West Valley Economic Development Opportunities Accelerate Due to New Foreign Trade Zone Project
January 11, 2012 – Peoria, AZ – WESTMARC received final approval for the Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone, Inc. (GMFTZ) Zone #277, to operate under the Alternative Site Framework (ASF) structure. The ASF structure is authorized by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Foreign-Trade Zones Board, and allows GMFTZ (the Zone Grantee) to expedite approval for new Usage-Driven Zone requests.
GMFTZ Zone #277 was originally formed in 2010 under the Traditional Site Framework (TSF) structure. GMFTZ applied for restructuring under the new format because the ASF is a more nimble, business-friendly process, and provides expedited approval for businesses that qualify for FTZ status. A qualifying business interested in locating within WESTMARC’s region can now apply under the expedited ASF, which drastically reduces the amount of time typically required for review and processing at the federal level. “This ASF approval paves another avenue for attracting businesses to our communities by offering them the best economic tools available,” said Michelle Rider, President & CEO of WESTMARC, which provides support and marketing services to GMFTZ Zone #277.
Since its formation, GMFTZ Zone #277 has acted as a primary catalyst for attracting new economic development and businesses to the West Valley. “We are thrilled with the activity that has occurred within the first year of the Zone’s existence and look forward to its continued positive impact on our economic development efforts to attract new businesses and employment opportunities to the communities we serve,” said Jack Lunsford, President of GMFTZ. Currently, the GMFTZ includes six sites throughout the West Valley with locations in the City of Goodyear, the City of Surprise and one west of the Town of Buckeye.
The GMFTZ project has stimulated growth within the West Valley through the attraction of three manufacturing companies that have either relocated or expanded their local facilities and operations as a direct result of utilizing the new FTZ program. These three manufacturing entities, along with a large retail distribution project currently being established, will increase employment opportunities for the residents and attract more businesses to follow. “This Zone has been a catalyst in just twelve short months for the development of more than 1.7 million square feet of industrial space, which has been activated and filled with West Valley employees. Not all companies can benefit from an FTZ; a number of factors must be reviewed and analyzed to make that determination. However, many companies are seeing significant federal and state benefits with FTZ No.
277,” said Curtis Spencer, national FTZ consultant and Zone expert. Completing a cost- benefit analysis can provide an organization with an estimate of the costs and savings associated with establishing an FTZ. IMS Worldwide, Inc., Mr. Spencer’s firm, offers a free online cost-benefit analysis tool that provides you with this valuable insight (www.imsw.com/costbenefitform.htm).
Greater Maricopa FTZ, Inc. is the Grantee and Administrator of Zone #277. WESTMARC is the West Valley’s partnership of public, private and educational sectors. WESTMARC’s mission is to advance the region’s interests toward encouraging economic development and enhancing the quality of life for citizens in the West Valley of Maricopa County (www.westmarc.org). WESTMARC’s communities include: Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Gila Bend, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Peoria, West Phoenix, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Tolleson, Wickenburg and Youngtown.