Cost of Doing Business
Companies doing business in the Coastal Gateway area have a built-in economic advantage – the cost to operate a business here is 15 percent less than the national average.
Many parcels of land are available for sale throughout the region, including not only industrial properties but also agricultural, commercial and residential. It is not uncommon to find land for sale for less than $2,000 per acre. Many of those parcels are within close proximity to either the area's river system, or to Interstate 65 or one of several U.S. highways.
Those wishing to find a residential home within the CGEDA will almost always fare better, from a purchasing standpoint, than in trying to locate within one of the state's metropolitan areas. Home prices are very reasonable, with houses regularly selling for $70 per square foot or less. Many tracts of residential-zoned land are available for the citizen who opts to build rather than buy an existing structure.
In addition to low cost of land and structures, the five counties within the CGEDA area also boast a low cost of goods and services, including food, healthcare and insurance. Despite our close proximity to the Gulf Coast, insurance zones document lower risk and lower rates in the Coastal Gateway region. The cost of living index in 2012 for each county was 82.2 (Choctaw), 82.6 (Monroe), 82.7 (Conecuh), 82.8 (Clarke) and 82.9 (Escambia). The U.S. average is 100.0 per county.
Commercial and industrial property can be easily found in each of the five counties that make up the CGEDA footprint. Coastal Gateway is working aggressively with cities, counties, and local EDA's to develop properties with shovel-ready AdvantageSite status. The counties of the Coastal Gateway region are poised to offer great opportunities for commercial entrepreneurs and industrialists.
Companies can also count on the local wage scale being competitive, relative to neighboring areas. The average median income for a household in the five CGEDA-area counties was $26,332 in 2010, and the median income for a family was $33,699. With the lower cost of living, your highly skilled workers can live very well on competitive wages.
Alabama’s status as a right-to-work state can amplify cost savings even further, and the five Coastal Gateway counties have been able to remain particularly affordable despite the draw of its tourism industry, outdoor activities, historical significance and burgeoning economic corridors along Interstate 65 and Highway 43.