Katowice took second place in the ranking of Business-Friendly Cities by Forbes. The gala took place on Tuesday evening (17/10/2023), during the Europejskie Forum Samorządowe in Poznań. The city’s cooperation with business also brings benefits to the residents of Katowice.
„To be an attractive place to live, the city needs a good housing offer, a wide range of leisure activities and a rich labour market. It is in this context that we take action to support the business that creates these jobs. Activities such as founding of the Investor Assistance Department or the the Rawa.Ink Business Incubator are bringing results,” says Marcin Krupa, the mayor of Katowice. „A particularly important activity is involvement of investors in the development of Katowice, who by opening their offices, on the one hand, provide the residents with well-paid jobs, and, on the other hand, pay their taxes here so we can revitalise more parks, expand sports infrastructure, or launch new pro-social initiatives,” adds the mayor.
Katowice is second in the ranking
The cities and communes in the ranking were divided into five categories with regard to thier populations: over one million residents, 300,000 – up to a million, 150,000 – 299,000 (Katowice), 50,000 – 149,000, below 50,000. The following data were taken into account: net number of registrations of new companies in a given town (after subtracting bankruptcies and erasing from the register from new registrations); number of registered foreign companies; net migration of companies (transferred to the locality minus those moved out of it). The authors of the ranking gave this last factor three times more importance than the others. The data was provided by the Centralny Ośrodek Informacji Gospodarczej. In this edition, Rzeszów took first place, Katowice second, followed by Białystok and Gdynia.
Katowice has reached 750,000 m2 of office space and is still developing. The largest projects currently are Grundmann Office Park A, Eco City Katowice, and the recently commissioned Craft.
„In addition to office space, Katowice also offers sustainable transport, numerous green spaces and strong academic traditions, and its additional advantage is access to 3 international airports and a rich offer of the so-called leisure industry,” says Mariusz Jankowski, director of the Investors Assistance Department at the Katowice City Hall. „All these aspects make Katowice a special place for potential investors,” he adds.
Benefits for residents
Taking care of investors translates into new jobs and revenues to the city budget – whether from real estate tax, taxes for employees in new companies. This year the expected revenues for Katowice will amount to PLN 277 million from real estate tax, PLN 204 million from the share in CIT and PLN 536.1 million from the share in PIT. Data from the Statistics Poland in Katowice (GUS) show that in August 2023, unemployment in the city was 1.1% and was one of the lowest in Poland. Average employment in the enterprise sector was 129,600, with the average salary over PLN 8,796.
The city’s cooperation with the business community is also reflected in numerous programs addressed to residents. One of them is the Corporate Readiness Certificate (CRC) program, which is already 10 years old. It is addressed to students and graduates up to 2 years after graduation. As part of this project, 4 companies with offices in Katowice: Accenture, EY, ING Hubs Poland and Kyndryl help young people enter the world of business and IT. During the program, students learn about modern work methods, the latest technologies and management systems, and the best of them are invited to work or participate in internship programs in those companies. The American program which was started in Katowice, is now present in other cities.
Another educational program, but aimed at slightly younger residents, is the Katowice City of Professionals. Its goal is to promote education in vocational and technical schools, strengthen the attractiveness of this type of education and show the related professional prospects. The program is divided into four stages: a lesson at school, a study visit to the company, a visit to a technical/vocational school and a summary of the lesson. So far, four editions have been implemented, with almost 4,000 students of grades 7 and 8 of primary schools and almost 200 study visits.
Other educational programs include, for example, “Katowice, business and my future” and “P-TECH”. The activities of companies with offices in Katowice highlight corporate social responsibility (CSR). Very often these are pro-ecological projects. Sopra Steria, together with the Stworzyszenie Wolnej Herbaty, Carrefour and the IT company Orbus Software, regularly participate in cleaning selected districts often chosen by the residents. Adverity, Sopra Steria, Fujitsu, IBM plant plants as part of the city’s greening campaign. With the growing awareness of climate change and the position of urban greenery, businesses are investing in the quality of space that serves both them and the local community. Recently, partners of the Corporate Readiness Certificate program greened space near Spodek.
Joint activities shorten the distance and unite residents and office workers, who are often residents of selected areas.