Economic Development


Higher Learning

Santa Cruz County Provisional Community College District

2021 N Grand Avenue
Nogales, AZ 85621

University of Arizona Santa Cruz

2021 N Grand Avenue
Nogales, AZ 85621

Nogales Unified School District #1

Nogales High School

1905 N Apache Blvd
Nogales, AZ 85621

Pierson Vocational High School

451 N Arroyo Blvd
Nogales, AZ 85621

Wade Carpenter Middle School

595 W Kino St
Nogales, AZ 85621

Desert Shadows Middle School

340 Blvd Del Rey David
Nogales, AZ 85621

AJ Mitchell Elementary School

855 N Bautista Dr
Nogales, AZ 85621

RM Bracker Elementary School

121 Camino Diez Mandamientos
Nogales, AZ 85621

Challenger Elementary School

901 E Calle Mayer
Nogales, AZ 85621

Coronado Elementary School

2301 N Al Harrison Dr
Nogales, AZ 85621

Lincoln Elementary School

652 N Tyler Ave
Nogales, AZ 85621

Mary Welty Elementary School

1050 W Cimarron St
Nogales, AZ 85621


Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District #35

Rio Rico High School

590 Camino Lito Galindo
Rio Rico, AZ 85648

Calabasas Middle School

131 Camino Maricopa
Rio Rico, AZ 85648

Coatimundi Middle School

490 E Avenida Coatimundi
Rio Rico, AZ 85648

Mountain View Elementary

580 Camino Lito Galindo
Rio Rico, AZ 85648

San Cayetano Elementary

1412 W Frontage Rd
Rio Rico, AZ 85648

Pena Blanca Elementary

131 Camino Maricopa
Rio Rico, AZ 85648

Economic Development

Non-Profit Organizations

American Legion Ridge-Igo #23

970 N Grand Ave
Nogales, AZ 85621

Border Community Alliance

P.O. Box 1863
Tubac, AZ 85646

Borderlands Food Bank

270 W. Produce Row
Nogales, AZ 85621

Chicanos Por La Causa

575 N Grand Ave
Nogales, AZ 85621

Nogales Boys and Girls Club 

590 N Tyler Ave
Nogales, AZ 85621

Nogales Community Food Bank 

2636 N Donna Ave
Nogales, AZ 85621

Community Foundation

5049 E Broadway Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85711

Santa Cruz Council on Aging 

125 E Madison, Suite 4
Nogales, AZ 85621

Santa Cruz Training Program, Inc

91 E. La Castella Dr
Nogales, AZ 85621

Veterans of Foreign Wars 

653 N Grand Ave
Nogales, AZ 85621

Crossroads Nogales Mission 

338 N Morley Ave
Nogales, AZ 85621

Alzheimer’s Association Tucson Chapter 

2990 N Swan Road, Ste 147
Tucson, AZ 85712

Hilltop Gallery

730 North Hilltop Drive
Nogales, AZ, 85621

Economic Development


The State of Arizona has lowered taxes, streamlined regulations, and established a suite of incentives to support corporate growth and expansion. The Arizona Competitiveness Package, groundbreaking legislation adopted in 2011, makes it easier for existing Arizona companies to prosper and establishes Arizona as one of the most desirable places for expanding companies to do business. Give your company a competitive edge by utilizing Arizona’s incentives, programs, and grants.

City of Nogales Infill Incentive District

Construction projects located along parts of Grand Avenue that create quality paying jobs can qualify for a reimbursement of water and sewer impact fees.

Commercial Signs

Nogales has increased the signage areas for commercial uses! Contact our P&Z department for specific information.

Job Training

Job Training grants reimburse up to 75% of eligible training expenses for employers creating new jobs.

Quality Jobs

The Quality Jobs tax credit offers up to $9,000 of Arizona income or premium tax credits spread over a three-year period for each net new quality job.

Qualified Facility

The Qualified Facility program offers a refundable income tax credit equal eligible companies making a Capital Investment to establish or expand a Qualified Facilities.

