States want you. They want your business to take advantage of their favorable taxes, real estate values, growing business communities, labor pools, job creation programs, and generally positive government attitudes, which are designed to foster entrepreneurship. They want you so much that many states are establishing offices in other states in order to entice businesses across borders.
Virginia's Fairfax County, for example, has an office in Boston to convince biotech firms that the state is not just for lovers. Nevada and Arizona have recruiters in California to explain how a move across the border can save companies money. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is leading an aggressive effort to woo businesses to the Lone Star State, including Tesla Motors, Petco, and Amazon. In fact, The New York Times reports that Texas offers more tax incentives and economic subsidies to business than any other state.
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Competition Heating Up
Not all states rely primarily on tax deals to attract businesses to cross borders. Ohio, for example, favors investment in companies. JobsOhio, recently established to replace the state's Department of Development, actively works with the private sector to attract venture capital and is considering the possibility of becoming an investment partner as well.
According to CNBC, the competition among states is heating up. The reasons include a recovering economy coupled with election-year politicking as governors seek an easy fix to build local economies by rustling businesses and their jobs from neighbor states.
All of this is good news even for businesses that want to stay put. States are trying to get companies to cross over, but they also want to make sure the companies within their own borders aren't lured elsewhere. Consequently, legislatures are taking aggressive action to pass tax-relief packages and increase training programs and economic incentives. New Jersey, for example, is tired of "getting beat up by the competition, especially New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut," said Suzanne Zammit, president of the New Jersey Business Incubation Network.
While California has historically been home to the film industry, a number of states have lured movie production companies to shoot on their locations thanks to substantive financial incentives. To stem the flood, California recently passed Assembly Bill 1819 to extend its film and television tax-incentive program.
There's no better time for businesses to consider moving, even if they ultimately want to just stay where they are.