Elk Grove has one of the nation’s fastest growing economies, according to a new survey conducted by the personal finance website, WalletHub.com.
The city is listed in the survey as having the fastest growing economy in California and the 11th fastest growing economy in the nation. And for mid-sized cities of 100,000 to 300,000 residents, Elk Grove has the country’s seventh fastest economy, notes the survey.
Analysts for the website conducted their survey by comparing 515 American cities of “varying population sizes based on 14 key indicators of rapid economic growth.”
Using six years of data through 2015, the study reviewed such elements as population growth, unemployment rates, jobs and economy, socio-demographics, and expansions in regional growth domestic product – or total economic activity – per capita.
The introduction for the survey on the WalletHub site notes: “Experts might not agree on the ‘best’ or the ‘right’ recipe for rapid economic growth, but some cities have figured out the key ingredients and how to stir the pot just right to sustain long-term prosperity. Patterns emerge within those cities, allowing us to identify the contributing factors that perpetuate a lasting cycle of growth.”
Elk Grove Mayor-elect Steve Ly responded to the survey’s results
“A lot of the efforts have been due to the fact that the City Council has a significant shift to be business-friendly,” he said. “We’ve been regarded by this whole region as the number one place to do business. I mean, that kind of stuff really is exciting.
“You talk to people and they say, ‘Yeah, Elk Grove is a really nice community.’ Those sort of anecdotes really help us as council members to kind of gauge whether we’re on the right track, and I think there are many things that we can look forward to in the upcoming years.”
Angela Perry, president of the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce, also spoke about the business friendly environment of Elk Grove.
“Our city government has and continues to work hard to build a business-friendly environment since its incorporation in 2000,” she said. “Our business community is thriving as we look forward to many more jobs in the future with the completion of the (outlet) mall and the casino projects.”
Andrew Stern, senior account executive for No Limit Agency, which is promoting the survey, referred to Elk Grove as a city that is “hot for small businesses.” He mentioned that he is aware of several such businesses that are interested in expanding into Elk Grove.
One of those businesses is Showhomes, a company recognized as “America’s largest home staging provider.”
Matt Kelton, chief operating officer of this 30-year-old, Nashville- based company, described part of what interests Showhomes in expanding into Elk Grove.
“From what I’m seeing, Elk Grove is growing,” he said. “You’ve got a lot of newer homes and people are moving there. When I’m looking at (Elk Grove’s) demographics, you’ve got quite a few homes that are over $300,000 and you’ve got multi-million dollar homes in some areas. And it looks like you can have homes with acreage there, which is kind of unique.”
He added that the city’s economic growth also plays a role in Showhomes interest in Elk Grove.
“You’ve got some pretty big business in Elk Grove,” he said. “And (regarding the city’s future Costco store), they don’t put those in unless they expect major growth. So, that to me is a real big precursor for where the growth can happen. So, when we see that, we see this market is going to increase pretty dramatically I would think within the next five years.”
And in regard to plans for The Outlet Collection at Elk Grove mall and the adjacent, proposed Wilton Rancheria Indian casino at Highway 99 and Kammerer Road, Kelton said, “They wouldn’t be there if there weren’t people and there weren’t money.”
Kelton described a unique feature of Showhomes that is attractive to many people.
“We match vacant houses that are for sale with relocated executives or empty nesters who are looking for temporary housing,” he said. “You live in a house while it’s for sale, and if there’s a showing, you go to dinner or go have a drink. You move a couple times a year, but the value proposition is you’re living at a fraction of the cost.”
The company also performs home renovations to prepare homes to be sold.
Another business, which told the Citizen about its interest in expanding into Elk Grove is Signal 88 Security.
Kevin Jones, chief development officer for that business, described Signal 88 as a more than decade-old company that provides security franchises across the United States and in Australia.
He said that this Nebraska-based company uses the “patrol model concept,” with an officer who drives a patrol vehicle and provides security for private and commercial properties.
“We present ourselves as a deterrent, so we go out and we’ll patrol for whatever amount of time is needed,” he said. “We actually write reports, we take pictures and we send reports to each of our clients every night.”
Jones added that one of the company’s franchise owners has expressed an interest in operating his franchise in Elk Grove.
“We have someone just to the north (of Elk Grove) and he is interested in expanding to other areas, including Elk Grove,” he said.
Also discussing her interest in the economic growth of Elk Grove was Ashley Glory, marketing coordinator of the 12-year-old, full-service moving company, Two Men and a Truck.
Glory said that although this business has been serving Elk Grove for more than 11 years, it has a desire to expand in this community.
“We’re not necessarily new (to Elk Grove), but we expand in that area as much as possible,” she said.
Currently, the business is working with Elk Grove Food Bank Services to assist with their canned food drive by picking up cans of food at local elementary and high schools and depositing them at the food bank.
Glory emphasized the importance of Elk Grove to Two Men and a Truck.
“We do both home and business moves and Elk Grove is definitely one of our top five zip codes that move regularly,” she said.