Regina Romero

City of Tucson

If you were to be asked by a site selector, what is the best part of doing business in Tucson, what are the areas you would highlight?

With our beautiful surroundings, thousands of years of history, heritage and culture, and commitment to innovation, Tucson is a unique city to do business. Our desert environment offers sunshine and natural beauty for hiking, biking, and year-round outdoor activities. We are a UNESCO City of Gastronomy with diverse food businesses everywhere. As a city, we pride ourselves on supporting local and legacy businesses that contribute to Tucson’s history and sense of place. 

Recent announcements in clean energy include American Battery Factory locating here. It will break ground in October on its first battery cell gigafactory in the U.S. This will make it the country’s largest manufacturing site for the production of lithium iron phosphate battery cells, a $1.2 billion project. Our collaboration between the City of Tucson, Pima County, Sun Corridor Inc. and the Arizona Commerce Authority shows how we are coming together to pave the way for a project of this scale to move forward.

What are some of the emerging trends in your industry that could have an impact locally on site selectors looking at the Tucson region?

Tucson is a desert city that lives its values. Our recently adopted Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, Tucson Resilient Together and our EV Readiness Roadmap demonstrate our commitment to creating the green jobs of the future. This gives companies whose values align with ours the confidence to expand and locate here.

I have always said that public infrastructure brings private investment. Local government continues to be an important partner in attracting and retaining industries. This is why I have been working hard as Mayor to successfully bring federal dollars home to Tucson to invest in our infrastructure.

When I meet with CEOs and site selectors, I talk with them about the City’s strategic action plans and how we are using them to guide our work. These include the Housing Affordability Strategy for Tucson, Move Tucson, our climate action plan − Tucson Resilient Together, the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Tucson. 

Aside from the areas you would highlight to a site selector, what are you most optimistic about for the future economic development in the region?

The City of Tucson is doing a great job telling the story of small business programs and how we are investing in our industry clusters in collaboration with regional partners like Pima County and Sun Corridor Inc. The City of Tucson recently led a regional application for a federal EDA Tech Hubs grant that focuses on battery development and green jobs. In it we cited American Battery Factory coming to Tucson and Sion Power’s expansion, both of which are showing us that there is opportunity and job creation in the battery development and clean energy sector. 

At the same time, we are continuing to prioritize programs and opportunities for small businesses: they are the lifeblood of our economy.


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