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Valley continues to garner interest from major companies despite pandemic

Posted at 7:48 AM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 09:48:56-05

PHOENIX — Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Valley is continuing to see “near-record level” interest from major companies looking to relocate, according to Chris Camacho with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Camacho told ABC15 the state’s high-tech and high-skilled talent pipeline combined with lower taxes than neighboring states has led to an influx of companies looking to move their headquarters or advanced manufacturing facilities.

“Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen California momentum into Arizona but I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this,” he said. “We’ve seen massive impacts on tax and regulatory policy that harms California’s scalable companies,” leading businesses like Lucid Motors, Weebly, Gainsight, and Silicon Valley Bank to set up operations in the Valley, he said.

According to GPEC, nearly one in three companies considering relocation to the state are from California. Historically, that number is typically around one in four.

A survey analysis by GPEC found 56% of Californians considered leaving the state over the past year and 63% would consider moving to Arizona. Real estate experts tell ABC15 the housing market — from low-income to luxury — is also setting records this year, at least partially attributed to a surge in formerly California residents.

Camacho also said the Greater Phoenix area continues to see growing international attention, citing the recent announcement by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) of its plans to build a Valley manufacturing facility with an estimated 1,600 jobs. GPEC said several other major headquarters and advanced manufacturing announcements are “on the horizon.”

Economic data advising company EMSI recently ranked Maricopa County first in its talent pipeline scorecard. By comparison, Los Angeles County ranked last — at 601.

“These individuals and companies are seeking other alternatives from the high tax and regulatory environment that plagued them,” Camacho said. “I do believe this trend’s going to continue and continue with a vengeance.”