Proving that for every action there is a reaction, new business-bashing actions applauded by Gov. Jerry Brown have boosted efforts by other states to recruit California companies to their friendlier locations.
Each visiting out-of-state representative outlines how a California company will benefit by relocating to one of their communities. Economic Development agencies also promote the advantages to California firms of placing future expansions in their areas.
Although no official records exist regarding recruitment activity in California by economic development organizations, I’ve experienced several hundred touchpoints from parties in far-flung locations wishing to discuss the state’s business environment.
California industries being targeted include financial services, manufacturing, robotics, software, e-commerce, food processing, aerospace, pharma and biotech, plastics, electronics, distribution and even family-owned dairy farms.
In the past, officials from a couple of agencies would contact me every month, but now it’s often two or three times per week.
The states with the highest California-related activity are Texas with 62 agencies, Indiana following at 22 and Arizona at 18. I define activity as visits, phone calls or direct-mail campaigns.
But the true level of activity is greater. For example, organizations in Texas, Nevada and Florida – and economic development agencies in Phoenix, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh – make multiple overtures in California.
The representatives are able to project significant operating cost reductions when it comes to labor, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, health care, taxes, facility leases or purchases, regulatory compliance and transportation. Affordable housing in other parts of the country also make it easier for companies to attract and retain employees.
Officials in other states follow activity in Sacramento where Gov. Brown enacted about 800 new laws this year, some of which will result in more regulations and higher tax and energy costs for California companies.
They also are struck by the unfairness of California’s new one-size-fits-all minimum wage law, which forces companies in low-cost areas to pay big-city wages as if they were located in the West Coast’s most expensive cities – Los Angeles and San Francisco. The legislature and Gov. Brown put businesses that face competition from foreign companies at quite a disadvantage.
Without a change in California’s political climate, I expect more inquiries to come in from states seeking to grow their economic base.
The identities of the 244 economic development entities that represent touchpoints with Spectrum Location Solutions are as listed below:
- Alabama Power, Mobile
- Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, Robertsdale
- North Alabama Industrial Development Association, Decatur
- Power South Energy Cooperative, Montgomery
- Access Arizona, Casa Grande
- Apache Junction Economic Development Dept.
- Arizona Commerce Authority, Phoenix
- Arizona Public Service (utility), Phoenix
- Arizona Sun Corridor, Phoenix
- Avondale Economic Development Dept.
- Central Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation, Casa Grande
- Gilbert Office of Economic Development
- Glendale Office of Economic Development
- Greater Phoenix Economic Council
- Mesa Economic Development Dept.
- Queen Creek Mayor
- Salt River Project (utility), Phoenix
- Scottsdale Economic Development Dept.
- Surprise, AZ City Manager
- Tempe Economic Development Dept.
- Wickenburg Regional Economic Development Partnership
- Yuma Economic Development Dept.
- Centennial Economic Development
- Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp.
- Commerce City Economic Development Dept.
- Erie Economic Development Dept.
- Longmont Economic Development Partnership
- Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.
- Office of the Governor
- Westminster Economic Development Office
- Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport
- Enterprise Florida, Orlando
- Florida East Coast Railway, Jacksonville
- Gulf Power, Pensacola
- Hernando County Economic Development Dept., Brooksville
- Jacksonville Port Authority
- Lake Wells Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Council
- Manatee County Port Authority, Palmetto
- Office of the Governor
- Orange County Economic Development
- Orlando Economic Development Commission
- Power South Energy Cooperative, Miramar Beach
- Santa Rosa County Economic Development, Milton
- Sarasota County Economic Development Corp., Sarasota
- Petersburg Area Economic Development Corp.
- Tampa Bay Partnership, Tampa
- Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., Tampa
- Atlanta Economic Development Corp.
- Atlanta Economic Development Dept.
- Fayette County Development Authority, Fayetteville
- Georgia Dept. of Economic Development, Atlanta
- Rabun County Economic Development Authority, Rabun Gap
- Coeur d’Alene Area Economic Development Corp.
