compelling case for the increased security reform could bring. Faith leaders offered a humanitarian case for reform, and our delegation was joined by a number of pastors working in coordination with a coalition called Bibles, Badges and Business.

While in Washington, we had the good fortune to run into ASU President Michael Crow, who is a strong supporter of reform. Our universities would benefit enormously from federal action. As Arizona Board of Regents President Eileen Klein says, “Our ability to produce a highly-skilled workforce and thriving research enterprise that stimulate a growing, vibrant economy for Arizona will be strengthened by balanced immigration laws that promote access to education and economic opportunities.”

Our conversations with our House delegation were positive. While it is fair to say that there were differences in approach, all of our representatives agree that our nation’s immigration system is badly broken, and I believe that they all want to have a hand in getting it fixed.

While we are very proud and thankful for the hard and good work of our two U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, in crafting the Senate immigration proposal, it is clear that the House, as is its right, will draft its own plan and proceed with a series of bills as opposed to an omnibus. In fact, five different bills ranging from border security measures to efforts to fix some of our visa problems in the high-tech and agricultural sectors have passed two different House committees.

All agreed that we need to enhance our border security. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery offered some suggestions on changes that would allow for him to be more effective in assisting in border security. Nationwide use of E-Verify, a system already in wide use in Arizona due to the requirements of the Legal Arizona Workers Act, is another common area of support. And all agree on the need for visa reform, although there are some differences in scope. There may be an effort in the House to expand on the number of lower-skilled visas available as compared to the Senate bill.

The most difficult issue is how to deal with the 11 million who did not enter this country legally. There is growing support for some type of legalization, and even citizenship for the Dreamers, those individuals brought to the U.S. as children. But it is hard to imagine the citizenship language in the Senate bill passing in the House.

Although there are differences between the Senate and House, those differences are narrowing. But as one of our congressmen told our group, if the House is faced with making an all or nothing choice when considering the Senate legislation, the House will go with nothing.

Hard work will be required to get a package passed. This is not naming a post office. This could be the first significant immigration legislation to pass since 1986. This will take real leadership from Congress and the White House, where our president needs to channel his inner Bill Clinton and put on the charm on Capitol Hill.

Leadership from the business community will be required, too. If the House considers reform this year, job creators from across the country should welcome the opportunity to help broker a deal between the House, Senate and President Obama. We’re doing our part in Arizona, and we’ll keep at it until a deal gets done.

Postscript: I want to thank everyone who joined our team to urge Congress to pass an immigration reform package.

Barry Broome, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Lea Marquez Peterson, President and CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney
Jack Harris, former police chief, City of Phoenix
Mary Ann Miller, President and CEO, Tempe Chamber of Commerce
Chad Heinrich, Vice President of Public Policy and Economic Development, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Vice Mayor Tony Rivero, City of Peoria
Steve Moore, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau
Pastor Gary Kinnaman
Pastor Bob Hake, Orangewood Church, Phoenix
Pastor Dan Steffen, Pure Heart Christian Fellowship, Glendale
Nan and Dick Walden, Farmers Investment Co., Sahuarita, Ariz.
Russell Johnson, President and CEO, Merchants Information Solutions, Inc.
Adam Estle, Bibles, Badges and Business
Brett Hunt, Bibles, Badges and Business

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. 

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. 

economic development - 8 honored

GPEC honors Valley mayors for contributions

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) last night honored Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord at its annual dinner, which celebrates GPEC’s successes over the past year and looks ahead to upcoming initiatives. This year’s dinner sold out with an all-time high attendance of approximately 650.

Mayor Tibshraeny was presented GPEC’s Outstanding Regional Contribution award for his exceptional leadership, which has helped increase Greater Phoenix’s economic competitiveness and create a more diversified regional economy. His assistance in the successful recruitment of General Motors, Continuum Nationstar Mortgage and many other organizations has resulted in more than 4,800 jobs for the Chandler area and propelled economic prosperity for the surrounding region.

“Mayor Tibshraeny has expanded the region’s technology sector with his steadfast leadership and business savvy,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Chandler’s innovative approach to economic development, and the entrepreneurial talent it recruits, is helping to make the Greater Phoenix region this country’s next high-technology hub.”

Mayor Lord received the Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in spearheading GPEC’s official protest against the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) proposed tariff on Chinese-manufactured photovoltaic panels. While the tariff was ultimately still imposed, Mayor Lord’s eloquently represented both Goodyear and the region on a national stage during a formal hearing at the ITC in Washington. She also expertly led GPEC’s Ambassador Steering Committee for three years, taking it from 130 participants to more than 1,200.

“Mayor Lord’s dedication to her community, its citizens and its employers are second to none,” Broome said. “Her leadership on the solar tariff issue greatly advanced the reputation of both Goodyear and the Greater Phoenix region, particularly abroad. As a result, she’s also shown the world’s businesses and entrepreneurs that the region supports, and advocates for, free trade.”

