New Eight-Year Relocation Study Shows Companies Still Leaving California

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Spectrum Location Solutions finds that major corporations and small companies in California are relocating and expanding in locations that offer more satisfying business and lifestyle outcomes.

Joseph Vranich, a corporate relocation expert, loves California's weather, not its business climate

One high-tech company opted for a site elsewhere over California, has expanded eight times in its new location, and has hinted at a ninth iteration

California's difficult business environment was highlighted in a study released today that shows thousands of companies have departed for business-friendly states and foreign nations over the last eight years.

Dollars diverted to out-of-state locations totaled $70.5 billion in the 2008-2015 period, only a fraction of the actual experience because few information sources specified capital costs.

The report by Spectrum Location Solutions provides by company name whether the relocation was partial or complete, their new location, and hundreds of quotes from company leaders saying what they found appealing about their new place of business.

"I prepared the report because California’s public officials fail to take seriously the issue of business exits,” said Joseph Vranich, an Irvine-based site selection consultant. "Using an accepted statistical model, it’s estimated that ten thousand companies have disinvested in California in the last eight years."

"Departures can have a long-lasting effect when a company establishes a foothold elsewhere and grows there big time,” he said. "One high-tech company opted for a new location, has expanded there eight times, and has hinted at a ninth iteration.

“Anyone can verify each event on the Internet, which is a strength of the study,” Vranich said. “The study’s description of concerns by business leaders argues against plans in Sacramento for new spending and an astonishing array of new taxes and harsh regulations.”

“Companies often find operating cost savings of 20 to 35 percent in other states, which permits them to reinvent themselves if need be,” said Vranich. "The appeal isn’t necessarily to the lowest-cost states, but to lower-cost locations with the proper workforce.”

“There also is an increasing inclination to consider lifestyle factors such as housing costs, traffic congestion, crime, and secondary school performance – and many communities around the United States win out over Los Angeles and San Francisco in particular,” said Vranich. “There is considerable disenchantment with the treatment businesses receive from politicians and public agencies in those cities.”

The report ranks the Top 15 California Counties in the order starting with the worst losses, which are: (1) Los Angeles, (2) Orange, (3) Santa Clara, (4) San Francisco, (5) San Diego, (6) Alameda, (7) San Mateo, (8) Ventura, (9) Sacramento tied with San Bernardino, (10) Riverside, (11) Contra Costa tied with Santa Barbara, (12) San Joaquin, (13) Stanislaus, (14) Sonoma and (15) Santa Cruz.

The Top 10 States in the order starting with those that gained the most are: (1) Texas, (2) Nevada, (3) Arizona, (4) Colorado, (5) Washington, (6) Oregon, (7) North Carolina, (8) Georgia, (9) Florida and (10) Utah tied with Virginia. Texas was the top destination each year during the eight-year study period.

The Top 10 Nations in the order starting with those that gained the most are (1) Mexico, (2) India, (3) China, (4) Canada, (5) Costa Rica, (6) Malaysia, (7) Philippines, (8) Singapore, (9) Japan and (10) Great Britain.

The study concludes that as California’s business climate worsens, more companies will seek a new location that is friendlier to their interests.

The report – "California Business Departures: An Eight-Year Review 2008-2015" (427 pages) – is available at no charge as a PDF here:

The link for Spectrum Location Solutions is

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