More and more every day, people are choosing Marana as the place where they want to live and raise their families. By percentage, our town was the ninth-fastest growing community in the state from 2011 to 2012.

As a municipal government, we’re happy when we see new residents. People have their choice of numerous places to live in Arizona and across the Southwest and it’s gratifying to know that so many are picking Marana.

With more residents – Marana has approximately 37,000 now – comes new opportunities for business. Commerce follows rooftops and our town’s business sector is on the brink of taking off.

Sometimes people who want to do business here need to be assured that the local government shares their vision of success. It doesn’t do a business owner much good to set up shop in a location that isn’t easily accessible or doesn’t have the ability to hook into utilities.

 We often call Marana the best place in Southern Arizona to do business and we take that vow seriously. As proof, staff has developed and town council has adopted a policy that gives the Town more latitude for existing sales tax use in the downtown Marana district.

The program, which goes into effect July 1, commits half of construction sales taxes and general sales taxes from new and existing businesses in the downtown area to a new reinvestment fund. The town would then use that money to improve public infrastructure – roads, drainage and beautification projects -- that benefits businesses and residents there. It’s an innovative concept that mirrors some of the many business-friendly programs the town has adopted the past few years,

Downtown Marana is the future of our community. The area, which lies along Interstate 10 frontage between Tangerine and Marana roads, has high-growth potential and is one of nine activity centers identified in our economic roadmap. The town will do everything it can to revive downtown Marana and make it a central gathering place for our community.

Of course, big things don’t happen overnight and financial commitments need to be made by investors and entrepreneurs. The town wants to create an environment that allows those risk-takers to feel confident that the proper infrastructure is in place before they open their business doors.

A great community must have thriving commercial centers. Our staff and elected officials have pledged to continue making the town a success. We are business-friendly and we will have a downtown that will make people even happier to live in Marana.

(Editor’s Note: Curt Woody is the Town of Marana’s Economic Development Manager.)

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