The Pepper Group

3865 E Via Del Verdemar Tucson, AZ 85718

(520) 977-0003
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Tucson Business

In selecting Tucson as one of the top 20 business locations, Entrepreneur magazine said it based its evaluation on "the four factors we felt are most important in determining where you'll locate your business:"

  • Percentage of the population with a college degree
  • Labor costs
  • Growth in personal income
  • Real estate costs

Known for many years as a tourist destination and retirement area, Tucson, Arizona, is becoming a hotbed for corporate relocations/expansions, especially from California. Since 1993, 49 companies have relocated or expanded their operations into Tucson--21 of them from California. These relocatees came from every conceivable employment sector and range from the very large (Hughes Missile Systems; 7,200 employees from Los Angeles-largest group move in the nation's history) to the very small (Autometric Inc.; an R&D company with 4 employees from Alexandria, Virginia). Companies are coming to Tucson to take advantage of the favorable governmental and cost structure that supports growing and expanding businesses and the excellent quality of life.

Metropolitan Tucson covers in excess of 600 square miles and has a population of over 730,000. Since 1990, the population has increased an average of 2.37 percent per year and is projected to increase an average of 2 percent annually through 2010. The population is a diverse one; 68.2% Caucasian, 24.5% Hispanic, 2.9% African American, 2.5% Native American, 1.7% Asian and 0.2% other.

The civilian labor force as of December 1994, totaled approximately 368,000 people, or 50% of the population. Since 1990, the labor force has increased an average of 3.7% per year. Tucson's labor force is young and well-educated. During 1994, 4.1% of the labor force was unemployed. Since 1990, the unemployment rate has stayed relatively flat with an average annual increase of 0.1%.

Union activity is virtually non-existent in Tucson. Arizona is a constitutionally mandated right to work state. With a 3.9% unionization level, Arizona ranks third lowest in the nation.

Although industry from all major sectors is thriving, Tucson has found special locational advantages for firms involved in what is considered to be it's strong economic clusters. Tucson targets industries within these clusters to enhance the existing economic base. These clusters are: Aerospace, Bioindustry, Environmental Technology, Optics, Software, and Teleservices.

In 1994, there were a total of 18,400 jobs created in Metropolitan Tucson; an increase of 6.6%. The four employment sectors that experienced the most growth were: Manufacturing (3,900 jobs, 15.8% increase); Mining (200 jobs, 10.5% increase); Construction (1,300 jobs, 7.6% increase); and Services (6,000) jobs, 7.4% increase).

Here are some of the advantages of business in Tucson:

  • Two enterprise zones (state income tax credits of up to $5,000 per qualified employee)
  • Two active foreign trade zones (80% property tax reduction)
  • Property tax abatement available for location in Central Business District
  • Property tax abatement available to aerospace firms locating at airport
  • Real and personal property tax reductions available to environmental technology firms
  • State funded job training available for new & expanding industry
  • State income tax credits for construction materials
  • State income tax credits available for pollution control and prevention equipment
  • State income tax credits available for defense industry
  • Four year accelerated depreciation schedule available for Class Three and Four (commercial, industrial & agriculture) personal property

Hughes Missile Systems Co. Tactical & strategic defense missile systems 7,000
HealthPartners of Southern Arizona Health care 4,300
Magma Copper Company Manufacturer of high quality copper cathode and rod 4,158
Carondelet Health Care Corp. Health care 3,100
Asarco, Inc. Copper mining 2,500
Phelps Dodge Corp. Copper mining 2,300
University Medical Center Hospital 2,300
Foundation Health Corporation Health 1,600
First Data Corp. National telemarketing center 1,250
American Airlines Reservation center 1,200+
Tucson Electric Power Electric utility 1,123
Burr-Brown Corp. Semiconductor Manufacturing 950
IBM Storage Systems Division Development of storage products for mid-range and high-end computers 950
US West Communications Telephone Utility 900
Learjet Inc. Aircraft maintenance, refurbishment/completion of business jet aircraft 875
AlliedSignal Controls & Accessories Aerospace equipment manufacturer 864


Greater Tucson Economic Council
(Business Recruitment & Government Procurement Assistance)
Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce 520-792-2250
City of Tucson Economic Development Office
(Business & International Trade)
City of Tucson Licenses & Sales Tax Division 520-791-4566
Pima County Community Services 520-740-5205
Pima County Central Permits 520-740-6520
Pima Community College
Small Business Development & Training Center
Pima Community College
Office of Economic Development
Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau 520-624-1817
Internal Revenue Service
Federal Income Tax Division
Arizona Department of Revenue 602-628-6421
Arizona Department of Economic Security
Unemployment Insurance Office
State Compensation Fund 602-292-4000
Arizona Corporation Commission 602-628-6560

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The Pepper Group™
Diversified Real Estate
3865 E Via Del Verdemar Tucson, AZ 85718
Tucson Real Estate