WYOMING: Natural Beauty, Abundant Resources
08 Oct, 2019
It’s hard to talk about economic development in a state like Wyoming without first describing its raw and natural beauty. Wide-open spaces, small rural communities and low population are just some of its attractive characteristics. Quoting from ouremptynest.net “The landscape is other-worldly, almost surreal, and a curious blend of arid desolation, lush wilderness, sand and sagebrush, imposing mountains, jutting rock formations, and astonishing beauty. Bighorn sheep, buffalo, elk, moose, and bear on the roads in Shawnee State Park and Yellowstone combine with cattle grazing on rolling land miles from the nearest town. Real, honest-to-goodness Marlboro men who ride broncs and the open range and live on remote homesteads and dude ranches in the shadow of the mighty Rockies.
With that out of the way one can discuss economic considerations which make the state a delightful place to conduct business. Wyoming is rich in varied, natural resources like coal, uranium, trona and bentonite production; second in rare earth mineral reserves; second in helium production; fourth in natural gas production; eighth in oil production; 12th in wind generation; and first in on-shore, high-capacity wind resources.
The state is consistently named the nation’s “Most Business Friendly Tax Climate” by the Tax Foundation, and it provides a variety of advantages for businesses.
The state has an infrastructure and labor force capable of exporting minerals around the world. Goals include developing a long-term energy and investment relationships for the next 50 to 100 years; working with foreign partners; and providing clean energy to improve the quality of life and environment across the globe.
The $15.8 million, 100-gigabit, redundant, statewide network backbone known as the Wyoming Unified Network is a unique public-private effort to enhance educational opportunities, promote business growth, expand tele-health services and improve quality of life. The project allowed the state to boost its education and government broadband capacity from 2.5 gigabits to 100.
Billions in investments are underway with large energy projects including the 1,000-turbine Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project in south-central Wyoming that will be the largest wind farm in the U.S.
WYOMING: LARAMIE, WYOMING -ALBANY COUNTY, THE HUB ZONE
Laramie WY is home to prime HUB (opportunity) zones for businesses who are looking to relocate. Brad Enzi, the CEO & President of the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance (LCBA) remarked, “As a community we identified three areas that we had core competence in and that were starting to grow. Businesses in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), boutique manufacturing, and data technology became our focus.”
In 2015 HiViZ Shooting systems, a company that manufactures gun sights through metal injection molding, relocated to Laramie from Colorado and have continued to expand their operation. Global company, Underwriter Laboratories, Inc has expanded their Wyoming operations at the Cirrus Sky Technology Park.
Laramie has been attracting several UAV companies with the LCBA’s and the Laramie Regional Airport’s work on testing space, low air traffic, the University of Wyoming’s top Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering school, and state and local incentives.
The LCBA’s economic development team has worked hard to provide the framework for companies to relocate and expand.
“As an Economic Development agency, we work with our existing employers to create opportunities and attract businesses that can grow synergistically with them. Because the University of Wyoming is our largest employer, we work to find areas that complement their research and development.”
Along with community support, innovative healthcare, quality K-12 public schools, a low cost of living, highly educated workforce, the many state and local tax incentives are a huge draw for businesses that are relocating.
- Wyoming imposes no:
- corporate or personal income tax or no state estate or inheritance tax
- Business Inventory Tax
- sales tax on energy consumed in the process of manufacturing
- sales tax on the purchase of equipment that will be used in the manufacturing process
- There are also sales tax exemptions for certain equipment purchased for data centers
- Wyoming property taxes are some of the lowest in the USA. “By working with existing businesses in each sector we have identified both barriers and opportunities for growth and have made action plans to address each,” added Enzi.
By Melissa Ross, Marketing & Membership Director of the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance