Phoenix a bright spot for attracting million-dollar businesses

The Phoenix area continues to rise as one of the top cities in the country to attract million-dollar businesses. In its annual major-city-by-major-city list of the country’s best places to bring in million-dollar companies, Lending Tree stuck Phoenix right in the middle of its roundup at 25 out of 50.

Fueled by key investment deals, surging startups, and expanding offices of major companies, Phoenix continues to develop its position as an attractive business location. And while 25th out of 50 places Phoenix in the middle of the pack, the report also highlighted key data that points to more growth moving forward.

Between 2014 and 2016, the Greater Phoenix area saw a 6.2-percent uptick in companies with revenue of at least $1 million, translating into 1,211 businesses with revenue in the million-dollar range, and illustrating the area’s welcoming environment for small businesses.

A 2018 report from the U.S. Small Business Administration shows small businesses make up the vast majority of Arizona enterprises. As of January 2018, 99.4 percent of Arizona businesses had under 500 employees.

“Phoenix is going to be a market where people compare us to places like Austin and Denver and Dallas. All we need to do is have strategic investments, like workforce, and taxes, and ROI projects, to set us apart,” said Jim Rounds, economic consultant and president of Rounds Consulting Group, Inc. “The larger the economy becomes, the more small businesses we will see and we’re seeing a bigger entrepreneurial push.”

“Many of these million-dollar firms likely remain in the small business category, based on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s size standards. Revenue limits for small businesses range from $750,000 to $38.5 million, depending on the industry in which the company operates,” according to the LendingTree report.

The number one spot on Lending Tree’s list was Austin, the central Texas capital city that has garnered plenty of attention in the last decade as a hub for tech startups and major companies slipping out of Silicon Valley. 

Austin’s population boom fueled much of its economic and business growth of the last decade, and Arizona is surging too. Between 2010 and 2017, the Austin area saw a 34-percent jump in population, while USA Today recently plugged Arizona as number eight on its report of fastest-growing populations by state in the country, including a 1.7 percent increase in 2016, more than twice the national average at that point in time.

“You have demand for businesses and you have a demand for startups that supply support for workers. We’re luring more of those folks who want to start a business and we need to grow in quality, not just quantity in the business world,” said Rounds.

Nick Esquer

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