What was that about Texas Gov. Rick Perry returning from California “empty handed?” Some jackwagon at the AP wrote that yesterday, evidently oblivious to how businesses actually make their decisions. Today, along comes word that interest in California companies moving to Texas’ greener pastures is up. Way up.
Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce officials, who sent a representative on Gov. Rick Perry’s recent California recruiting trip, report a spike in Golden State companies inquiring about relocating to Central Texas.
Californians seem responsive to Texas’ low tax message, especially since the most recent state election in November, when income and sales taxes increases were approved by California’s voters in a measure called Proposition 30.
“We have had a spike of double or triple the amount of normal (business relocation) activity since the November election in California,” said Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Perry underscored that message in a conference call with reporters Wednesday as the governor, accompanied by several officials from Texas cities, wrapped up his four-day trip that caught the national media’s attention with its cheeky tone that included a back-and-forth with California Gov. Jerry Brown.
During his call, Perry said he was using racing terminology when he said in San Francisco that California is “looking at our backside” after Brown dismissed Perry’s $24,000 radio ad as “barely a fart.”
But Moonbeam should be smelling another loss for his workers’ paradise.
The competitive spirit between Texas and California has been heating up in recent weeks, and now comes word that a South San Francisco-based biotech firm is opening a lab and office in Austin.
Veracyte Inc. is a research and development company in the medical diagnostics sector. Though the company will remain based in California, the new Austin facility is designed for expansion. Initially, there were be about 10 employees, but considering that the company leased 10,000-square-feet at an undisclosed location, there’s certainly enough space to house many more workers.
Austin’s well-trained workforce and location near one of Veracyte’s medical partners were cited as primary reasons for opening the local facility.
Just a few jobs now, but likely many more later. We’ll take ’em.