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The Millbrook Independent

Oct 25th
Millbrook ranked #1 - Alabama’s most business friendly city PDF Print E-mail
Written by News Desk   
Friday, 25 April 2014 13:04


Millbrook has been named Alabama's most business friendly city by the Alabama Policy Institute in its analysis of the most business-friendly of Alabama's 50 most populus cities.

By BRIAN HODGE, News Editor

Millbrook Mayor Al Kelley said that such recognition of the city's efforts are the result of the hard work and diligent effort of many people over a period of years.

Kelley singled out Carol Thompson, Millbrook's Economic Development Officer for her work in that role for the last 10 years.

"Carol has meant a great deal to Millbrook's economic develpoment success," Kelley said.

Thompson, for her part, said she was beaming with pride for her city in the recognition.

"This is a significant ranking and accomplishment. This ranking is not based on popular opinion, API looks at the facts, the numbers. I am extremely proud of our city, our leaders and our business community. I encourage everyone to read more about this ranking on the API website and to share this news with others. By doing so, we all help build our community, we attract more quality businesses, and provide for future growth in our city," Thompson said.

John Hill Ph.D. Senior Policy Analyst for the Alabama Policy Institute authored the study: Building Business in Alabama: How Business-Friendly Are Alabama's 50 Largest Citites? To arrive at an overall score the report compared the 50 cities in a number of criteria including: (1) Business Tax Burden, (2) Economic Vitality, (3) Community Allure, and (4) Transportation Infrastructure.

Millbrook ranked 4th in both the Economic Vitality and Business Tax Burden measures. Millbrook ranked 7th in Transportation Infrastructure and 34th in Community Allure. The composite score (75.62 out of a possible 100) put Millbrook #1 overall with neighboring Prattville (75.46) taking 2nd place. Foley, Daphne, and Cullman rounded out the top five.

Of course the overall scores, especially in the top five were very close. The top three cities: Millbrook, Prattville and Foley were separated by fractions of a percentage point. The top five cities highest to lowest had composite scores that varied by only 6 points. Millbrook was ranked #2 overall on the list last year after Fairhope, which fell to #9 this year.

Alabama’s Top 10

Most Business Friendly Cities*

1. Millbrook - 75.62

2. Prattville - 75.46

3. Foley - 74.91

4. Daphne - 69.42

5. Cullman - 69.26

6. Helena - 68.30

7. Troy - 67.19

8. Montgomery - 63.90

9. Fairhope - 63.42

10. Pell City - 62.85

*According to the Alabama Policy Institute Points out of possible 100

Millbrook's most significant area of improvement was in the category of Economic Vitality. Millbrook moved up to 4th place this year from 12th last year. Millbrook's steepest drop this year was in the area of Community Allure. Millbrook was ranked 12th among Alabama's 50 largest cities last year and dropped to 34th this year.

Business Tax Burden

In the business tax burden category, which considered both property and sales tax levels, Millbrook placed among the top five cities in Alabama. According to the API study, the five best-ranking cities in Alabama each have a millage rate of 40 or less, plus a general sales tax of 3.5% or less. The top five cities for a favorable tax climate are Foley, Cullman, Northport, Millbrook, and Troy. General sales taxes in Alabama range from 0.5% in Cullman to 5% in six other counties with the state average being 4%. Millbrook remained in 4th place in this year's ratings as compared to last year.

Economic Vitality

In the category of economic vitality, researchers measured job growth, population growth, residential population growth, and median per capita income and what these numbers revealed about a city and its ability to survive during an economic downturn, Millbrook placed 4th in the state in this category an increase over its position in 12th place last year.

Community Allure

According to the API the factors that make up the Community Allure category count less than do those for Business Tax Burden and Economic Vitality. Nevertheless these factors which include cost of living, crime rates and education performance are very important. Millbrook dropped from 12th place to 34th place in this category this year.

Transportation Infrastructure

Millbrook dropped from 6th to 7th in the Transportation Infastructure category this year. Millbrook proximity to a variety of transportation hubs continue to help secure this high standing among Alabama's largest cities, the report finds.

The report concludes that most of the cities recognized as the Top 10 Most Business Friendly Cities in Alabama look like Millbrook and Prattville with small but growing populations access to transportation and room to grow.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 13:29
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