During the ceremony, GPEC showed videos highlighting each mayor’s successes. Those videos can be viewed at the following links:

Mayor Tibshraeny: https://vimeo.com/76570245
Mayor Lord: https://vimeo.com/76573543

118315706

GPEC announces Board of Directors for FY 2014

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) today announced the appointment of its Board of Directors for the 2014 fiscal year, as approved by the Executive Committee.

Alliance Bank of Arizona CEO James Lundy will continue to lead the Board of Directors as chairman.

“As the economy continues to improve, GPEC’s team of results-driven board directors will work to ensure the region not only maintains its trajectory but also pushes toward a more diversified and sustainable economy that is less dependent on growth industries like real estate and construction,” Lundy said. “I’m honored to work with this talented group of professionals and look forward to a productive year.”

Rounding out the Board’s leadership is SCF Arizona President and CEO Don Smith and Empire Southwest Executive Vice President Chris Zaharis as vice chairs, APS Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Tammy McLeod as secretary and Bryan Cave, LLP Partner R. Neil Irwin as treasurer.

New Board Directors include: Steve Banta, CEO of Valley Metro; the Honorable Denny Barney, District 1 Supervisor for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; Scott Bradley, Area Vice President for Waste Management; Mark Clatt, Area President for Republic Services; the Honorable Vincent Francia, Mayor of the Town of Cave Creek; Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, President of the University of Arizona; Bill Jabjiniak, Economic Development Director for the City of Mesa; the Honorable Michael LeVault, Mayor of the Town of Youngtown; Rich Marchant, Executive Vice President, Global Operations for Crescent Crown Distributing; Ryan Nouis, Co-Founder and President of Job Brokers; and Eric Orsborn, Councilmember for the Town of Buckeye.

“GPEC’s success is largely driven by its strong Board of Directors, all of whom reflect the region and state’s most accomplished professionals,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Every single one of them truly cares about our market’s success and serves as a community thought leader when it comes to competitiveness.”

Mayors from GPEC’s member communities and the organization’s Nominating Committee are responsible for nominating and appointing Board Directors. The one-year terms are approved during GPEC’s Annual Board meeting.

GPEC FY 2014 Board of Directors:

James Lundy – Chairman
CEO
Alliance Bank of Arizona

Don Smith – Vice Chair
President and CEO
SCF Arizona

Chris Zaharis – Vice Chair
Executive Vice President
Empire Southwest

Tammy McLeod – Secretary
Vice President and Chief Customer Officer
Arizona Public Service Company

R. Neil Irwin – Treasurer
Partner
Bryan Cave, LLP

William Pepicello, Ph.D. – Immediate Past Chair
President
University of Phoenix

Barry Broome
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Richard C. Adkerson
President and CEO
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

Jason Bagley
Government Affairs Manager
Intel

Ron Butler
Managing Partner
Ernst & Young LLP

Brian Campbell
Attorney
Campbell & Mahoney, Chartered

Michael Crow, Ph.D.
President
Arizona State University

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Midwestern University

Derrick Hall
President and CEO
Arizona Diamondbacks

Sharon Harper
President and CEO
The Plaza Companies

Ann Weaver Hart, Ph.D.
President
University of Arizona

Don Kile
President, Master Planned Communities
The Ellman Companies

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation

Rich Marchant
Executive Vice President, Global Operations
Crescent Crown Distributing

David Rousseau
President
Salt River Project

Joseph Stewart
Chairman and CEO
JPMorgan Chase Arizona

Hyman Sukiennik
Vice President
Cox Business

Karrin Kunasek Taylor
Executive Vice President and
Chief Entitlements Officer
DMB Associates, Inc.

Gerrit van Huisstede
Regional President Desert Mountain Region
Wells Fargo

Andy Warren
President
Maracay Homes

Richard B. West, III
President
Carefree Partners

John Zidich
Publisher & President
The Arizona Republic

Chuck Allen
Managing Director, Gov’t & Community Relations
US Airways

Steve Banta
CEO
Valley Metro

Denny Barney
County Supervisor-District 1
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Jason Barney
Principal and Partner
Landmark Investments

The Honorable Robert Barrett
Mayor
City of Peoria

Timothy Bidwill
Vice President
Vermilion IDG

Scott Bradley
Area Vice President, Four Corners Area
Waste Management

Norman Butler
Market Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mark Clatt
Area President
Republic Services

Jeff Crockett
Shareholder
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Wyatt Decker, M.D.
CEO
Mayo Clinic Arizona

George Forristall
Director of Project Development
Mortenson Construction

The Honorable Vincent Francia
Mayor
Town of Cave Creek

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.
Chancellor
Maricopa Community Colleges

Barry Halpern
Partner
Snell and Wilmer

G. Todd Hardy
Vice President of Assets
ASU Foundation

Lynne Herndon
Phoenix City President
BBVA Compass

Linda Hunt
Senior VP of Operations and President/CEO
Dignity Health Arizona

William Jabiiniak
Economic Development Director
City of Mesa

The Honorable Robert Jackson
Mayor
City of Casa Grande

The Honorable Linda Kavanagh
Mayor
Town of Fountain Hills

The Honorable Andy Kunasek
County Supervisor, District 3
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

The Honorable Michael LeVault
Mayor
Town of Youngtown

The Honorable John Lewis
Mayor
Town of Gilbert

The Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers
Mayor
City of Avondale

The Honorable Georgia Lord
Mayor
City of Goodyear

Jeff Lowe
President
MidFirst Bank

Paul Magallanez
Economic Development Director
City of Tolleson

Kate Maracas
Vice President
Abengoa

The Honorable Mark Mitchell
Mayor
City of Tempe

Ryan Nouis
Co-Founder & President
Job Brokers

Ed Novak
Managing Partner
Polsinelli Shughart

Eric Osborn
Councilmember
Town of Buckeye

Rui Pereira
General Manager
Rancho de Los Caballeros

The Honorable Christian Price
Mayor
City of Maricopa

Craig Robb
Managing Director
Zions Energy Link

The Honorable Jeff Serdy
Councilmember
City of Apache Junction

Steven M. Shope, Ph.D.
President
Sandia Research Corporation

James T. Swanson
President and CEO
Kitchell Corporation

Richard J. Thompson
President and CEO
Power-One

Jay Tibshraeny
Mayor
City of Chandler

John Welch
Managing Partner
Squire Sanders

Dan Withers
President
D.L. Withers Construction

The Honorable Sharon Wolcott
Mayor
City of Surprise

GENERAL COUNSEL
Bryant Barber
Attorney at Law
Lewis and Roca

sharon.harper

Harper wins national economic development award

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council today announced that Plaza Companies President and CEO Sharon Harper has won a citizen leadership award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The Citizen Leadership Award, part of the IEDC’s annual award series, is presented to a community or business leader who has been involved in economic development for at least 10 years.

Harper has been a board director at GPEC since it was founded in 1989. She was chairwoman of the board in FY2003 and has co-chaired GPEC’s International Council since it commenced in 2007. To date, one of her biggest accomplishments was her partnership with Arizona State University to open SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center. Since its 2007 inception, SkySong has generated an economic impact of more than $460 million for the region.

“Sharon was selected for this award because she is a stellar business and community leader,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “I’m honored to have her longstanding leadership on GPEC’s Board of Directors and applaud her multifaceted efforts to improve the Greater Phoenix region.”

“The Greater Phoenix Economic Council has been front and center, leading job creation and business growth in the state of Arizona, and our communities and our residents benefit dramatically,” Harper said. “It has been such an honor to be a part of the economic engine that has supported the lifestyle, the educational opportunities and the job growth opportunities for today and for the future.”

Plaza Companies is a nationally-recognized real estate development, investment and management firm. Harper is active throughout the Greater Phoenix community, also serving on the board of directors for Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Banner Health Foundation and Arizona Community Foundation, among others. She has been on GPEC’s board of directors for nearly 25 years and is the only founding board director to still serve.

GPEC also received a 2013 IEDC award for its monthly eNewsletter, GPEC Connection, which received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development award.

“The Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the Greater Phoenix Economic Council as being one of the leading organizations in the industry for innovation, creativity and successful strategies,” IEDC Chairman Paul Krutko said. “These awards are meant to honor the organizations and individuals who are dedicated to making a positive change in their communities.  The award represents an acknowledgment and appreciation for GPEC’s dedication to continuous growth within itself, as well as improving the industry overall.”

GPEC Connection is sent to more than1,600 individuals and stakeholders. The eNewsletter keeps readers informed about recent news relating to GPEC, lists upcoming GPEC events and includes articles highlighting regional advancement and spotlighting a regional municipality.  It also meets contractual obligations with GPEC’s member communities to report the previous month’s prospect and locate activity.

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Manufacturing Companies

GPEC, ASU earn Department of Commerce Grant

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and Arizona State University (ASU) this week were awarded a $170,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The initiative, called the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” (IMCP) seeks to accelerate manufacturing sectors and job creation in cities across the country.

The funds will be used to develop a plan to implement an Innovation and Commercialization Center for Advanced Manufacturing (ICCAM) in Greater Phoenix that advances the region’s manufacturing sector and improves its competitiveness for domestic and foreign investments, advances research commercialization and prepares workers for advanced manufacturing jobs. The ICCAM will focus on new growth opportunities, like advanced sensor and control technologies, and applications that leverage historic regional strengths like aerospace, semiconductor, electronics, precision and control technologies.

“This grant is crucial to the ICCAM’s success as we seek to support and grow high-tech manufacturing technologies and their respective supply chains by providing access to applied research, product development and design services, as well as access to global markets,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Creating a strategic plan to develop these technologies is important for retaining, upgrading and growing the region’s key industry clusters.”

“This award is further recognition of the significant opportunities for growth in the manufacturing sector in our region and our state” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, Senior Vice President for ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “ASU is committed to ensuring the continued expansion of manufacturing in Arizona and has implemented several programs and initiatives, with community partners and organizations such as GPEC, which will encourage startup and established manufacturing, ensure students become more involved in manufacturing and spur the overall growth of this sector as a driver of Arizona’s economy.”