Computer Data Center

CDC provides Transaction Privilege Tax and Use Tax exemptions at the state, county, and local levels, on qualifying purchases of CDC equipment.

Research & Development

The R&D tax credit provides an Arizona income tax credit for increased research and development activities conducted in this state.

Foreign Trade Zone

Businesses, located in a zone or sub-zone, are eligible for up to an 80 percent reduction in state real and personal property taxes.

Others available at

Economic Development


Nogales, Arizona is a major retail destination for thousands of Mexican shoppers looking to buy quality, affordable American apparel and products. Literally thousands of the emerging middle class Mexican consumers cross the border everyday to buy everything from milk, cheese, and eggs to clothing, televisions, computers, shoes, hardware, auto parts, and so much more. Retail volumes are often high at Nogales retail stores, with total sales within the City limits hovering around half a billion dollars annually.

Economic Development


In 1905, the first rail car carrying fresh produce from Mexico crossed the border at Nogales, Arizona. Today, Mexico has become the top supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables for the United States. Today, Nogales is the largest single border crossing for Mexican fresh produce, handling more than 37% of all Mexican imported produce into the United States. Chances are that if you ate a tomato, cucumber, or other fresh vegetable today, it came through Nogales.

Of course, all this produce means big business. With over 100 growers and distributors located in Nogales, our critical mass makes it vital for produce companies to have a presence in Nogales. Warehouses and offices are available to start or expand your fresh produce business in Nogales!

For more than a century Nogales has served as the main gateway to North American markets for Sinaloa- and Sonora-grown tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, and other, mostly winter-harvested, vegetables. Annually, about 120,000 trucks cross the border bringing about $2.5 billion worth of Mexican fresh produce.

Some of the fresh produce companies with locations in Nogales include:
Bay Area ProduceAMHPACAndrew & Williamson
Apache ProduceBaugh Supply ChainBernardi
C&R FreshC.M.M.VCalavo Growers
Carcione’s Fresh ProduceCiruli BrothersDel Campo
Delta FreshDivine FlavorDouble Tree Castle
Eagle Eye ProduceFarmer’s Best Int’lFresh Farms
GiumarraGreenhouse Produce Co.Grower’s Alliance
H.M. DistributorsHarrison FreshHealthy Trends Produce
IPR FreshJ-C DistributingJMB Distributing
Kaliroy FreshL&M CompaniesM.A.S. Melons & Grapes
Malena ProduceMastertouch BrandNova Produce
Omega ProducePDG ProducePacific Heartland
Pandol BrothersPrime Time Int’lProduce Exhange
Ritz ProduceSandia DistributorsSCC Fresh
Shipley SalesSierra Seed CompanySplendid Products
SunFedSykes CoTa-De Distributing
Tepeyac ProduceTricar SalesVandervoet & Associates
Vision ProduceWholesum Family FarmsWilson Produce


Economic Development


Ambos Nogales Manufacturing

Reshore, nearshore, reinvest. However you want to call it, Ambos Nogales can do it all for you. With its border location, you can take advantage of opportunities on both sides of the border.

Manufacturing vs Distribution

Connected by the brand new, state-of-the-art Mariposa Port of Entry, the Ambos Nogales region offers unique advantages and flexibility. Depending on the individual operation’s cost model, labor-intensive processes can take place in Nogales, Sonora to minimize costs in labor, while basing their distribution hubs in Nogales, Arizona.

However, trade regulations may arise in which retaliatory duties or tariffs can be placed on products finished outside the customs territory of the United States to discourage these cost savings. As a result, operations may send their final assembly division, or any other processes necessary to a U.S. facility to comply with the regulations’ guidelines, avoiding these retaliatory duties or tariffs. Once the retaliatory duties or tariffs are limited, operations may decide to return these processes to Mexico.

Government Regulations

With different trade treaties surfacing constantly worldwide, the Border Flex region affords manufacturers the flexibility of positioning themselves in the position most beneficial to them at a particular point in time, for their given industry.

