Dayton named one of the nation’s top 7 enterprising cities

Dayton’s enterprising spirit has earned it national recognition.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation lists the city among its top enterprise-friendly cities.

City Commissioner Nan Whaley, a Dayton mayoral candidate, bragged about the recognition during a debate today in front of a Dayton Chamber of Commerce audience against opponent A.J. Wagner.

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The foundation is the research arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a lobbying group for business and trade organizations.

The foundation defines enterprising cities as those that “use policy inputs, well-designed community programs, and economic development best practices to create an environment where free enterprise creates jobs and prosperity. Economic prosperity creates fiscally sustainable local governments capable of supporting the infrastructure and workforce free enterprise needs.”

The Gem City is praised for its acclaimed “Welcome to Dayton” immigrant-friendly campaign in a lengthy profile.

Here is what the chamber says about Dayton at the start of its profile of the city:

“Faced with declining populations and the need to revitalize neighborhoods, Dayton’s “Welcome Dayton” plan is focused on improving integration of immigrants into the city’s economy, reducing barriers to business creation by immigrants, and creating an immigrant-friendly city culture that will be attractive to entrepreneurial immigrants. The city plans to support economic and population growth by attracting motivated immigrants to start businesses, rehabilitate neighborhoods, and create jobs. Dayton’s leaders and business community have embraced the program, helping the city expand programs to help immigrants learn English, open businesses, and access city services.”

Dayton is the only Midwest city on the list that also includes: Memphis,Tenn.; Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Sioux Falls, S.D.

The Welcome to Dayton campaigned has earned the city much national attention since it was first launched in 2011.

Whaley said The New York Times recently interviewed current Mayor Gary Leitzell and city officials about the policy.

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