Regulations Matter, Too

Last week, KABC (a Los Angeles television station) reported on a couple moving their small business from Canoga Park, California (in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles) to Fort Worth, Texas. There’s nothing new about this story–companies relocate all the time. The reasons, though, state something about doing business in the Bronze Golden State.

“There’s so much regulation, that we really need to be in a place that allows our small business to grow and I feel that Texas will do that for us,” Micki Brizes, one of the owners of Aeromax, told KABC. The owners couldn’t find a building to move into that they could afford near their current location in California.

Consider that they are spending more than $100,000 on moving their business. Those are just the direct costs. There are undoubtedly indirect costs (orders delayed due to the move, disruptions in various things, etc. Yet the owners believe that they will be able to recover the costs of the move very quickly. Is that realistic?

Absolutely. They’ll likely be able to rent a larger space than what they had in California that meets their needs for less than what they paid in California. They’ll save 8.84% or more in taxes. They’ll be in a business-friendly environment instead of a business-hostile environment. I suspect the owners will be asking themselves why they didn’t make this move earlier.

Meanwhile, the Babylon Bee (a satirical website) had a post: “Texas Luring Jobs Away From California With Promises Of Electricity.” Good satire is based on a truth, and extrapolating it out into humor. This post is humorous, but the underlying truth exists. If California doesn’t fix their problems, the high-tech industry will vanish from Silicon Valley. California’s budget over the last several years has been in balance (actually, in surplus) based on Initial Public Offerings in the high-tech industry. Democratic politicians should be asking themselves what they can do to make California a desired destination for businesses, but they likely won’t until it’s too late. The reality is that it’s not just tech businesses that can be at least 300% more effective when they have power.

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