Border Flex allows companies to ask the questions:

  • Where am I getting the most bank for my buck?
  • Where does it make the most sense to produce a product or component, and build the finished product?
Twin Plants

Nogales offers plenty of industrial space on both sides of the border, plus hundreds of open acres available for new construction. Twin Plant operations can be opened in Ambos Nogales to support high-tech, wire harnessing, medical device, automotive, agribusiness, injection molding, and aerospace manufacturing.

The binational market allows existing operations to reduce their inventory costs by operating under a true twin-plant operation. With inventory costs increasing in Mexico, companies can store inventory at a U.S. warehouse at a much lower cost while the inventory can be delivered to the manufacturing point in Mexico in a mere matter of minutes.

Taxing Systems

As uncertain as times have been when developing a long-term capital plan, the Ambos Nogales Flex Plan can be viewed as a chess board. The border gives operations the ability to use taxing systems from Mexico and/or the United States. They have the ability to move back and forth across the border for the benefit of the company. If a taxing system is modified during an operation’s stay, its management team does not have to change. Companies can use either side of the border and management can simply commute back and forth based upon the operation’s location.

Shelter operations are also available should a company choose to only locate on one side and have the flexibility of contracting with a shelter operation to produce a product on the Mexico side or the U.S. side.

Manufacturing on the Border

Time to market

Mexico is adjacent to the largest consumer market in the world—the United States. This becomes a key consideration of the supply chain where companies manufacturing in Mexico don’t need as much lead time for the product to reach the market.

Supply chain and logistics cost

Most companies have to change their whole supply chain structure when they outsource or offshore their processes or products. This structure involves supplier development in other countries and it is more costly to travel overseas to visit the suppliers. With transportation costs continuing to increase, logistics costs could also be higher from overseas, depending on the type and physical size of the product. As the gateway to the Western United States, Nogales, Arizona makes an ideal distribution location.

Labor costs

Wages in Mexico are about $3 an hour, and in Nogales, Arizona, one of the lowest cost of living cities in Arizona, the entry level manufacturing wage is about $8 an hour, ranking significantly lower than the $30 fully loaded in the US. Reduction in labor costs along often make manufacturing in Mexico an attractive option to manufacturing companies.


Companies need skilled, knowledgeable managers running their factories. This is more of a concern in China than in Mexico. By locating in Ambos NOgles, managers and their families can live in the United States while the managers work in Mexico and cross the border each day. In the Ambos Nogales region, we have over 500 managers, engineers, and other support staff that live in the United States and travel to Mexico for work everyday.

Shelter Operations

Expanding or relocating into Ambos Nogales offers a large selection of competitive advantages for companies looking to stay ahead of the competition. Likewise, those selections are also presented in different packages, with different amounts of investments in machinery and/or labor.

Under a shelter operation, a company will function under the “Shelter” of another manufacturing entity licensed and established in Mexico. This option represents a smaller capital investment and minimizes overall risks. The “Shelter” concept also allows them to bridge any cultural gaps and minimize the learning curve of doing business in Mexico.

The level of direct involvement that the company wishes to have in the day to day operation under the “Shelter” structure can be customized to account for the individual company’s needs. Likewise, companies are able to direct production schedules, quality systems, MRP systems, and more.

Terms for buy-outs or take-over processes are typically pre-negotiated, and multi-year agreements are also available. Fees will vary on individual basis and are traditionally structured based on the occupancy of the facility, and the time and size of workforce.

Items included in “Shelter Operations”

  • Startup capital
  • Up-to-date regulatory compliance
  • Sourcing of direct/indirect labor
  • Maintenance Repair Operations (MRO) procurement
  • Industrial facilities with necessary utilities
  • Stable relations with union and local government entities
  • Established network of logistics support on the U.S. and Mexico side of the border


Featured Article:

The Maquiladora Related Economy of Nogales and Santa Cruz County: December 02, 2014; Vera Pavlakovich-Kochi, Ph.D.

Since its inception in mid-1960s, the maquiladora sector has become the major engine of economic development in Nogales, Sonora. Although a significant industrial growth has taken place in other cities in Sonora (Hemosillo, Empalme, Guaymas and Ciudad Obregon), the border city of Nogales is still the leading location with the largest number of maquiladora employees in the state.