Together, GPEC and ASU will assemble a project team to implement the project in two phases over a one-year period. Phase I will focus on finalizing the ICCAM’s technical parameters, refining its programs and services and developing performance metrics. Phase II will center on developing implementation strategies, identifying investment sources, building coalitions and finalizing a full implementation plan through the program’s launch.

Pending support from Congress, the ICCAM project will be eligible to compete for future large scale IMCP grants that are 50 to 100 times the size of the implementation strategy grants. This would allow the region to execute on its proposed strategy for advancing manufacturing in Phoenix and beyond.

Business Credit Score

Progrexion Announces Phoenix Office, Hundreds of Jobs

Progrexion, the nation’s leading provider of services in the credit repair industry, today announced it is opening a new office in Phoenix, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the region.

“We are excited to enter such a dynamic and high-quality market like Phoenix to meet our growth demands. We acquired 30,000 square feet in North Phoenix for a sales call center and plan to add hundreds of hires initially, and then grow from there”, said Gene Abernethy, Senior Vice President – Human Resources for Progrexion, based in North Salt Lake, Utah.

“We are excited that Progrexion has chosen Phoenix as its new site,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “This is one example of how Phoenix is making a big comeback in the job market. Our competitive and dynamic workforce makes us a top choice for companies looking for new opportunities.”
Progrexion used Dallas-based global location advisory firm Site Selection Group, LLC to assist in its national site search to expand its credit repair telesales operations.

“We worked closely with Progrexion to filter through a large number of potential cities to determine which location had the best chance to provide high quality associates and community support to meet Progrexion’s growth needs. Phoenix was the clear choice,” stated Samuel J. Pruitt, Executive Vice President & Principal of Site Selection Group, LLC.

“Progrexion is the national market leader in its industry, and its new Phoenix operations will allow the company to access a high-quality workforce to propel its growth initiatives,” said Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson. “Progrexion’s capital investment and expansion in Phoenix will bring hundreds of jobs to Arizonans while strengthening our state’s overall economy.”

Progrexion will host a job fair September 20 from 3-7 p.m. and September 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 20620 North 19th Avenue in Phoenix. They are looking for candidates to fill call center and sales agents positions. On Friday, burgers and live music will also be available. On Saturday, the job fair will feature a family carnival with a bounce house, petting zoo, face painting and prizes.

In addition, Progrexion intends to bring to the Phoenix area its robust corporate giving program, which was launched in Utah in 2012 and has already raised more than $100,000. During the job fair, Progrexion will collect food and cash contributions to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank. For every 10 pounds of food or $10 in cash, attendees of the job fair will be entered into a drawing for many great prizes, including a flat-screen TV and a mountain bike.

“St. Mary’s Food Bank would like to welcome Progrexion to the valley and we look forward to working with a new partner in the fight against hunger,” St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance President and CEO Beverly Damore said. “Progrexion has been a hunger hero in their home state of Utah and were quick to reach out to the World’s First Food Bank upon their arrival in Arizona – where one in four children are affected by food insecurity. We look forward to this great new partnership.”

“Progrexion’s compassion for helping others succeed is a welcome addition to the Greater Phoenix region,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The region’s workforce and community strengths played a major role in their decision, and we’re proud to welcome them to Phoenix.”

“We look forward to being involved in the Phoenix community and establishing ourselves as a true employer of choice,” Abernethy said.

To find out about Progrexion’s career opportunities, visit http://www.progrexion.com/careers.

GPEC Forum

GPEC targets international business executives

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) this week officially launched an international toolkit and forum series, called “Doing Business in Greater Phoenix, U.S.A,” with additional support from the City of Phoenix. The toolkit is designed to assist foreign companies with investment and expansion decisions in the United States and, specifically, the Greater Phoenix region.

From accessing capital to forming strategic partnerships with universities and purchasing land in Arizona – the toolkit is a compilation of how-to advice ranging from human resources issues, immigration law, investment parameters, taxes, import/export laws and banking.

“Phoenix is open for business,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “In order for our economy to be globally competitive, we have to reach out internationally so we can attract the businesses and jobs that will propel Phoenix toward a stronger future. Making our city a place where it’s easier to do business makes it even more attractive to investment. It’s a win-win.”

The toolkit was officially launched last month in Shanghai, where GPEC joined representatives from Green Card Fund, Polsinelli and BDO for the first forum, held in conjunction with the International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference and Exhibition (SNEC).

“The response we received to our forum was incredible, with 75 attendees at the forum and nearly 1,000 online views to date – and we are just now starting to actively promote it,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “In China, executives are hungry for this type of information so they can grow their businesses abroad. Fortunately for them, Greater Phoenix is primed for growth and is very hospitable in helping companies that are considering foreign-direct investments with their options in the City of Phoenix and the surrounding region.”

Arizona has taken giant strides over the past few years to keep business taxes low and improve available economic development programs. The City of Phoenix has a 24-hour business permitting program that allows businesses to apply for a permit and start construction on the same day.

