Meeting the demands of a changing global economy requires creativity and an emphasis on economic vitality rather than on growth for growth’s sake. A sustainable economy is dynamic and adaptive and thus able to capitalize on opportunities as they arise. Local industries and educational institutions can support this by staying on the cutting-edge of emerging scientific, technological, and knowledge-based fields. Opportunities are also maximized when there is regional cooperation and collaboration among governments and between private and public sectors. Leadership is required on both the part of government and the private sector.

What is the situation…

Arizona was the fastest-growing state in the nation between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006, with a population increase of 3.6%. In Pima County, population reached (and quickly surpassed) the 1 million mark in 2006. Over the past 30 years the population growth rate of the Tucson region has far surpassed the nation as a whole. By 2036, The University of Arizona Economic and Business Research Center projects that the Tucson region’s population base will grow to 1.75 million. Pima County’s population has grown annually by more than 20,000 people—and is expected to reach 1.08 million by 2010 (TREO 2008 Tucson Regional Economic Profile)

The Tucson region is home to many great businesses in important industries such as biotechnology, aerospace engineering, and environmental technologies. According to TREO, almost all major economic sectors grew between 2006 and 2007.

The Tucson region is strategically located with easy access to multiple transportation modes: Interstate 10, one of only 3 coast-to-coast highways in the U.S.; Interstate 19, which connects directly to Sonora, Mexico; a Union Pacific rail line; and Tucson International Airport with direct flights connecting all over the country. The region’s proximity to Mexico offers many opportunities for collaboration and trade. The Port of Tucson is located in a designated Foreign Trade Zone and houses a distribution and loading facility that provides convenient access for trade.


What are the issues…

As regional growth continues, important considerations for maintaining a sustainable economy must be included in regional planning. A sustainable economy enhances the intellectual, financial, technical, social resources of the community and promotes human development in an equitable manner. In a sustainable economy, both jobs and potential for career growth are accessible to all residents. Opportunities exist for the elderly, disabled, and youth to stay and build rewarding careers within the community.

Diversification and innovation of the economy should be focused on attracting high-value industries that offer new and higher-wage jobs. As sustainable economy adequately prepares current and future workers for participation in new and existing economic sectors, offers ample opportunities for retraining and educational growth, and supports personal enrichment and high education standards for the entire community.

As transportation costs continue to rise, industries must re-think their distribution models. A once centralized model of distribution may function better economically as a system of regional distribution centers, bringing goods closer to consumers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to transportation, and lowering costs.

Sustainable economic development local is efficient and self-renewing, recognizes social and environmental limits, adapts to change, and provides long-term security to residents. As new businesses join the Tucson region, they should make effective use of unique and valuable local resources, such as the beauty of the Sonoran desert and large quantities of sunshine, while respecting the limitations imposed by scarce or vulnerable resources such as water.

What are the programs/policies…

City of Tucson Business License and Tax Information

Through this site you can apply for a new Tucson business license, file a sales tax return, pay license fees and taxes due, review account information, and contact tax and license representatives for help with any questions you may have.

Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO)

To meet the needs of a rapidly growing region, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO) was formed in 2005 to serve as the lead economic development agency for the greater Tucson area and its surrounding community partners.

TREO Economic Blueprint website

Pima Association of Governments (PAG) Economic Snapshots

The following data provides an economic snapshot of the region in the areas of Population, Housing/Construction, Transportation, Environment, Employment, Education, Quality of Life, Health, Taxes, Tourism.

Pima Community College Small Business Support

With an entrepreneurial spirit, Pima College's Small Business Development Center provides high-impact consulting and training to companies with one to 200 employees in any type of business.

The University of Arizona Office of Research Parks Business Section. The UA Office of Research Parks is the focal point for businesses to tap into University resources such as students, faculty, facilities and research. The Office can help businesses grow and expand your business, jumpstart your company, test your technology, and find a workforce with the skills you need.

Arizona Department of Commerce

Through leadership and collaborative partnerships, our mission is to create vibrant communities and a globally competitive Arizona economy.

Arizona Association for Economic Development

AAED is a working organization that utilizes volunteers from its membership to form committees and achieve objectives. It is through this active involvement that the volunteer member recognizes the real benefit of association in this important organization.

Sustainable Communities Network (SCN) Growing a Sustainable Economy The goal of community sustainability is to establish local economies that are economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible. Achieving this goal requires participation from all sectors of the community, both to determine community needs and to identify and implement innovative and appropriate solutions. This section presents information from a variety of sources on approaches and techniques used successfully in different communities to develop key aspects of their local economies on a sustainable basis.