Nogales is home to manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution, produce, and other companies from across the world.

Economic Development

Why Nogales

Arizona is ranked first in the nation in projected job growth and economic growth prospects, and Nogales is the #1 Port of Entry in the entire Southwestern United States. It’s no wonder Nogales is a great place to do business! “Great weather, great people, great business advantages…why would I do business anywhere else?” Nogales is Arizona’s International Gateway and the county seat and economic heartbeat of Santa Cruz County. Nogales is safe, friendly, accessible and open for business.

Targeted Industries
International LogisticsMaquiladora ManufacturingAgribusiness & Fresh ProduceRetailDevelopment
Spanish-English Call CentersCustomer Service CentersSecurity, Aerospace, & DefenseTourism & Hospitality
Strategic Advantages:
No City Property TaxUniversity of ArizonaMaquiladora/Twin PlantsCultural Events
Toll-Free Border CrossingCANAMEX CorridorLow cost of livingBusiness-Friendly Government
Bilingual WorkforceAffordable Mexican ServicesMariposa Port of EntryGreat Weather
Excellent Quality of LifeForeign Trade ZoneInterstate 19Maquiladora Association
Deconcini Port of EntryI-11 Designated CorridorMorley Port of EntryLow Crime Rate
Low utility ratesNogales Int’l AirportTucson Int’l AirportTax Incentives
Close to Phoenix, Tucson, etcBorder Flex ManufacturingGreat SchoolsSeamless Border Crossing
Established Produce IndustrySmall Town CharmSupply Chain ExpertiseArt, History & Culture
Regional Population 400,000+Fortune 500 CompaniesIndustrial ParksRetain Destination

The Ambos Nogales binational region is strategically located as Mexico’s gateway to Arizona and the entire Western United States. The strategic location allows companies to enjoy the advantages of accessing two labor forces, two tax systems, and two governments.


Companies can utilize wage structures in Ambos Nogales to make their operations cost competitive. The median age in Ambos Nogales is very young, meaning the populations is young and ready to work.


The strategic location of Ambos Nogales along the US/Mexico border allows companies here to utilize the Mexican ports of Guaymas. Stopping in Nogales, containers, and products are shipped throughout North America.


With beautiful weather year round and limited threat of humidity, inventory and equipment will be kept operating with little energy costs needed.

Economic Development

Around Nogales

Boating, Fishing, and Hunting

Pena Blanca Lake and Patagonia Lake State Park offer tranquil fishing and boating experiences for individuals and families alike. The mountainour regions around Nogales lend themselves well to hunting all sorts of small and medium sized game.


Arizona Bol Lanes is an independently owned family bowling center locared in Nogales, Arizona. With 16 lanes of modern bowling, 2 pool tables in our billiards lounge and an arcade. Also located throughout the center are multi-screen audio/video music and sports viewing. Our mission is to provide a quality bowling experience so that our bowling guest and their families enjoy themselves and will return often.


Two golf courses in Santa Cruz County are sure to challenge your game while providing breathtaking views of the rivers, mountains, and wildlife.


Nogales and Santa Cruz County was the getaway home for movie stars like John Wayne, Stewart Granger, and Jean Simmons, and many more. There are a variety of places of interest to visit in the area for film buffs. In fact, more than 120 major motion pictures have been filmed in Nogales and Santa Cruz County, in addition to countless independent and documentary films. The following is just a small list of movies filmed by location in and around Nogales and Santa Cruz County. Not all areas are open to the public. Please check availability before entering.


Enjoy a variety of museums on both sides of the border offering interpretations of local art, history, and culture.


Nogales, Arizona has long been a destination shopping spot for visitors from south of the border while Americans have relished in the curio shopping and price haggling available in Nogales, Sonora. Paul Bond Boots has made custom boots for well known actors, singers, and others for decades.


Nogales and the surrounding area is a “Dark Skies” area thanks in part to the Fred Whipple Observatory located in the Santa Rita Mountains. Dark skies provide brilliant stargazing opportunities year round.

