In these unprecedented times businesses across the country, and the world, are assessing their long-term goals. Many companies that have been in the same location for decades are considering a change of scenery. They are deciding if their current communities and states still make sense for them geographically, financially, and sometimes politically.
As they explore new business friendly states – one location seems to be coming to the top of many lists, and that’s Wyoming. Betsey Hale, CEO of Cheyenne LEADS the economic development organization in Cheyenne, Wyoming says, “We have had double the number of prospects looking to move to Cheyenne and Laramie County, compared to the previous year, and we expect interest in the State to continue to grow.”
So why does a place that many people have a hard time identifying on a map, so often make the short list? As the home to the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Wyoming, in particular, Cheyenne conjures up images of cowboys, rodeos, trains and the great outdoors. However, many people are finding out that it may be their businesses next frontier.
As the capitol of Wyoming, Cheyenne may be known for its western heritage, but combine that history with the state’s commitment to new technology and business opportunities at the northern end of the Rocky Mountain Front Range, many find it the ideal location for their company.
Wyoming has always made it a priority to look towards their economic development future. In the last several years, they have passed 21 blockchain-enabling laws making it the only U.S. state to provide a comprehensive, welcoming legal framework that enables blockchain technology to grow. Wyoming now offers a safe space in the form of a FinTech sandbox to help companies looking to innovate in blockchain.
With a focus on new industries, they haven’t lost site of the industries that have traditionally found success in the area. Companies such as Walmart and Lowe’s Distribution Center, Magpul Industries, Sierra and Microsoft. For these more traditional industries Cheyenne is located near the center of the United States at the crossroads of key transportation routes. The east/west highway (Interstate 80) connects San Francisco to New York City, and the north/south highway (Interstate 25) connects Cheyenne, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Mexico. There are also two Class I railroads (BNSF and Union Pacific), and they are just 90 minutes away from Denver International Airport.
Once a company determines that Cheyenne is a logical location for their company, the next question usually asked is about incentives. “What will the state give me if I move my business?” It’s a valid question and one that Wyoming is quick to answer. “If we don’t collect the taxes then we don’t have to abate or rebate them,” says Hale. Wyoming, rather than having multiple taxes they then mitigated for some businesses, they keep the tax burden low as possible for all business, both new and existing.
Hale adds, “Wyoming can’t cut taxes we don’t collect.” Wyoming doesn’t have a state corporate or individual income tax, inventory tax, sales tax on manufacturing equipment or sales tax on electricity and gas used in the manufacturing process. In fact, the Tax Foundation has once again ranked Wyoming #1 on the 2021 State Business Tax Climate Index.
With Fort Collins, Colorado located just 45 minutes away, additional workforce is readily available as are restaurants and shopping opportunities of a larger city, all while maintaining low crime rates, good schools, and clean air.
As companies seriously consider their future location, Wyoming is being considered, Wild West or not.