- Grow Idaho Falls Inc.
- Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines
- Office of the Governor
- Bloomington Economic Development Corp.
- Carmel Community Relations and Economic Development
- Delaware County Economic Development Alliance, Muncie
- Duke Energy Economic Development, Indianapolis
- Duke Energy Economic Development, Plainfield
- East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, Muncie
- Fishers Economic Development Dept.
- Grant County Economic Growth Council, Marion
- Harrison County Economic Development Corp., Corydon
- Hoosier Energy Economic Development Dept., Bloomington
- Indiana Economic Development Corp., Indianapolis
- Indiana Municipal Power Agency, Carmel
- Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce
- Indy Partnership, Indianapolis
- Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., Seymour
- Madison County Corp. for Economic Development, Anderson
- Noblesville Economic Development Dept.
- Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Fort Wayne
- Office of the Governor
- Shelby County Development Corp., Shelbyville
- Vectren Economic Development (utility), Evansville
- Whitley County Economic Development Corp., Columbia City
- Black Hills Energy, Wichita
- Go Topeka Economic Partnership
- Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce
- Hopkins County Economic Development Corp., Madisonville
- Kyndle Economic Development for Northwest Kentucky, Henderson
- South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council, Hopkinsville
- Baton Rouge Area Chamber
- Cleco Power, Crowley
- Entergy (utility), New Orleans
- Livingston Economic Development Council
- Louisiana Economic Development, Baton Rouge
- North Louisiana Economic Partnership, Shreveport
- Southwestern Electric Power Co., Shreveport
- Kansas City Area Development Council
- Kirksville Regional Economic Development Inc.
- Lincoln County Economic Development, Troy
- Missouri Partnership, St. Louis
- Moberly Area Economic Development Corp.
- Nodaway County Economic Development, Maryville
- Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council, Hannibal
- Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
- Louis Regional Chamber
- Lansing Economic Area Partnership
- Jackson County Economic Development Foundation, Inc. Pascagoula
- Mississippi Power, Meridian
- Advantage West Economic Development Group, Fletcher
- Beaufort County Economic Development, Washington
- Charlotte Regional Partnership
- Davidson County Economic Development Commission, Lexington
- Duke Energy, Charlotte
- Greensboro Partnership Economic Development
- Albuquerque Economic Development
- Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, Las Cruces
- NM Partnership, Albuquerque
- Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, Reno
- Henderson Economic Development Dept.
- Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance
- Nevada Office of Economic Development, Carson City
- Northern Nevada Development Authority, Carson City
- NV Energy, Reno
- Cuyahoga County Dept. of Development, Cleveland
- Greater Akron Chamber
- Greater Cleveland Partnership
- Jobs Ohio, Toledo
- Piqua Economic Development Dept.
- Team Northeast Ohio, Cleveland
- Tipp City Community and Economic Development Dept.
- Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber
- Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
- Norman Economic Development Dept.
- Business Oregon, Eugene
- Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Res., Economic Dept., Pendleton
- Greater Portland Inc.
- Hillsboro Economic Development
- Klamath County Economic Development, Klamath Falls
- McMinnville Economic Development Partnership
- Port of Portland
- Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. Medford
- Altoona-Blair County Development Corp.
- Armstrong County Dept. of Economic Development, Kittanning
- Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Reading Economic Partnership
- Penn-Northwest Development Corp., Mercer
- Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
- Central South Carolina Economic Development, Columbia
- Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development, Conway
- Oconee County Economic Development Commission, Walhalla
- Richland County Economic Development, Columbia
- Santee Cooper (utility), Moncks Corner
- Spartanburg County Economic Futures Group
- Governor’s Office of Economic Development
- East Tennessee Economic Development Agency, Knoxville
- HTL Advantage (Haywood, Tipton, Lauderdale), ED Coalition, Covington
- Knoxville Chamber
- Montgomery County Economic Development Council, Clarksville
- Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
- Tennessee Economic & Community Development, Nashville
- Tennessee Valley Authority, Nashville
- Williamson County Economic Development, Franklin
- Allen Economic Development
- Amarillo Economic Development Corp.