Walking Trail

Start your expedition of the Historic Anza Trail from Nogales to the San Francisco Bay area. Begin at the 1904 Courthouse in downtown, stop at Las Lagunas on Country Club Drive, continue north through Rio Rico to the Tumacacori National Historical Park, and finally end up at the Tubac Presidio State Historical Park. The entire drive with stops can be done in a few hours, or spend an entire day biking or hiking the trail.

Economic Development


A crossroads community for a thousand years wants you to experience its unique shopping, historical, and cultural adventures. The name Nogales comes from the Spanish word “walnut” and Walnut trees once grew abundantly in the mountain pass between the city of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico.

Thousands of years ago, before European explorers ever dreamed of sailing across the Atlantic, Nogales was part of a migratory path and trade route much later called El Camino Real (The King’s Highway). Much later, regiments of armor-clad Conquistadors forayed north along this very valley in quest of precious metals and gems. Today missions built by the Spanish colonials still dot the valley’s landscape.

Beginning in Nogales you will also encounter and even explore a national trail known as the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail first started in 1774 by Juan Bautista de Anza in Culiacan Mexico. Taking approximately 200 settlers and their escorts including cowboys, translators, mulepackers, Indian guides and over 1,000 head of livestock. Their mission was to make a land trail that would take them to the San Francisco Port leaving behind trails and missions as a historical beauty. Now a days you can either walk the trail, experience through a horseback ride, or go on the trail by vehicle and encounter historical buildings left behind. You can also find an illustration on this trail by visiting our 1904 Courthouse.

As you travel south along Interstate 19, you’ll notice the valley narrows. At the narrowest point is Nogales. In the 1800s, ranchers in the area were besieged by Apaches raiding herds of well-fed cattle. One of our local ranchers, Pete Kitchen used to say, “Tucson, Tubac, Tumacacori, to hell,” when returning to Nogales from a cattle drive from Tucson. Today, you’ll find Nogales a far more hospitable place.

Life on the border would not be complete without the influence of Pancho Villa, whose army occupied Nogales, Mexico in 1914 during the Mexican Revolution. The U.S. military’s garrison in Nogales swelled to over 10,000 mostly black soldiers of the highly decorated 25th Regiment mostly detached from Washington, D.C. The military buildup and related business growth attracted many businesses to Nogales, some of which remain today.

Eventually a new sense of law and order was established by the sheriff, Tom Turner, along with a brand new courthouse. It still stands in all its Neo-Classic splendor on a hill off Main Street. We call it the 1904 Courthouse. It cost $35,000 to build and was made of stone quarried in Nogales.

You must also see the Old City Hall, it was built in 1914. It was used as the Office of the Mayor, the Sheriff’s office with two holding cells, and the Fire Department. Now, it houses the Pimeria Alta Historical Society and has fascinating displays of how things used to be and houses many of our historical treasures.

The U.S. Custom House at Nogales located on N. Terrace Ave. was funded by the Public Works Administration in 1934 and constructed in 1935 by Louis A. Simon in the Spanish Eclectic style, the imposing U.S. Custom House is a reminder of the importance of Nogales as a primary port of entry from Mexico along the Arizona border.

Architectural buffs will have a heyday in Nogales. Of course, there’s the predominant Sonoran Style. But we also have fine examples of Queen Anne Cottage, Second Empire, Spanish Colonial, Pueblo Revival, Mediterranean Style, and Bungalow Style all within the downtown area. You’ll want to bring your walking shoes.

Take a stroll along historic Morley Avenue. Many of the stores, like Kory Mercantile & Co., Brackers Department Store, established in the early 1900s, are run by descendents of pioneer merchants, and are still thriving.

Around Nogales Economic Development

Walking Trail

Start your expedition of the Historic Anza Trail from Nogales to the San Francisco Bay area. Begin at the 1904 Courthouse in downtown, stop at Las Lagunas on Country Club Drive, continue north through Rio Rico to the Tumacacori National Historical Park, and finally end up at the Tubac Presidio State Historical Park. The entire drive with stops can be done in a few hours, or spend an entire day biking or hiking the trail.