Crawley had an “impressive” showing in the Top 500 companies in the South.
New figures revealed 21 of the region’s top 500 companies were based in the town.
Tim Walker, managing director of Taylor Made Computer Solutions, which compiled the list, said: “Crawley is one of the areas where we’ve seen businesses continue to strengthen and grow, and its impressive showing in the Top 500 demonstrates that companies thrive in this part of West Sussex, reflecting the optimism that is being felt across the South.”
Cllr Peter Smith, Crawley Borough Council cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said infrastructure, including Gatwick Airport and Crawley’s highly skilled workforce, attracted large, hi-tech businesses.
He added: “The Crawley-based companies in the top 500 list are a reflection of the key economic sectors in the town – aerospace and aviation, health and life sciences, energy and environmental technologies and financial and business services.
“The presence of these companies means that there are some really exciting career opportunities available to residents, which we encourage and support through our Crawley STEMfest programme.”
Steve Sawyer, executive director of the Manor Royal Business District, said the companies included long -established Manor Royal firms and recent additions to town.
Their performance had “considerable” impact on residents as they were among the town’s largest employers.
He added: “We are very lucky to have so many quality companies in the town and many more smaller companies who are not listed in the Top 500 but are equally important and collectively provide many jobs.”
Mr Sawyer said mainstream Crawley retailers were “being squeezed” by customers choosing either low cost or luxury alternatives.
He added: “The companies listed in the Top 500 are different.
“It’s about staying ahead of the game through innovation, skills and knowledge.”
Science, technology, engineering and maths students meet employers from those fields at STEMfest events.