“The response from businesspeople and government officials in China to the toolkit we presented was excellent. Helping executives understand the benefits that GPEC has to offer companies is a key component to positioning our region for future business opportunities,” said Melissa Ho, a shareholder of the national law firm Polsinelli. “Our international law team is excited to partner with GPEC and the City of Phoenix as we explore the possibilities in China.”

Since last month’s launch in Shanghai, the toolkit’s website has received nearly 1,000 hits without any additional promotion beyond the first forum. As such, the region’s international brand – of which the City of Phoenix is a central part – is receiving a significant boost from the toolkit. The media impact from the initial rollout in Shanghai was also substantial, with media impressions of 370 million from last month’s trip alone.

“By taking the initiative and launching the International Toolkit, GPEC, along with local business leaders and the City of Phoenix, have shown their steadfast commitment to providing foreign firms and individuals with the knowledge and resources needed to successfully invest and expand to the Greater Phoenix region,” said Kyle Walker, Managing Partner at Green Card Fund, which specializes in EB-5 visas and presented at the forum in Shanghai.

“I couldn’t be more excited about GPEC’s creativity in developing ways to attract new businesses to Arizona and am proud to contribute the strength of the BDO network to those efforts,” said Susan Wolak, Office Business Line Leader at BDO USA, which has 37 offices and 4,700 employees in China, and also assisted in the recent trip to Shanghai.

The toolkit is currently available in English, Mandarin and Spanish, and plans are underway for further translations. Both short and long versions of the toolkit are available at http://www.gpec.org/toolkit.

118315706

Youngtown becomes GPEC’s 21st member community

The Town of Youngtown recently joined the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) as its 21st member community. Youngtown is located at the Agua Fria River between Peoria, Sun City and El Mirage, and has a current population of approximately 6,200.

“We’re thrilled to have the Town of Youngtown on board at GPEC,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “Youngtown is a unique, up-and-coming community with tremendous potential for economic growth. We’re excited to assist with their plans to move forward as a community.”

“The 21st GPEC community for the 21st Century — we’re proud to take a seat at the GPEC table,” Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault said. “Youngtown is well positioned to be a vibrant and vital player in the region’s bright economic future.”

Youngtown was originally designed as a retirement community but has since evolved to accommodate young people and families. The community’s “village” feel sets the town apart from the rest of the region. The Town’s general plan for 2025 has a robust focus on economic development, targeting community revitalization, public relations and marketing, and business enhancement, attraction and diversification.

“Youngtown’s addition to GPEC’s family of communities speaks volumes about the depth and breadth of services available to its member communities and companies,” said Jim Lundy, GPEC’s board chairman and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona. “Whether an established business or startup, an older community or one just starting to rev up its economic engine, like Youngtown, GPEC offers expert economic development advice, marketing, research and prospect leads.”

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GPEC analyzes impact of potential defense cuts

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council today released findings and recommendations from its Aerospace and Defense Market Intelligence Program, a two-phase initiative that took an in-depth look at the region’s aerospace and defense companies to determine their strengths, weaknesses and readiness for the sequestration, federally-mandated automatic spending cuts scheduled to take place on March 1 unless Congress intervenes.

As a result of the sequestration, the Department of Defense (DoD) must cut $1 trillion from its budget. Arizona has the sixth largest share of DoD contracts, and stands to lose as much as $2.3 billion in annual revenue on account of sequestration-based cuts.  Until it happens, however, the size or effects of the cuts in Arizona remain ambiguous.

In anticipation of these massive cuts, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) – along with its Economic Development Directors Team and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce – last year undertook a major market intelligence initiative to determine the existing strengths and weaknesses of Arizona’s aerospace and defense companies. Based on this data snapshot, the analysis also sought to understand the potential impact of sequestration on our local companies, communities, workforce and innovation base.

“As part of GPEC’s program, I personally sat down with several aerospace and defense companies located in Phoenix. The message I heard from them was resoundingly clear – the uncertainty over the timing and severity of these cuts has many of them paralyzed, and they want guidance,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “With 49,000 Arizona aerospace and defense jobs at stake, it’s critical that our federal leaders work together to avert this crisis or at least provide a strategic direction for where we go on March 2 and beyond.”

“Sequestration is a bad way to budget. Local companies and individuals get caught up in a political game that does little to solve our nation’s long-term financial challenges,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said. “Washington should follow the example of cities and make smart cuts to fix the budget rather than making arbitrary cuts that do more harm than good.”

The program consisted of two main components. The first developed an in-depth profile and analysis of 114 local companies identified by GPEC using data from the Office of Management and Budget. The second was an extensive door-to-door outreach effort to these companies, conducted by mayors, local chambers of commerce, GPEC Ambassadors (volunteers from GEC’s member companies) and municipal economic development directors and their teams.

“As a top-ranked defense state, Arizona has much to lose with the budget cuts associated with the 2011 Budget Control Act. The West Valley, proud home to Luke Air Force Base, has worked tirelessly to protect the mission of the base and to secure the F-35 aircraft,” Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers said. “Sequestration and the drastic budget cuts to defense and aerospace will undermine the efforts of the communities in the West Valley and negatively impact our local economy, which is tied closely to Luke Air Force Base and the defense-related industry.”

