Elon Musk found the Texas business environment friendly enough to locate operations of Space X close to NASA, but once he got here – as quick as he could – he evidently fell in love with the place and moved the new Tesla gigafactory to Austin, then packed up his bags and moved there himself, kicking off a wave of announcements of entrepreneur billionaire executives pulling up stakes for the Lone Star State and often bringing their businesses with them.
Drew Houston, founder of Dropbox, just bought an Austin estate, which he will move to as his primary residence. Douglass Merritt, CEO of Splunk, is doing the same.
Google’s new $50 million office opens this month at One Buffalo Heights in Houston.
“The business culture in Texas is known throughout the world,” says YTexas CEO Ed Curtis, whose company provides a network for businesses looking to relocate here. “Once they get here and experience it, and get a really good taste of it, they not only stay and expand and grow, but they call their customers and suppliers to come on down here.”Why Texas? For that culture that is world famous. “The low cost, low tax environment, low regulation. In my opinion, the low regulation part is more important than the low tax part.”
All three can be especially inviting for those businesses relocating from California, known worldwide for unaffordable housing, high taxes and endless regulations. 687,000 Californians have moved to Texas in the past decade, more than 82,000 of them in the past year. That’s prompting some long-time residents to don t-shirts pleading, “Don’t California My Texas.”
Curtis says so far Texas has reached 42% of the total of business relocations from all of 2020 - and it's only March.
photo: Getty Images