Wyoming Expanding Horizons

With a low tax burden, the state is attracting business by investing in shovel-ready sites and a skilled workforce.

By Roneshia Thomas
From the March/April 2023 Issue

Wyoming has one of the most business-friendly tax climates in the nation. The low tax burden for the state has been an attractive pinpoint for businesses in all industries. Wyoming has no corporate or personal state income tax, no inventory tax, no franchise tax, and no occupation tax.

Due to the low tax burden, manufacturing companies have been flocking to the state bringing dollars and jobs with them. Several large projects are coming to Wyoming, including TerraPower’s first Natrium reactor demonstration project at a retiring coal plant in Kemmerer and the U.S. Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) missile upgrade in Cheyenne.

Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park (Photo: Adobe Stock)

 

Investing billions in shovel-ready sites has allowed Wyoming to grow in the manufacturing sector. Existing manufacturers have taken advantage of this growth and diversified into the aerospace sector. To facilitate growth, Wyoming offers the Business Ready Community (BRC) grant and loan program. This incentive provides financing for publicly owned infrastructure that serves the needs of businesses and promotes economic development.

Manufacturing is not the only thriving sector in the state. Wyoming is also known for its innovation in agri-business. Agriculture has been a staple for Wyoming for decades. The state approved a grant to support the development of the world’s largest and most advanced vertical farming research center in Laramie. The new Plenty Unlimited Inc. research center is dedicated to advancing the emerging technology field of indoor agriculture. Plenty also plans to utilize an internship-to-employment pipeline to hire local workers.

“Wyoming is proud to invest in the continued success of a business that was first innovated here in Wyoming by one of our own and demonstrated at the 2015 World Expo,” said Governor Mark Gordon when announcing the project in February. “The level at which Plenty will be operating in this new facility will truly advance Wyoming’s preeminence as a global center of indoor agricultural research. This center gives us a tremendous opportunity to promote a state-of-the-art R&D cluster and further diversify our state’s economy.”

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To support the growing economy Wyoming offers a diverse and talented workforce. The state has a median age of 36, which is the 14th youngest in the country. To develop the young and diversifying workforce the state offers training grants of up to $1,500 per employee, per year through the Wyoming Workforce Development Training Fund.

Cheyenne Has Shovel-Ready Sites Ready For Businesses

When people think of Wyoming, they don’t always think of a state that is pushing boundaries and looking to the future. They tend to think about cowboys, rodeo, and hopefully, the grit of the people, a trait that comes from having been raised to put in a hard day’s work. Of course, those things are a part of the fabric that makes Wyoming unique, but the capital city of Cheyenne is a lot more.

Cheyenne sits just 30 minutes north of Fort Collins, CO, and 90 minutes north of Denver International Airport. This affords access to large metropolitan amenities while enjoying clean air, blue skies, good schools, and a low crime rate.

Wyoming
The Cheyenne Business Parkway encompasses a total of 900 acres immediately east of central Cheyenne and within city limits. (Photo: Cheyenne Leads)

 

Cheyenne, with a population of just over 100,000, may have a small-town feel but it has been doing big business for several decades. In 1986, a group of businessmen decided that someone needed to be focused on growing industry in the city and county. They agreed to pull together their financial resources and their business contacts to create Cheyenne LEADS, a nonprofit organization that has been the model for economic development organizations around the state and region. Many of the original members still stop by the office and take pride in having the forethought to create an organization that has stood the test of time with very few changes, including only ever having three CEOs.

Part of the forward thinking that has made LEADS successful is the purchasing of land and creating two shovel-ready business parks—the Cheyenne Business Parkway (CBP) purchased in 1992 and the North Range Business Park purchased in 2004. The community supported both ventures by contributing to capital campaigns. In 2021 and 2022, Cheyenne LEADS assisted with the annexation and entitlement of two other business parks, Bison and High Plains, to further add options to land available for businesses looking to move or expand.

All the parks are located adjacent or near the intersection of Interstate 80 and Interstate 25, allowing for speed to market and logistic efficiency. The popularity of Cheyenne as a location has only increased during recent uncertain times when not only was Wyoming open for business, but invited business, entrepreneurs, and workforce with open arms. Many were looking for lower costs, access to the great outdoors, and a unique quality of life rarely found.

In fact, Cheyenne recently welcomed Stag Arms, UMC Technologies, and TBC Manufacturing. Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle broke ground on a new 115,000-square-foot facility earlier this year in the Cheyenne Business Parkway. Cheyenne is already home to companies like Microsoft, Sierra, Magpul Industries, EchoStar/Dish Network, and Lowe’s and Walmart Distribution Centers.

Cheyenne recently welcomed Stag Arms, UMC Technologies, and TBC Manufacturing. Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle broke ground on a new 115,000-square-foot facility earlier this year in the Cheyenne Business Parkway.

If all that wasn’t enough, Wyoming for 10 years running has been ranked #1 by the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index due to a favorable tax model including, but not limited to, no state individual or corporate income tax. If you are looking to move or expand your business, maybe it’s time to think Cheyenne.

For more information, visit Cheyenneleads.org.

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