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The Greater Phoenix Market Now – Surging

Appraising our prospects as we emerge from the pandemic

There is tremendous opportunity in Greater Phoenix to grow business and continue diversifying our economic and employment base that will bring opportunity for our residents and move our innovation-centered economy forward. Supporting this assessment, Chris Camacho, president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Economic Council, says, “To meet the increasing demand, buildings continue to go vertical in every corner of the region. From class A office to industrial space, investors and construction leaders know the opportunity in Greater Phoenix is abundant.”

Business growth and population growth go hand in hand, observes Micah Miranda, economic director for the City of Chandler, and notes, “People are moving here because of great job opportunities that promise a better quality of life.” On the business side, he notes access to talent is one of the top factors in most corporate location decisions, and “businesses choose Metropolitan Phoenix knowing they can draw from a large labor pool that will grow with them.”

“While the pandemic augmented inequities in our communities, it also brought new opportunities as industries needing skilled labor continued to move into Arizona,” says Steve Seleznow, president and CEO of Arizona Community Foundation. With global corporations announcing new facilities in our region every day, from the expansion of Intel to CIS Global, along with immense growth for businesses with local roots like Carvana and Banner Health, “opportunity is around every corner,” he observes, noting, “While small, service-oriented business across our state had an extremely challenging year, they, too, are beginning to see signs of recovery, since more people means more services will be needed.”

Chris Camacho, president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Economic Council, cites figures that support this view: In Fiscal Year 2021 alone, GPEC and its partners led the attraction of 34 companies, resulting in the creation of nearly 8,000 jobs and $12.8 billion in capital investment. There are currently more than 253 companies from around the world in GPEC’s pipeline that are actively evaluating the region for expansion or relocation. These projects represent more than 40,000 jobs and $30.7 billion in capital investment potential. Of those projects, more than 20 have job totals exceeding 500 and $100 million in capital expenditures. “COVID shined a light on the shortcomings of high-cost, coastal markets like California and that’s why GPEC launched the #AZFreeToBe campaign as part of our larger omni-channel business and talent attraction strategy,” he says. “Our emphasis is on the attraction of California manufacturing and tech companies and knowledge-workers with increased professional mobility as a result of the pandemic. At its core, the hashtag and campaign encapsulate the region’s advantageous business climate and the quality-of-life attributes that make Greater Phoenix, and the state as a whole, the best place to live, work and explore.”

Lori Collins, president-elect of the Arizona Association for Economic Development and deputy director of economic development at the City of Mesa, notes that, while companies relocating to Arizona get a lot of attention, some of the most exciting economic development news this year has come from the expansion of businesses that have operated here for quite some time — a change from a decade ago. “Greater Phoenix is seeing growth in every industry sector from semiconductors to life sciences to logistics and distribution,” she says. “That is happening because the labor pool is strong, our infrastructure is modern and expanding, and the stable operating environment encourages investment.”

“Having lived in Arizona through the deep recession of 2007–2008, there are two main things I see that are different for the better,” says Doug Bruhnke, founder and CEO of Global Chamber. “First there are many more global businesses operating in Phoenix and the region now, and that has several advantages, including stable funding and management, diversity of businesses and strength of a portfolio of companies. Second the cities and GPEC have done a good job of collaborating and focusing on attracting solid companies in tech, manufacturing and more to avoid what happened last time when the economy dropped like a rock when construction fell. We learned and got balanced.”

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