It’s also important to note that nearly 75 percent of the state’s research and development expenditures are housed within Arizona’s corporate infrastructure – companies like Intel, Boeing, Raytheon and Honeywell. As such, drastic reductions in their DoD contracts could result in losses in some of the state’s most significant research programs, which affect Arizona’s science position, its universities, and opportunities for increased investments and exports.

“These looming cuts represent a crossroads for our region,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “The region’s corporate, science, civic and government partners must convene to not only mitigate job loss but also to support and protect the region’s physical assets, workforce talent and innovation from being moved out of the market.”

The findings represent a snapshot of the Greater Phoenix region’s aerospace and defense industry for a specific period of time, from May through December 2012 when the data was collected. During this time period, sequestration was considered more of a threat and less of a reality.

Top-line analysis revealed that 76 percent of the companies reported to be either stable (52 percent) or expanding (24 percent). Twenty-six percent reported that their businesses were contracting – primarily companies and operations where DoD contracts represent the largest share of their revenue base. Those that were expanding focused on diversification, including commercial and international markets, or DoD growth areas like intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber technology, space technology and counterterrorism.

Because 2,000 companies throughout Arizona were awarded $13 billion in defense contacts in 2012 – and the industry represents 43,000 direct jobs – even a 25 percent contraction could be detrimental to one of the state’s major employment bases. For larger, Tier 1 companies, the short-term outlook is more stable as many have expanded products and services in anticipation of the cuts. However, Tier 2 companies that generally represent the industry’s supply chain are less likely to withstand the cuts due to their reliance on Tier 1 companies for contracts and subcontracts. Some of these companies have neither the access to capital or the working capital to wait it out – meaning they could be forced to lay off workers or cease operations.

Based on the program’s findings, GPEC’s five recommendations include:

1. A federal-level strategy from Arizona’s congressional leadership to either fully reverse sequestration or provide a “go forward” strategy to ensure Arizona’s aerospace and defense assets – including R&D and skilled workforce – are retained and redeployed.
2. Public and bilateral support for Governor Brewer and the Arizona Commerce Authority in their efforts to secure an FAA-designated test site.
3. A major commitment to science and technology to ensure the aerospace and defense industry’s existing knowledge and technology assets are leveraged to generate new and higher-value economic growth opportunities for our existing workforce talent while also attracting new, skill ed workers to Greater Phoenix.
4. Increased support for regional export opportunities from state and regional leaders.
5. An ongoing commitment to business retention and expansion, particularly with regards to sequestration.

To view the Aerospace and Defense Market Intelligence Report in its entirety, as well as all five recommendations, please visit http://www.gpec.org/aerospace.

Chris Camacho Original

GPEC executive wins national ‘40 Under 40’ award

GPEC Executive Vice President Chris Camacho, 32, has been recognized as a rising star among the nation’s top economic development professionals. Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing, named Camacho to its distinguished “40 Under 40″ panel, the first-ever awards program recognizing young talent in the economic development profession. A five-member selection committee chose the winners from a pool of more than 150 candidates based on their exceptional contributions to the economic development industry.

“Chris Camacho has an extremely bright future and I couldn’t be more proud of his success,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “GPEC is a hard-charging organization with some of the most talented young professionals I’ve ever seen. Chris is testament to that talent, as is Rodrick Miller – a former GPEC staffer who is now president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance and was also recognized as part of this prestigious group.”

Camacho oversees GPEC’s business development efforts, with particular expertise in renewable energy, emerging technology, tax policy and international economic development.He manages the domestic and international strategies in attracting new industry to the market. In addition, he has directly assisted more than 100 companies in their expansions or relocations to Greater Phoenix.

DCI’s “40 Under 40″ award was designed to discover the economic development profession’s rising stars.

“The people chosen by the selection committee represent a bright future for the economic development world,” said Andy Levine, president of DCI. “They are a new breed of results-driven, place makers.  We’re very pleased to see Chris Camacho among the winners.”

DCI officially announced the winners last weekend at an awards reception during the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Orlando, and will feature an in-depth profile of each on its website during 2013.

For more information on DCI&rsquo ;s “40 Under 40″ winners, visit www.aboutdci.com/40under40.

SRP Study Reveals How Businesses Reacted, Adapted To Economy

GPEC helps region build solid foundation amidst economic downturn

The economic downturn rattled almost every industry in Arizona at its foundation.

“The recession served as a necessary wake-up call for both the Valley and the entire state,” says Andy Warren, CEO of Maracay Home and Greater Phoenix Economic Council board member. “In the years leading up to the recession, many people in Arizona had a mindset that economic expansion was invulnerable to setbacks. The recession has changed that mindset.”

But in the middle of the unstable economic environment, analysts would have a hard time identifying Arizona as one of the states that was hit the hardest by the economic downturn if they looked only at GPEC’s success during that time.

