Business is thriving in Houston........and No Wonder!

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, located in a culturally diverse metropolitan region of 4.8 million residents – and growing at more than twice the national pace. It has a low cost of living, a well trained and educated workforce, has one of the largest ports in the nation for the expansion into the international marketplace, has no state income tax, and is one of the top business-friendly states in the nation.

Houston is booming and is ranked #3 best Metro Area for doing business by Forbes.com. Texas has the #6 best Business Tax Climate in the nation according to the Tax Foundation's 2007 State Business Tax Climate Index. The Tax Foundation, established in 1937 in Washington, D.C., provides unbiased tax information and presents facts and figures to educate the public about America's tax burdens and its impact on our economy.

As reported by the Texas Workforce Commission (3/8/07), Houston's job growth rate was double the growth rate of the rest of the State of Texas.

The April 2007 Census Bureau reports Houston as having had the third-largest Metropolitan area increase in population in the nation for the period 2000 to 2006. The report predicts the continuing growth of the city. The rising numbers are a good barometer of the city's economic health. There are jobs in Houston and people tend to follow jobs. City officials in Houston say the population growth is a boon to the metro area because new residents bring needed job skills and other contributions that is across-the-board beneficial to the city and to the local economy.

Yes, this population growth is driven by career and job opportunities. But the precursor to this growth is the steady and diverse expansion of business and industry. It is business, small and large, sitting in the driver's seat of the machine that is spurring the economic opportunities in Houston. Businesses are moving and expanding into the city because of its business-friendly environment and projected future economic growth.

"Houston is hitting on all cylinders," said Joel Kotkin, contributing editor for Inc. magazine (April 2007). "Not only are manufacturing and energy hot growth areas, there is also a cost advantage on housing, which is a big factor as housing growth in the suburbs, as well as inside Loop 610, is pulsing." The magazine also reported that Houston has escaped the difficulties of many other large cities, including weak job growth attributed to high taxes, business overheads and housing costs. The report said strong growth in Texas was attributed to low business costs, a rebounding technology sector and a thriving energy sector which is attracting a new cadre of highly paid professionals to increasingly sophisticated high-tech businesses.

Take a look at these national rankings of Houston:

Houston Ranks # 1

  • Lowest Cost of Living and Least-Expensive Housing Among 24 Metropolitan Areas with Populations of More Than 2 Million by: ACCRA Cost of Living Index - Second Quarter 2006
  • Port of Houston –– Top-Ranked Coffee Exchange Port in the World by: New York Board of Trade - March 2006
  • Fastest Growing Companies by: Fortune - September 18, 2006
  • Job Growth by: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - March 21, 2007
  • Number of Overall Building Permits by: Demographia - March 2007
  • Number of Single Unit Building Permits by: Demographia - March 2007
  • Best Cities for Software Developer Pay by: U.S. Department of Labor - 2005
  • Largest Immigrant Communities in the United States by: Center for an Urban Future: A World of Opportunity - April 10, 2007

Houston Ranks #2

  • Campus Diversity: National Universities –– University of Houston by: U.S. News & World Report - America's Best Colleges 2006
  • Best Hospitals for Cancer Care: M. D. Anderson by: U.S. News and World Report - July 2005
  • Top Logistics Metro for Waterborne Commerce by: Expansion Management - September 2005
  • Most Popular City with Movers for 2005 by: U-Haul National Migration Trend Report - 2006
  • Most Logistics-Friendly Metros in the U.S. by: Expansion Management & Logistics Today - Logistics Quotient, September 2005

Houston Ranks # 3

  • Metro area for New and Expanded Facilities by: Site Selection - March 2006
  • U.S. Metros for Business and Careers by: Forbes - May 2006
  • Fortune 500 Headquarters (ranked by Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area) by: Fortune - April 5, 2006
  • Number of Foreign Consulates (83) by: Houston International Protocol Alliance - February 2006
  • Total County Population by: U.S. Bureau of the Census - March 22, 2007
  • Overall Financial Performance of Local Charities by: Charity Navigator - June 2006
  • Total Number of “Insourced” Jobs by: Organization for International Investment, - September 2006
  • Retail Investment by: Weaver Davis & Jacob Realty Group as reported in Business Wire - August 29, 2006
  • Best Metros for Business by: Forbes - May 4, 2006
  • Top Ten Underrated U.S. Cities by: MSNBC.Com - April 10, 2007
  • Most Hispanic-Owned Businesses in the United States by: Center for an Urban Future: A World of Opportunity - April 10, 2007

Houston Ranks # 4

  • Total City Population by: U.S. Bureau of the Census - October 20, 2006
  • Houston’s trade has more than doubled since 2003. As reported by the U.S. Census Department, Houston the nation's fourth most important Customs District in the nation. The 2006 results marked the second year in a row that Houston has bettered its national standing in import export activity.

Houston Ranks # 5

  • Best Business Opportunity Metro by: Expansion Management - August 2006
  • Top 10 Best Value Private Colleges –– Rice University by: The Princeton Review - America's Best Value Colleges 2007 Edition

Houston Ranks # 6

  • Best Values: National Universities –– Rice University by: U.S. News & World Report - America's Best Colleges 2006
  • Total Metropolitan Area Population by: U.S. Bureau of the Census - March 22, 2007
  • Most Asian-Owned Businesses in the United States by: Center for an Urban Future: A World of Opportunity - April 10, 2007
  • Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport is the nation's sixth busiest airport

Houston Ranks # 7

  • Most Diverse U.S. Cities by: Brookings Institute - March 2006

Houston Ranks # 8

  • Fastest Growing Metro Area for Women-Owned Businesses by: Center for Women's Business Research - 2004
  • Best Places to Live by: Places Rated Almanac 2000 - Current Edition
  • Largest Central Business Districts by: Demographia - June 2006