Flagstaff is a prominent distribution center for the region. Tourism and hospitality are also a significant part of the economy due to Flagstaff being close to the Grand Canyon National Park. The city receives more than 5 million visitors each year. Education, the government and transportation are also significant factors for the economy.
Flagstaff has high-tech research and development operations such as Lowell Observatory and Northern Arizona University. The city's environmental engineering and information technology industries are being developed. Flagstaff also produces goods such as surgical and medical instruments, pet food, circuit boards, wind generators and packaging products.
The major sectors for employment in descending order are:
- Leisure and hospitality
- Trade, transportation and utilities
- Education and health services
- Construction and mining
Flagstaff provides an Infrastructure Assistance Incentive Fund which provides up to $100,000 per economic development project. Flagstaff includes Enterprise Zones which offer businesses state income tax credits based on the number of net employees they hire. Other types of tax credits are available. Arizona also provides matching funds of up to 75% to companies for the training of employees for new jobs in the state. In addition, the Flagstaff Job Service Center offers a variety of assistance to employers.
In 2008 the cost of living index in Flagstaff was 100.2 which is very near the national average of 100. Also, close to 40% of Flagstaff's residents have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Shown below are the primary employers in Flagstaff:
- Flagstaff Medical Center
- Northern Arizona University
- Flagstaff Unified School District
- W.L. Gore and Associates - Gore-Tex
- City of Flagstaff
- Grand Canyon Railway
- Machine Solutions
- Nestle Purina PetCare - manufactures pet food
- SCA Tissue - tissue paper producer
- Joy Cone - ice cream cone manufacturer
- Walgreens - distribution center
- Conconino Community College
- Pepsi Cola Bottling Plant
- Connect Tech International
- Southwest Wind Power
- SCA North America
- Western Truss and Components
- Block Lite Company
Helpful business organizations for Flagstaff companies:
- The Greater Flagstaff Economic Council
- Arizona Small Business Development Center Network
- Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce - Economic and Workforce Development
The Arizona Daily Sun provides up-to-date information regarding the business activities in Flagstaff.