Texas’ freedom lets business, ideas flourish

When choosing San Antonio as the location for its first U.S. headquarters, global data technology leader Okin Process recognized the competitive business advantages found only in Texas. And it is in good company.

Texas has earned the Best State for Business title for a record 17 years in a row from the Chief Executive Group. The nation’s leading CEOs cite our pro-growth economic policies — with no corporate income tax and no personal income tax — along with our young, growing and diverse workforce, easy access to global markets, robust infrastructure and predictable regulations.

It’s no surprise then that four Texas cities are among the nation’s top 10 best cities to start a business, according to WalletHub.

The business advantages found only in Texas grow more than the bottom line. Freed from the stranglehold of overtaxation and runaway regulation, new ideas flourish here.

As I talk to innovative job creators each week, they point to that freedom and our welcoming business climate as the Texas advantages that allow their companies to grow and their employees to succeed, to afford a home and to enjoy a high quality of life.

Those unmatched advantages are why “Made in Texas” is such a powerful global brand. Texas is the top exporting state, now for 19 years in row, and the top tech-exporting state, now for eight years in a row, based on an analysis of census data, beating second-place California in both.

Those unique Texas advantages are why the Lone Star State also leads the nation in attracting capital investments and relocation and expansion projects, including 223 new corporate headquarters since 2015, with more announced this year than any other year — and more yet to come.

And those advantages are the reasons why Texas is growing while states such as California, New York and Illinois lost population last year. People vote with their feet, and Texas is the top vote-getter when it comes to business.

There are now 29 million Texans and counting, and almost half of our population growth is made up of newly born Texans. They represent a continuing strong workforce, as Texas is by far the stickiest state: More than 8 in 10 born in Texas stay in Texas.

Businesses are drawn to this growing and skilled talent pool. Okin Process is joined by tech giants — like Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Wipro — that are investing in and growing major operations across the state.

With nearly 370,000 professionals directly employed in the industry, Texas is now the top state in the nation for tech worker migration, with Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth both beating out Silicon Valley. San Antonio has the highest concentration of cyber and intelligence employees outside of the D.C. area. And Austin is where entrepreneurs scale their ideas into Fortune 500 companies, like Michael Dell, who founded Dell Technologies from his college dorm room.

As a testament to the state’s synergies with leaders in technology and innovation, the U.S. Army selected Texas as home for its new Army Futures Command, which focuses on science and technology development for the U.S. Army.

From San Antonio to Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and beyond, Texas offers ample room for businesses of all sizes to grow — and succeed.

In fact, across every region of Texas, innovative startups are growing alongside the world’s biggest brands, including nearly 50 Fortune 500 corporate headquarters, hundreds of publicly traded firms and more than 2.8 million small businesses.

We are seeing increasing business investments in our urban centers as well as our smaller communities. And our local, regional and statewide economic development teams continue to partner to develop local business, attract new business and retain the talent that fuels continuing economic expansion.

There are more than 29 million reasons why Texas works. And one Texas advantage tops them all: We want businesses to succeed in Texas, because when businesses succeed, all Texans succeed.

Greg Abbott is the governor of Texas.

Maria Flores

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