The Center of the California Enterprise Zone Information Universe

100 Cases of Businesses Leaving California

A colleague brought to my attention “The Business Relocation Coach” blog which claims as its mission, “to help businesses relocate and expand facilities in highly beneficial ways. This blog is maintained by JV Executive Consulting, inc., which helps design the smoothest relocation to the most desirable location that meets business goals. An experienced team serves a diverse set of clients through executive coaching for transition, relocation studies, site selection, incentives negotiation and government affairs.”

On Monday, Business Relocation Coach posted an article called, “California’s Hostile Business Climate: 100 ‘Moving-Out-of-State’ Events” in which he explains

Apparently, No state agency keeps track of enterprises that move out of California or which companies elect to expand in other states even though they are headquartered here. That lack of knowledge is quite convenient for elected officials who deny that state’s anti-business attitudes and policies hurt commercial enterprises. Hence, without a central repository, it’s difficult to determine how many jobs are lost specifically because of California’s unfriendly business environment.

In this blog, I’ve attempted to note facility moves and disinvestments in California on a catch-as-catch can basis based on incomplete media reports. Below is a roundup of activity that I’ve been able to find since I started this blog in July, 2009. This imperfect and incomplete list of 100 moving-out-of-state events is the “tip of the iceberg” about the loss of commercial enterprises in California.

Just some random examples:

Alza Corp. in 2007 eliminated about 600 jobs in drug R&D while also exiting its Mountain View, Calif., HQ. At the time the company said that its 1,200-person Vacaville facility will continue to operate. But the Vacaville Reporter on Oct. 23, 2009 revealed that the plant is being offered for sale by J&J, its parent company. It’s unclear if more layoffs are in the facility’s future.

Audix Corporation relocated from Redwood City, Calif., and to accommodate growth moved to a 78,000-square-foot facility in Wilson, Oregon.

Buck Knives after 62 years in San Diego moved to Post Falls, Idaho.

EMRISE Corp. completed its HQ move from Rancho Cucamonga to Eatontown, NJ, in May 2009. The company said the move “will result in additional annualized cost savings of approximately $1 million and facilitate improvements in operating efficiency. . . . The cost savings associated with relocating our corporate headquarters will start immediately. . . The aggregate total of these expense reductions will increase our profitability and cash flow in this and succeeding years and, over time, substantially improve our ability to further reduce our long term debt.”

Facebook, based in Palo Alto, will expand in a major way in Oregon by locating a custom data center in Prineville. It will be a 147,000-square-foot facility costing $180 million and will employ 200 workers during construction and another 35 full-time once operating in 2011.

He has 100 of these examples. The list was also featured in the Orange County Register.

As an aside, regarding the point about no government agency keeping track of businesses that leave the State, take a look at the campaign website for Damon Dunn, running for California Secretary of State. Under “Solutions,” Dunn wants to address this problem:

The Secretary of State is responsible for all the business filings in California. As Secretary of State, I will use my business experience to evaluate which companies are leaving the state and why. I will then report my findings to the Legislature as part of a package of reforms that will lead to job growth in California.

California, like every other state government, has been looking for solutions to problems that have developed as a result of the economic recession.

The Secretary of State’s office needs to be using the information it holds to be an advocate for jobs in the state. I will use my office to focus attention on the businesses that are being stolen from California by Texas, Utah, and other western states. When the Governors of other states are personally calling business leaders in California asking them to expand outside of California we are not competitive in economic development as a state.

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