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Town of Farragut best in state
‘Most Business-Friendly City’ award bestowed upon town during Monday ceremony

Tennessee Center for Policy Research president Drew Johnson presented the town of Farragut an award Monday, naming it the “Most Business-Friendly City” in the state.

Johnson said this is the first year for the award and the TCPR chose Farragut from more than 50 cities. The award was decided based on four categories — a fair and reasonable tax structure, a satisfying community environment that draws high-quality employees, a skilled labor pool that delivers high return on investments in human capital and local amenities that draw customers and make it easier to do business.

“This is a really great honor for the town of Farragut,” said Mayor W. Edward Ford III. “Our forty staff members are the greatest in the world.”

Bettye Sisco, president and CEO of the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber has been a proud partner with the town.

“Our future is what we continue to be and grow to,” she said.

Vice Mayor Mike Haynes said Farragut receiving the award was also due in part to the partnership between the town and Knox County, which provides police, fire and other services.

Johnson said a non-existent property tax in Farragut was a large determining factor in the town’s favor.

“When we were looking at this award, we asked businesses and chambers of commerce what was the main determining factor in a businesses’ growth,” Johnson said. “Property tax was that key factor.”

Johnson said for the satisfying community environment criterion, the TCPR looked at issues such as availability of restaurants and parks as well as the culture rating on the Yahoo Web site. It also looked at the crime rate, for which the Center had to use Knox County crime statistics since Farragut has no police force.

The skilled labor pool information, Johnson said, was obtained through high school and college graduation rate information. He said this information came from county statistics, since Farragut doesn’t lay claim to the schools within its boundaries. Knox County Board of Education and the Knox County Schools system is in charge of those schools.

The local amenities that draw customers include parks and access to the Interstate Johnson said.

“This award reflects Farragut’s livability, convenience and low property tax rate,” Johnson said. “It’s no wonder that Farragut is one of the fastest growing places in Tennessee — according to our research it’s simply the most welcoming city in the state for a new business and the least burdensome for an existing one.”

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research study from which Tennessee’s “Most Business-Friendly City” was determined will be featured in BusinessTN magazine’s annual “Book of Lists,” which is scheduled for release in early March.

“We are honored to be the media partner in publishing the results of this important study regarding the business friendliness of our state’s largest cities,” said BusinessTN editor Drew Ruble.

Bill Johns, a former mayoral candidate and frequent critic of the town of Farragut, said, "This is a great recognition for Farragut and all the community leaders. Farragut town staff, the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce, and the entire Board of Mayor and Alderman that made this designation possible need to be congratulated.

“Mayor Ford should be praised for his diligence in making great strides during the past year in retail development and all of Farragut's citizens should encourage him to keep the momentum going,” Johns added. “In addition, we should all thank the developers, businesses and entrepreneurs who contribute daily to our community.

“Although the Tennessee Center for Policy Research is a policy research organization and not a national economic development ranking organization, this is a great honor for Farragut. In how the four categories are examined by T-C-P-R and how these indicators are weighted, I expect to see our community leading the pack for years to come."


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