By Jessica Blakley
The media buzz surrounding a “Bay Area Exodus” has us all wondering, where are these so-called exiles going? Nearly 1,800 companies departed California in one year’s time and scattered across the country. States are hungry to attract fleeing companies and talent to land in their cities. Below are some of the most promising cities for businesses, large and small, from tech to finance.
Austin, TX One study showed that more than 86,000 California residents packed their bags and moved to Texas in 2018! Not only are Californians relocating to the Lone Star State, but large numbers of people from Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New York have also made the move.
Texas claims #1 in CNBC’s “Top States for Business” ranking, receiving the top score nationally in infrastructure and economy. Many large and successful companies, like Dell, have been operating in Austin for years, paving the way for growing companies to have their seat at the table. Venture capital is at its highest in Austin since 2000, and many have coined the city “the Silicon Hills”.
In 2018, 46 relocations to the Austin area resulted in 9,424 new jobs. While rampant growth has been seen as an overall positive by residents, Austin is experiencing the usual pains of a growing city, like increased cost of living and longer commute times. Will Austin be able to sustain increased growth? Is it just a matter of time before increasing costs drive companies from Austin elsewhere? Only time can answer these questions.
Dallas, TX One source notes that Dallas is on a very short list for many serious national headquarter selection projects. Charles Schwab’s recent relocation announcement is the biggest among a slew of other companies moving from California to Dallas in recent years. Other giants in the North Texas region include Toyota, Pizza Hut, Keurig, Dr. Pepper, and Frito-Lay. Like Dell in Austin, these well-rooted companies have been anchors in the city, drawing large amounts of opportunity and funding for companies to launch and relocate.
Though Dallas and Austin have both been promising options for companies looking to leave the Valley, Texas is still heavily pegged to oil and gas, which draws a great deal of focus by universities and politicians. In time, it is likely that this focus will shift to the tech scene; however, oil and gas still play a prominent role in the economy.
Pittsburgh, PA The Steel City is known for its high quality of life, STEM-friendliness, and lower-than-average cost of living. Reuters notes, “[Pittsburgh] is emerging as a vibrant hub for artificial intelligence, robotics, and biomedical companies eager to tap a rich talent pool.” Carnegie Mellon’s heavy STEM emphasis breeds strong candidates for jobs in tech. Pittsburgh has been a hub for Uber’s self-driving research, utilizing Carnegie Mellon’s high-quality robotics and engineering students.
While the new development is a sign for a hopeful future for the Steel City, Pittsburgh has been hit hard by the economic downturns in the past, raising concerns about its stability going forward. Prior to advancements in tech, Pittsburgh was among a fleet of other dying cities in the upper midwest and northeastern states. If the city continues to put an emphasis on STEM development, it is likely that more startups and talent establish their roots in the ‘Burgh.