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Study says Idaho’s capital ideal for businesses

BOISE – Businesses looking for a new home now have another reason to consider Boise.

The city ranked fifth among 10 cities with comparable population numbers when it comes to having a favorable cost-of-doing-business environment, according to a recently released study by the audit, tax and advisory firm of KPMG LLP.

Boise ranked 10th best overall and second best in the West when measured against 44 communities with varying population sizes.

Based on a national median cost index of 100, Boise scored 97.9, finishing behind only Dothan, Ala., Lexington, Ky., Jackson, Miss., and Sioux Falls, S.D. and Lewiston, Maine, which tied for fourth. Spokane, Wash., was the most expensive city on the list.

The results will provide an added tool for business recruiters looking to convince outside companies to relocate or add facilities in Boise, said Shirl Boyce, vice president of the Boise Metro Economic Development Council.

“What it says is that Boise is a likely place to look,” Boyce said. “It sets us apart for companies to look at.”

In a second category, which looked at the cost of doing business in 44 cities of varying sizes, the only Western city to fare better was Salt Lake City, which finished in ninth place, one spot ahead of Boise. Western cities finishing behind Boise included Seattle, Portland, Spokane and Colorado Springs, Colo.

“Within its region, Boise did very well,” said Glenn Mair of Vancouver-based MMK Consulting, which produced the study for KPMG. “People should infer that if they´re interested in locating a business in the Northwest, Boise is certainly someplace they should look at.”

Among the business components examined in the study were land, building and office lease costs, local wages, salary and benefits, cost of utilities, financing and local, state and federal taxes.

Boise finished third lowest in office lease costs among the 44 cities studied, third lowest in the cost of utilities and fourth lowest in the cost of salary, wages and benefits.

It did not fare quite so well in other areas, including transportation, telecommunications and taxes, Mair said.

Boyce said the study will help business executives decide who makes the short list of communities being considered.

“This will help company executives through a maze of data when it comes to narrowing the field (among potential host cities),” he said. “It very much helps distinguish us from the rest of the pack.”