In Marana, economic development is always a top priority for Town officials. As part of this effort, on March 7, the Marana Town Council adopted “Honoring our Heritage. Heralding the Future.” This new economic development strategic plan provides a long-term vision for how the Town will continue to grow and nourish Marana’s local economy.
Chief among the strategic plan’s recommendations for growth in Marana is a targeted focus on four key industries: information technology; advanced business services; manufacturing; and transportation, logistics, and distribution. These four sectors represent areas in which Marana is well positioned for strong growth.
In order to achieve this vision, the plan recommends nine specific ways that Town officials can maximize economic development opportunities. Working together, these nine strategies will help the Town develop and maintain a diverse economic development portfolio.
In order to develop this plan, Marana worked closely with IO. Inc., a national firm well-versed in economic development strategy. The Town received a grant from the Tohono O’odham Nation to support this effort. To write the plan, IO. Inc. conducted more than 150 meetings and interviews with key stakeholders, such as Town staff, local business owners, and industry experts, including Applied Economics, a highly regarded economics research firm. The vision that emerged from this research reflects the combined knowledge and experience of these participants.
This plan now offers the Town an improvement over its previous long-term vision, the Economic Development Roadmap. While this tool provided Marana with an important resource, the new strategic plan affords the Town a much more detailed overview of how to support the local economy.
“Marana’s new economic development strategic plan is a valuable resource for us as we work to attract new industry to our community while also maintaining the thriving business environment we already have,” says Economic Development Director Curt Woody.
In addition to this document, the Town has already launched a number of initiatives which aim to support local business. With its busy airport, high quality resort, and beautiful landscapes, Marana is a popular tourist destination, and so Discover Marana, the Town’s destination marketing organization, is aimed at marketing the community to potential visitors.
Finally, the Town has benefitted considerably from the Marana Job Creation Incentive Program. This policy encourages businesses to enter or expand in this community by reimbursing construction sales tax dollars paid on new construction on that property. For qualifying businesses, the Town will rebate those tax dollars to cover expenses in qualifying categories, including a sixth category recently added by the Marana Council, which allows businesses to use the rebate to pay for public infrastructure costs. To learn more about the MJCIP, visit the program website at http://www.maranaaz.gov/incentives. Businesses that have used this program include Sargent Aerospace and Defense, International Towers, Inc., and Northwest Medical Center.
Achieving and sustaining a thriving local economy is key to Marana’s long-term ambitions. The population of this Town has grown considerably over the past decade, and Town officials anticipate this growth to continue for many years to come. A strong economy is key to supporting that population. Marana’s new economic development strategic plan now provides an actionable guide that will allow the Town to build on the success it already enjoys.