Chain stores are fleeing Main Street. “Retail Space Available” signs fill the Post Road. “06880” commenters warn that high taxes, crumbling infrastructure and many other factors put our town in peril.
But a business environment is more than merchants. And a new study from the Yankee Institute ranks Westport as Connecticut’s 3rd most business-friendly town.
The public policy institute collected and measured data from the state’s 50 largest municipalities. Criteria included economic vitality (median income and job growth), tax burden, transportation, and “community allure” (education, crime rates, cost of living).
The Yankee Institute report says Westport is
heavily reliant on financial service companies, with over 7,000 financial-sector employees. Major companies include Bridgewater Associates and Canaan Partners from the financial services area. But Westport is also home to Terex, a Fortune 500 industrial equipment manufacturing company.
The Yankee Institute adds: “Westport’s score was lowered by its high tax burden. But high community allure, economic vitality and transportation infrastructure kept it high on our list.”
I’m not sure what “transportation infrastructure” means — something about ports of entry, interstate highways and rail lines — but we’ll take it.
Westport followed Fairfield and Greenwich. Ridgefield was 4th, Simsbury 5th — meaning the state’s 4 most business-friendly towns are in Fairfield County.
The least business-friendly places were cities like Waterbury, New Haven and Hartford. All face severe fiscal challenges. Stamford was the only major city to score in the top 25.
To celebrate our town’s ranking, “06880” invites you to treat yourself to something nice — a gift perhaps, or a meal.
Anywhere in town that’s open.
(Click here for the full report. Hat tip: Avi Kaner)