In fiscal year 2012, GPEC helped 36 companies expand or relocate to the region — the most in the economic catalyst’s 23-year history. That topped GPEC’s previous record of 31 companies, which it set in 2011, giving GPEC its two best years when times were toughest and competition for companies was at its most fierce.

So how did GPEC achieve such success in a down economy?

“GPEC has distinguished itself as a true public-private partnership where the cities, county and business leaders have a working forum to collaborate around economic development issues,” says Don Smith, president and CEO of SCF Arizona and vice chairman of GPEC’s board of directors. “It also possesses an outstanding research capability that can reliability assist other economic development interests in making successful decisions. The strategies and tactics at GPEC are robust, and comprehensive, covering local, national and global interests on behalf of the state, and the ground game both internationally and domestically is exceptional.”

The economic impact of GPEC’s success is staggering. The 36 companies it assisted in 2012 will create more than 4,000 jobs for the Greater Phoenix region, will generate $178 million of net new payroll, and absorb or build approximately 3.8 million square feet with their phase one investments. Companies GPEC helped relocate to the Valley include CyrusOne, one of the largest data centers in the country, and Silicon Valley Bank, an expansion from California creating 250 jobs at an average salary of $88,000. Advanced business services, general business services, transportation and distribution, manufacturing and healthcare continue to drive the majority of GPEC’s relocation activity, with environmental technologies rounding out the lion’s share.

GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome credits part of his organization’s success to a major policy achievement for Arizona, the Qualified Facilities Income Tax Credit.

“Gov. Jan Brewer, House Speaker Andy Tobin, Senate President Steve Pierce and the entire Arizona legislature have worked hard to improve our business climate as evidenced by the Qualified Facilities Income Tax Credit,” Broome said. “Moving forward, key economic development programs are still needed to compete with other markets to attract high impact, export-oriented companies and investment — working together as we have done in recent years, I have no doubt we’ll get there.”

More than 11 percent of GPEC’s locates were international companies, primarily due to ramped-up efforts on the organization’s foreign-direct investment program and 16.7 percent were from California, another highly concentrated effort with partners throughout the state to draw investment to the Sun Corridor.

“We now have strong consensus that nurturing high quality job growth is our top priority,” Warren says. “Leadership at the state level, municipal level and from the private sector are now fully aligned with a singular focus toward specific growth industries applicable to Arizona. We are creating a fiscal environment where Arizona is fully competitive with other growth-oriented states … This clear mission and focus is on growth industries that will drive the future economy such as healthcare, clean technology, technology, aerospace and defense.”

economy

GPEC expands ‘California 50’ program

Less than a week after the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) launched the California 50 program, the organization today announced it is expanding the program – which aims to fly 50 Golden State CEOs to the Phoenix metro region for an opportunity to tour and explore the market – to 100 California-based CEOs due to high demand.

“The response to the California 50 program has been overwhelming. We’ve heard from CEOs up and down the California coast, representing firms in the technology, medical device, financial and life sciences industries and ranging in size from 30 to 10,000 employees,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Clearly, the increasingly anti-business policies coming out of California, like Proposition 30, have struck a nerve with the state’s brightest and best-performing innovators. We think the Greater Phoenix region offers a clear contrast in terms of its value proposition, which is why we’ve expanded the program to 100 executives.”

Over the past two years, Arizona has implemented many business-friendly policies in an effort to attract more high-capital investment to the Grand Canyon state. Visiting CEOs will be briefed on the region’s business-friendly policies, including lower capital gains taxes and a corporate income tax rate that will go down to 4.9 percent by 2017, a $9,000 jobs tax credit, an R&D tax credit and a $630 million tax credit program for export industries.

Last week, California voters passed Proposition 30, a $6 billion tax initiative that will raise sales taxes on all Californians and income taxes on the high-performers making more than $250,000 annually. Yesterday, President Obama called for additional tax revenue to the tune of $1.6 trillion over the next decade, also on the backs of the nation’s top innovators and professionals.

To qualify for the program, applicants must be CEOs at high-tech companies or with corporate facilities with 200 or more employees, or at emerging technology companies with compelling intellectual property.

A total of 100 qualified California CEOs will receive complimentary airfare, transportation and hotel accommodations. Exclusive, one-on-one visits into the market will include an in-depth industry and market overview, CEO introductions and a regional asset tour.
Please contact GPEC’s Barbara Miller at 602.262.8632 or bmiller@gpec.org to be considered or to learn more about the program.

For more information about GPEC, visit www.gpec.org.

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Early Success Drives GPEC to Expand 'California 50' program

After the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) launched the California 50 program, the organization announced it is expanding the program – which aims to fly 50 Golden State CEOs to the Phoenix metro region for an opportunity to tour and explore the market – to 100 California-based CEOs due to high demand.

“The response to the California 50 program has been overwhelming. We’ve heard from CEOs up and down the California coast, representing firms in the technology, medical device, financial and life sciences industries and ranging in size from 30 to 10,000 employees,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said.

“Clearly, the increasingly anti-business policies coming out of California, like Proposition 30, have struck a nerve with the state’s brightest and best-performing innovators. We think the Greater Phoenix region offers a clear contrast in terms of its value proposition, which is why we’ve expanded the program to 100 executives.”

