July 16, 2008

Greeley-Weld Ranks No. 25 on Business-Climate List

By Greeley Tribune, Colo.

Jul. 16--The Greeley/Weld Metropolitan Statistical Area has been identified as No. 25 in the country on a list of best places to do business 335 like areas in the country. The INC.com annual list of Best U.S. Cities for Doing Business Today came out in conjunction with NewGeography.com, according to a press release by Upstate Colorado Economic Development.

Greeley's area moved up from its No. 39 ranking in 2007 on the same list.

The only other Colorado MSA above Greeley was Grand Junction, which came in at No. 11, rising 8 points from last year. Fort Collins-Loveland came in at No. 53, after hitting No. 88 last year. Pueblo came in at No. 70 on the list, rising from No. 103 last year. Denver-Aurora came in at No. 108 and Boulder was ranked No. 121, while Colorado Springs was No. 151.

The Inc.com study is the latest of several recent studies that has identified the Greeley/Weld MSA as one of the country's top economic performers, the release stated. In March, Forbes Magazine identified the area as the No. 1 MSA in the country for five-year income growth, the release stated. In November 2007, the Milken Institute pointed to Greeley/Weld as No. 10 in the nation for one-year job growth.

In releasing the study results, a statement from Praxis Strategy Group stated: "The Inc.com Best Cities list focuses on short and long-term job growth. It tells us precisely not just where jobs are being created -- a sure sign of economic vitality -- but where the momentum is shifting. For entrepreneurs, this suggests what may be the best places to locate or expand your business."

During 2007, Weld County primary employers created more than 2,000 new jobs, the release stated. To this point in 2008, there have been two major corporate announcements in Weld County: The first was from AVA Solar, which announced that 180-200 manufacturing jobs would be locating in the unincorporated area of Weld County near Firestone and Frederick. The second was Leprino Foods, which announced in June that the company would build a cheese factory in Greeley, starting with 260 jobs.

According to Upstate, recent interest in Weld County locations from employers has been high, the release stated. The nonprofit economic development agency suggests it is likely that additional corporate announcements will be made in the second half of 2008, the release stated.


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