Competitive Advantages

A competitive advantage provides an edge over rivals and an ability to generate greater value for a firm and its shareholders. The more sustainable the competitive advantage, the more difficult it is for competitors to neutralize the advantage.

Every location touts itself as having the best workforce, or the best schools, or the best business environment, etc. In St. Charles County, here are some of the facts to keep in mind when considering a business investment or personal move to this dynamic community in metro St. Louis:

Average Costs

St. Charles County as part of the St. Louis MSA enjoys Missouri’s second lowest ACCRA Cost of Living Indices as reported the Council for Community and Economic Research. Among large U.S. cities, this puts St. Louis/St. Charles County among the most affordable in America.

Overall, St. Charles County’s 2010 cost of living score is 90.64 compared to the national average, according to Sperling’s BestPlaces.

Electricity

Electrical power in most of St. Charles County is provided by AmerenUE, a regulated utility. The company’s rates are nearly 35% below the national average and among the lowest in the nation according to the Edison Electric Institute.

Highway Transportation

Approximately $500 million has been invested by St. Charles County Government in building new roads and highways in the community over the last 25 years, thanks to funds provided by a half-cent transportation sales tax first enacted in 1986 and later reaffirmed in 1994 and 2004.

Central Location

Centrally located in metro St. Louis, St. Charles County is 350 miles or less from major markets in the American Heartland including Chicago (258 miles), Indianapolis (244 miles), Louisville (261 miles), Nashville (275 miles), Tulsa (350 miles), Kansas City (218 miles), Omaha (338 miles) and Des Moines (254 miles).

Air service

The presence of low-cost, low-fare airlines, as well as most of the full-service majors, keeps competition up and airfares down at Lambert St. Louis International Airport which is 10 minutes drive from St. Charles County. The community is also less than 5 miles from Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, one of the busiest business aviation airports in the Midwest.

Health and Wellness

St. Charles County is one of the healthiest places to live in Missouri, according to a 2010 national study of counties done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The local area was 1st in Health Factors, 1st in Health Behaviors, 1st in Mortality, 2nd in Health Outcomes, 2nd in Social & Economic Factors, 5th in Clinical Care, and 6th in Morbidity.

Education

Nearly 43 percent of all St. Charles County residents 25 years or older have a college degree ranging from associate to graduate level.

The St. Charles City-County Library District was ranked 3rd in the nation in 2010 for districts serving populations between 250,000 and 500,000, according to Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings.

Public Schools

St. Charles County is served by five public school districts that are all fully accredited with distinction by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Overall, public school districts in St. Charles County rank in the Top 25% of all Missouri districts.

National Recognition

Communities throughout St. Charles County are routinely singled out for national recognition. Some of these rankings including Money Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Live in America 2010 (O’Fallon – 26th & St. Peters – 60th), Money Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Live in America 2009 (St. Peters – 60th, O’Fallon – 68th, St. Charles – 82nd), MoneyMagazine’s 10 Best Small Cities in 2009 (Lake Saint Louis – 9th), BusinessWeek’s Best 50 Affordable Suburbs in 2007 (Wentzville – 25th), andBusinessWeek’s 25 Best Affordable Suburbs in 2006 (St. Charles, MO 63304 – 25th).

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