Over the past two years, Arizona has implemented many business-friendly policies in an effort to attract more high-capital investment to the Grand Canyon state. Visiting CEOs will be briefed on the region’s business-friendly policies, including lower capital gains taxes and a corporate income tax rate that will go down to 4.9% by 2017, a $9,000 jobs tax credit, an R&D tax credit and a $630M tax credit program for export industries.

California voters passed Proposition 30, a $6 billion tax initiative that will raise sales taxes on all Californians and income taxes on the high-performers making more than $250,000 annually. Additionally, President Obama called for additional tax revenue to the tune of $1.6 trillion over the next decade, also on the backs of the nation’s top innovators and professionals.

To qualify for the program, applicants must be CEOs at high-tech companies or with corporate facilities with 200 or more employees, or at emerging technology companies with compelling intellectual property.

A total of 100 qualified California CEOs will receive complimentary airfare, transportation and hotel accommodations.

Exclusive, one-on-one visits into the market will include an in-depth industry and market overview, CEO introductions and a regional asset tour.

For more information, visit gpec.org.

 

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GPEC Launches Unique Program After California Passes Massive Tax Initiative

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) announced The California 50, a program that offers Golden State CEOs an insider’s look at the Greater Phoenix market.

The first 50 qualified California-based CEOs who would like to evaluate the Greater Phoenix market for business growth opportunities will receive complimentary airfare and accommodations.

The announcement comes on the heels of the passage of Proposition 30, a $6B tax initiative that will raise income taxes on those making more than $250,000 annually and sales taxes on all Californians.

Meanwhile, Arizona spent the last few years lowering capital gains and corporate income taxes, crafting economic development programs that drive capital-intensive and export-based industries and initiating business-friendly policies. Just this week the City of Phoenix extended its 24-hour business permitting program to also include 24-hour inspections. Now, businesses can literally apply for a permit and start construction on the very same day.

“In Arizona, we need California to turn its economy around – we depend on it. Unfortunately, policies like Proposition 30 are driving the state’s best innovators away in droves,” GPEC President & CEO Barry Broome said. “But lately we’ve found that California companies are calling us instead as they consider expanding into the Greater Phoenix market or relocating their management teams in order to save money.

“No doubt, this is because Arizona has worked to provide a business-friendly environment that welcomes business and free enterprise while California has enacted policies that are the equivalent of a ‘closed for business’ sign.

“That’s why we’re giving California CEOs a chance to preview the Greater Phoenix market and consider expanding their management teams to the region as a way to cut costs,” Broome continued. “With more than 70 direct flights between Phoenix and San Jose alone every day, it’s both convenient and cost-effective for CEOs to operate their companies while residing in Greater Phoenix.”

Over the past three years, Greater Phoenix has seen a surge in investment from California-based companies including Silicon Valley Bank, PayPal, Yelp, Maxwell Technologies, Power-One and APL.

GPEC is a public-private partnership that’s been responsible for the region’s economic growth since 1989. It provides in-depth market data and analysis, operational cost analysis, site-selection assistance and connectivity to the region’s business and university leaders, as well as public officials, throughout the state. It targets the following industries: renewable energy; biomedical/personalized medicine; advanced business services; high-tech manufacturing and logistics; mission critical; aerospace and aviation; and emerging technology.

To qualify for the program, applicants must be CEOs at high-tech companies or with corporate facilities with 200 or more employees, or at emerging technology companies with compelling intellectual property.

The first 50 qualified CEOs that contact GPEC by Nov. 16 will receive complimentary airfare, transportation and hotel accommodations. Exclusive, one-on-one visits into the market will include an in-depth industry and market overview, CEO introductions and a regional asset tour.

Please contact GPEC’s Barbara Miller at (602) 262-8632 or bmiller@gpec.org to be considered.

 

Phoenix Turnaround

Visioning A Turnaround Of The Valley Of The Sun

The Arizona Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association is pleased to announce Visioning a Turnaround of the Valley of the Sun: How Phoenix Can Become a Model Metropolitan Area. This unique program will cover how state government, local governments and the private sector all play a vital role.  The panel will be moderated by Barry Broome, President and CEO of Greater Phoenix Economic Council  and the esteemed panelists include:

  • Lee McPheters, Director/Research Professor, ASU JP Morgan Chase Economic Outlook Center
  • Senator Steve Pierce, Arizona State Senate
  • Councilwoman Lisa Borowsky, City of Scottsdale

The program will examine the 5 Steps of a Turnaround and is for anyone who wants to better understand what a turnaround is and the steps that need to be followed, which include:  Situation Analysis, Management Change, Emergency Action, Restructuring Execution and Returning to Normal: Institutionalizing  improvements and strategies for long term prosperity.

The program will be held on Thursday, August 23, 2012, from 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM at the Viad Building, Arizona Room located at  1850 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix. For more information please contact Jenny Morales at 623. 581.3597. Register at www.arizona.turnaround.org.