Stamford is a "City of the Future," ranking seventh among small cities in the America’s for economic growth, according to a new report. The city ranks behind Sunnyvale, Irvine and Fremont, CA; Bellevue, WA; Ann Arbor, MI, and Fort Lauderdale. Also ranking in the top 10 are Cary, NC; Plano, TX; and Guelph, Ontario. It was one of three top-ten showings for Connecticut's third largest city. In addition to its overall position among just over 200 cities with populations between 100,000 and 350,000, Stamford placed second among small cities for connectivity, just behind Jersey (New Jersey) and ahead of Newark, Yonkers, Paterson, Elizabeth, and Sunnyvale, Hayward, Fremont and Vallejo in California.
The city also placed ninth for economic potential in the analysis and report released this week by a division of the Financial Times. The top cities in that category included Sunnyvale, Bellevue, Fremont, Irvine, Cary, Ann Arbor, Waterloo (Ontario), Plano and Chattanooga.
The 2017-18 rankings for the American Cities of the Future were developed by the Financial Times’ FDI unit, which studies foreign direct investment. In total, 421 locations were analyzed for the study. Data was then collected under five categories: Economic Potential, Business Friendliness, Human Capital and Lifestyle, Cost Effectiveness and Connectivity. ‘Small’ locations (209 locations) had immediate city populations of between 100,000 and 350,000, according to the study’s methodology.
“This is really good news for Stamford,” Joe McGee, vice president of public policy for The Business Council of Fairfield County, told the Stamford Advocate. “This index is closely watched by people who look at the hot places to invest, and clearly Stamford is one of those places. That connection to New York is really advantageous to Stamford.”
A year ago, Stamford launched the City’s new business portal, Stamfordbusinessportal.org, created "to eliminate red tape and streamline the process for planning and starting a small business in Stamford," according to officials. The multilingual website was designed and created by six interns during the summer of 2015, including four from the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program. The website includes links for permitting and licensing, starting a business and business incentives.
Stamford was the only Connecticut city to earn a spot on the lists.