Houston scores good - but not great - on expansions and relocationsFrom the Houston Business Journal. Houston ranks 19th on the 50 hottest cities for corporate expansions and relocations. It's not a bad ranking, but unfortunately it's substantially below our major competitors for top-tier city status: #2 Phoenix, #3 Atlanta, and #4 Dallas. Texas did better than any other state, with 5 metros on the list. The surprising Nashville has been #1 for two years in a row. Looking at the top 10, the two most common factors seem to be sunbelt cities in right-to-work/nonunion states. I think right weather is definitely a factor: not too hot, not too cold. Phoenix is an exception, but it has the geographical benefit of being the closest alternative if you want out of California. I think Houston gets penalized for the summer heat and humidity, plus possibly our overall negative perception/image that we're all familiar with.
You can also detect a preference for more mid-sized cities in the "sweet spot" previously discussed here.
Here are the official criteria:
Expansion Management surveyed more than 80 prominent site consultants to find out which cities their clients find most attractive for relocation or expansion. Factors they considered include business climate, workforce quality, operating costs, incentive programs, and the ease of working with local political and economic development officials.The bottom line is that the GHP has its work cut out for it on the 10-year strategic plan if it wants to increase Houston's attractiveness and keep up with Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas, and others. I hope they can get more detailed data on where we fell short, or maybe even do their own survey of the 80 site consultants mentioned. My own guess is that we're on the right track to improve the right things, but it's a matter of execution and getting the word out - something the GHP $30 million marketing campaign might really help.