Relocation is often a necessary part of expansion. As businesses grow, they should consider opening offices and sending employees to other parts of the country. But a great HR team won’t just send employees off to some dumpy city with no opportunity, nor will it consider opening an office in a depressed area. These departments will instead consider which U.S. cities have the most to offer going forward. While cities like New York and Chicago are huge markets, there are smaller, high-potential destinations that would make for excellent corporate relocation options. Here are 5 American Cities On The Rise, in no particular order:
1. Austin, Texas
According to Forbes, the Texas capital was the country’s fastest-growing city in 2014 and there are no signs of it slowing. The Milken Institute ranked Austin as the best-performing city in America this year thanks to its growing tech scene, strong economy and large population of young professionals. It also doesn’t hurt that Austin has a food and music scene to draw tourists and entertain residents. Like other cities on this list, Austin is also a cost-effective place to be, according to New Geography. You will get more bang for your buck there than in cities like Boston or San Diego.
“HR teams should consider which U.S. cities have the most to offer going forward.”
2. Charlotte, North Carolina
While cities like New York and San Francisco will never be out of style, they’re also huge and expensive – not necessarily traits that will accommodate expanding businesses. Relocating to one of those monstro-cities will cause near-certain culture shock. Charlotte, on the other hand, is an example of what may soon be more popular: small city centers with sprawling suburban areas that make it easy to keep one foot in the city and the other in the neighborhood. Plus, Forbes had Charlotte ranked eighth on its list of fast growing cities in 2014.
3. Houston, Texas
Why does Texas deserve two cities on this list? It’s certainly big enough, for one thing. But it’s also worth noting that Houston is now the most ethnically and racially diverse city in the U.S., having recently surpassed New York City, according to The Daily Beast. Not only that, New Geography ranked Houston in 2012 as the No. 1 city for wages, adjusted for cost of living. In other words, a dollar goes further in Houston and there are more dollars to go around.
4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Unfairly relegated to “Pennsylvania’s Other City,” Pittsburgh may have more to offer the business world than cross-state rival Philadelphia – and not just in the steel industry. Shale gas has exploded in Pittsburgh – not literally, thankfully – and tech companies are drawn to the area for its low cost of living, reported Business Insider. The housing market in Pittsburgh fared better than most during the Recession, making it an affordable and convenient location for expanding businesses.
5. Oakland, California
The Bay Area is the hot trend for tech startups, but it isn’t always the easiest or most affordable one. Oakland offers a similar location with a different vibe – many have begun calling it “Brooklyn on the Bay,” according to The New York Times. That’s because the city has a culture centered on the arts, food, progressivism and, lately, the tech industry. But it isn’t just for the hip bars that a company should consider relocating employees to Oakland – creativity breeds success. If you put business in proximity with divergent thinking, the results will likely be positive.
These are just five of the most promising cities in the U.S. There are certainly others to choose from, but these represent a broad array of urban centers in regions across the country. For an HR department looking for the right place to relocate employees, this list is a good place to start.