SHELBY COUNTY, ALABAMA – The Alabama Policy Institute and Yellowhammerpolitics.com recently released a study ranking the 50 largest cities in Alabama according to their “business friendliness”, and three Shelby County cities all ranked near the top of the list.
Alabaster was ranked 26th with a score of 55.98, scoring exceptionally well in “Economic Vitality”. Alabaster has grown over 65% over the past ten years, and boasts a well-educated workforce, explosive job growth, and low tax and utility rates.
Pelham ranked 24th, with a score of 56.01, and excelled in” Transportation Infrastructure”. Three major roadways converge in Pelham, I-65, Hwy 31, and Hwy 119, and the city also boasts quick access to major rail and waterways. Pelham has a favorable tax climate for business and has recently refocused efforts to recruit new industries to the area to maximize the city’s proximity to transportation infrastructure.
Helena ranked highest among Shelby County cities, receiving a score of 59.79, to garner the 13th position in Alabama. Ranking 6th in the state in “Community Allure”, Helena has a young, educated work force, low crime rate and cost of living, great public schools, and has twice been ranked in the “Top 100 Places to Live” by Money Magazine.
“Conservative leadership dedicated to creating a pro-business climate is a key success factor for Shelby County”, said Shelby County GOP Chairman Freddy Ard. “When I learned that API and Yellowhammer.com were teaming up for this survey, I was confident Shelby County municipalities would be prominently placed among those most business-friendly in the state,” Ard continued.
“This survey again reflects the favorable results of having strong, conservative leaders in elected office, giving attention to an environment that fosters, encourages and, most importantly, ensures that government establishes no undue obstacles, interference, or obstruction to a thriving economy,” said Ard.
Scores were calculated using the following formula:
Economic Vitality (35% of overall score):
• Recent job growth (50% of Economic Vitality category)
• Residential population growth from 2010 to 2011(12.5%)
• Population growth from 2000 to 2010, divided by 10 (12.5%)
• Median per capita income (25%)
Business Tax Burden (30% of overall score):
• Business property taxes (70% of Business Tax Burden category)
• Local sales tax (30%)
Community Allure (20% of overall score):
• Cost of living index (35% of Community Allure category)
• Per capita violent crime rate (35%)
• Percent of adults age 25 or older with at least a high school diploma (15%)
• Average SAT 10 scores for 8th grade math and reading (15%)
Transportation Infrastructure (15% of overall score):
• Distance to primary commercial service airport (25% of Transportation Infrastructure category)
• Distance to commercial rail service (25%)
• Distance to port capable of handling container shipping (25%)
• Distance to Interstate Highway System (25%)
Shelby County is the premier Republican county in Alabama, with all thirty-six county offices with jurisdiction (excluding municipal officials elected non-partisan) held by Republicans. Shelby County is also ranked as the fastest-growing county in Alabama and the fourth most conservative county in America by The Daily Caller.