A recent report by Bloomberg ranked Wyoming’s economy as last in the nation. The report was based on home and stock values, employment and income.

Bloomberg credited Wyoming’s poor score to the downturn in the energy economy and the lack of urban centers in Wyoming, which is where job growth tends to increase.

State revenues have certainly taken a hit in recent years with the decline of the oil, gas and coal industries in the state. A large part of the state budget is derived from taxing those industries and legislators made extensive cuts last year in response to the downturn.

The report also emphasizes the importance of urban areas to economic growth. Wyoming’s small population, the report says, is a challenge to economic growth in Wyoming.

Wyoming Business Council Communications Director Ron Gullberg says that while Wyoming does rely heavily on the energy sector and has a small population, there are many strengths that Wyoming has to attract businesses.

“As the state’s attention focuses on growing and diversifying Wyoming’s economy during this current downturn, all of the inherent benefits of doing business in Wyoming can come in to play,” Gullberg says.

Among the advantages to doing business in Wyoming that Gullberg named are the low tax burden, low cost of doing business, manufacturing sales tax exemptions, access to the Governor and legislators and three interstate highways, two Class I railroads, 10 in-state airports and border access to three major international airports.

“When you look at the inherent advantages to doing business in Wyoming, our state falls in line with much of what these decision-makers are looking for,” Gullberg said. “This is why the Wyoming Business Council and its local economic development partners around the state are working hard to tell Wyoming’s story and let these decision-makers know this is a great place to do business.”

Gullberg indicated a few Wyoming businesses independent of the energy sector that have flourished in Wyoming, one of them being HiViz Shooting Systems in Laramie.

“After HiViz Shooting Systems moved to Laramie, it formed Snowy Range Manufacturing and acquired an Arizona molding and milling company,” Gullberg said. “HiViz anticipated creating 20 jobs in its first three years of operation, but has created 42 positions to date and is currently working on an expansion project.”

McGinley Orthopaedic Innovations in Glenrock is company that Gullberg said exceeded expectations.

Gullberg said the company is revolutionizing orthopedic surgery in terms of reduced operating room costs and increased patient safety with its patented IntelliSense Drill. It exceeded its three-year hiring projection within three months and currently employs 42 people. Some employees have come from the region’s hard-hit energy industry, Gullberg said.

Despite the challenge of the energy downturn, Gullberg says the Wyoming Business Council recruiters have plans to maintain momentum going forward.

That plan includes focusing on advanced industries like energy and natural resource technologies, information technology and data, research and development, advanced engineering and manufacturing, outdoor products and agricultural technology and food products.