by Tina Pomroy

    Doing Business in Houston – 10 Reasons You Want to be Here

    Houston ranked number one in 52 economic development categories between 2009 and 2012. It is the fastest growing millionaire city in the U.S., and in 2008, it ranked number one on Kiplinger’s top 10 cities—check out the video.

    This energy capital of the world holds more than 3,600 energy-related businesses. With a rich history and solid industrial and transportation infrastructure, Houston boasts worldwide recognition for its energy sector. It is also a leader in health care and oilfield equipment construction and is home to the second largest number of Fortune 500 headquarters in the U.S.

    Life is large and business is big in Houston

    The city is well known for its NASA command centers that communicate with space flights. This innovative and thrilling environment personifies Houston. Check out the following top 10 reasons you want to be in Houston for business and life.

    1. Incredible Opportunity

    Houston‘s oil and natural gas sectors are booming, while renewable energy sources are growing economic bases. Sustainable energy solutions are being created here. If you want to be part of the future of energy, you want to be part of Houston.

    Exciting and dynamic career opportunities abound in Houston—one of the strongest job markets in the U.S. The energy sector is a key reason for a thriving labor market, but other sectors are also flourishing, with continued expansion expected. A whopping 84,600 new jobs are expected to be created in 2012!

    So much opportunity exists in Houston, that a five-year economic development marketing program, called “Opportunity Houston,” has been created.

    2. Leading Research

    Houston‘s knowledge and resource base provides a solid and excellent foundation for research in all forms of energy from oil to wind. The Institute for Energy Research and the Advanced Energy Consortium support the advancement of energy research and aim to create future sustainability.

    Along with numerous top universities, the University of Houston is a nationally recognized top tier research university. It uses its Energy Research Park to explore and test new processes, to partner with industry to accelerate new technologies, and to provide a manufacturing incubator.

    3. Amazing Access

    Talent and skills, from new graduates to seasoned professionals, are available here. According to the 2011 Monster.com survey of Houston recruiters, most job postings are filled within 30 days, demonstrating a good supply and demand match for skills.

    Houston’s network of Fortune 500 companies, international headquarters and economic development programs provide a ripe environment for doing business. Additionally, some of the top global conferences and trade shows are held here, including the Offshore Technology Conference 2012, Total Energy USA and IHS CERA’s 31st Annual Executive Conference to name a few.

    A world-class transportation system supports Houston. The Port of Houston is well established and ranked number one in the U.S. for international waterborne-tonnage handled, the Houston Airport System is the fourth largest multi-airport system in the U.S., and METRO Rail operates more than 1,400 accessible buses.

    4. International Presence

    Ninety languages are spoken and 83 consulates operate in Houston. Cultural and ethnic diversity creates a platform for greater access to international connections, more effective global solutions and a rich life experience. The significant international presence and plan for continued growth provides a sense of ease for a business or expat entering Houston.

    5. Business Infrastructure

    Texas has been ranked the top state for business climate each year since 1999. The rating includes tax favourability, pro-business attitude, and economic development support and incentives. Houston’s tax structure consistently provides a low-cost business environment.

    The Greater Houston Partnership provides timely information about doing business and living in this energetic city. The excellent economic development network, business programs, and incentives for expansion and relocation stimulate outstanding conditions for business growth and retention.

    6. Reasonable Costs

    Houston has a higher buying power than any other large metropolitan area in the country. In the third quarter of 2011, housing costs were 3 percent below the average for other large metro areas. With affordable living costs, you can put your money into living life!

    7. Evolving Economy

    Houston has been identified as the Future Natural Gas Capital of the World! The hydraulic-fracturing industry is evolving and greener methods are being invented. Solutions to environmental risks from the chemicals used in this process are being developed and tested. In January 2012, a 100 percent green fracking fluid called SteriFrac was EPA and FDA approved. As an important method for extracting natural gas, fracturing will become more environmentally friendly and economically important. The industry expects to increase worker demand by one million in the U.S. by 2025, and chemical companies will experience cost reductions from using natural gas. Click here for links and information about Houston’s energy future.

    8. Exciting Events

    From the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to the professional sporting events from Houston’s many national Houston will see international performances such as the Cirque du Soleil, and music concerts including Radiohead, Cold Play, Madonna and more.

    Theater and arts events offer some of the most impressive in the country with the Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Space Center Houston, and Houston’s Museum District. Houston is one of only five cities in the U.S. with resident companies in theater, ballet, symphony and opera.

    For event listings, visit www.houston-theater.com.

    9. Large Life

    Residents of Houston live large. They travel only 50 miles to the Gulf of Mexico for adventure and only 30 minutes to Clear Lake—a 2,000-acre recreational boating destination. They play golf at any of the 165 private and public golf courses interspersed throughout the area. They shop in style at first-rate malls like the Galleria, featuring remarkable architecture, an ice rink, three office towers and two hotels. And they enjoy a magnificent butterfly park, a theatre under the stars, the Houston zoo and numerous wildlife areas.

    Houston’s nightlife is sensational and alive! You can dine at award-winning restaurants with international and national recognition, and socialize at any type of pub, bar, club or saloon. Glitz and glamour are as easy to enjoy as a steak and beer or relaxing jazz.

    Click here for a listing of Houston’s restaurants and here for nightlife.

    10. Outdoor Oasis

    Lush green parks, bayous, and towering trees. Hiking, hunting, and fishing. Biking, camping, and in-line skating. Climbing, paddling, and sailing. Outdoor life in Houston is as adventurous as you want it to be.

    Houston is a desired destination. Period. As Anthony Chase, chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership, states, “Houston’s future is Greater. Global. Growing.”


    Tina Pomroy

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