In an e-newsletter to its more than 330,000 members nationwide today, including 7,000 in Arizona, the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s voice of small business, ranked Phoenix as one of the top five cities in the country “Opening Their Doors to Small Business.”
“Phoenix’s rebounding economy, favorable climate and entrepreneurial culture attracts many transplanted residents,” said the NFIB article. “Two years ago, the Phoenix City Council implemented reforms that shifted a significant portion of city permitting and inspection functions to the private sector and created 24-hour turnarounds for projects such as city and building permits that used to take four to six months. With quicker turnarounds, doing business in Phoenix has become faster and more convenient.”
Noted Farrell Quinlan, NFIB’s Arizona state director, “The majority of people starting small businesses and prospering here were born somewhere else. That kind of new blood and vitality means opportunities in Phoenix aren’t encumbered by an old-boys network.”
In a news release issued by Mayor Greg Stanton, he said, “This ranking is a testament to the actions we’re taking to lift small and local businesses. We’re moving in a new economic direction – one that creates real opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs.”
City Councilman Sal DiCiccio added, “This puts Phoenix in a position to compete in the global economy, making us faster, smarter and better than our competitor cities. Getting 24-hour permitting and the ability to submit plans online allows businesses to open today, not months from now. The mayor and council recognized that it grows our economy faster when we help businesses take off quickly.”DiCiccio, a longtime NFIB member, led the 125-member Ad Hoc Development Task Force that produced the reform recommendations for how to streamline the city’s permit process.
Phoenix has also been helped by a better state climate, Quinlan pointed out. “The state has been a leader in low tax rates and regulatory reform. For instance, House Bill 2013 simplifies the process state agencies must follow when creating rules and regulations they impose on Arizona businesses. That leadership ensures government serves as a facilitator of economic dynamism rather than a frustrator of job creation.”
Other cities making the top five list were Caspar, Wyoming; Jackson, Mississippi; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Orlando, Florida.