- Arlington Economic Development Dept.
- Athens Economic Development Corp.
- Austin Chamber, Economic Development Dept.
- Bastrop Economic Development Corp.
- Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
- Bowie Economic Development Corp.
- Brownsville Economic Development Council
- Buda Economic Development Corp.
- Burleson Economic Development
- Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Economic Development Dept., Fort Worth
- Cedar Park Economic Development
- CenterPoint Energy, Houston
- Copperas Cove Economic Development Corp.
- Dallas Regional Chamber
- Denton Economic Development
- DeSoto Economic Development Corp.
- Flower Mound Economic Development Dept.
- Fort Worth Chamber, Economic Development Division
- Frisco Economic Development Corp.
- Georgetown Economic Development
- Greater Houston Partnership
- Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Waco Chamber Business Development
- Harlingen Economic Development Corp.
- Houston Port Region Economic Alliance
- Hutto Economic Development
- Katy Economic Development Council
- Kilgore Economic Development Corp.
- Kyle Economic Development
- Laredo Development Foundation
- Levelland Economic Development Corp.
- Lockhart Economic Development
- Longview Economic Development Corp.
- Lubbock Economic Development Alliance
- Matagorda County Economic Development Corp., Bay City
- McKinney Economic Development Corp.
- Midland Development Corp.
- Mount Pleasant Economic Development Corp.
- Nacogdoches Economic Development Corp.
- New Braunfels Economic Development
- Office of the Governor
- Oncor (utility), Dallas
- Pearland Economic Development Corp.
- Plano Economic Development
- Port of Houston Authority
- Richardson Economic Development Partnership
- Rio South Texas Economic Council, Edinburg
- Rockwall Economic Development Corp.
- Round Rock Chamber Economic Development Partnership
- Rowlett Economic Development
- San Antonio Economic Development Foundation
- San Marcos Partnership Economic Development
- Seguin Economic Development
- Southern Texas Economic Development Foundation, Beaumont
- Sugar Land Economic Development
- Team Texas, Austin
- Texas Economic Development & Tourism Dept., Austin
- Texas Secretary of State
- Victoria Economic Development Corp.
- Wichita Falls Economic Development
- Cache County Chamber, Economic Development, Logan
- Economic Development Corp. of Utah, Salt Lake City
- Office of Economic Development, Salt Lake City
- Office of the Governor
- Ogden Community and Economic Development Dept.
- Weber County Economic Development Partnership, Ogden
- Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Tysons Corner
- Hampton Economic Development
- Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, Norfolk
- Isle of Wright County Economic Development, Isle of Wright
- Portsmouth Economic Development Dept.
- Roanoke Regional Partnership
- Rockingham County Dept. of Community Development, Harrisonburg
- Virginia Beach Economic Development
- Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Richmond
- Virginia Port Authority, Norfolk
- Virginia’s 2000 Business and Economic Development Alliance, Lynchburg
- Virginia’s Growth Alliance, Keysville
- Washington County Economic Development & Community Relations, Abingdon
- Greater Spokane Inc.
- Port of Sunnyside
- Yakima County Development Association
- Jefferson County Development Authority, Charles Town
- West Virginia Development Office, Charleston
A state-by-state tally is below:
|Rank||State||Number of Organizations|
One focus of this blog has been to address California’s difficult business environment, as addressed in the study, California Business Departures: An Eight-Year Review 2008-2015, (PDF) updated Jan. 14, 2016.
Joseph Vranich is known as The Business Relocation Coach while the formal name of his business is Spectrum Location Solutions. Joe helps companies find great locations in which to grow. Also, Joe has been a Keynote Speaker for more than 20 years – see A Speaker Throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Asia.