Chicago is turning the tables on the state of Texas. For years, Illinois’ business center has been at the butt end of Texas’ attempts to lure businesses.
In fact, the Lone Star State promoted its low tax and loss regulations. At the same time, it attached the “tax and spend policies” of liberal leadership.
Chicago Mocks Texas In New Ads
Now, Chicago is fighting back and trying to lure Texas liberals to move there. The city highlighted the fact that Texas enacted a new law banning abortion six weeks into pregnancy. The city also hit the state’s supposedly rigid voting laws.
Recently, the city’s marketing department took out full-page ads in the Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News.
It read: “There were always more than 100 reasons why Chicago is a great place for business. Now we'd like to highlight a few more. In Chicago, we believe in science to fight COVID. We believe in people's right to vote and we believe in protecting reproductive rights.”
Chicago's Chief Marketing Officer Michael Fassnacht said that the ad targeted Texans who disagreed with the state’s socially conservative laws. “If you believe similar things and have those same values, you might want to consider Chicago to start your career, to start a company, or to relocate,” Fassnacht said.
However, Fassnacht said he’s not expecting a long line of moving vans traveling from Texas to Illinois. He did emphasize that companies find it important to stay active on social issues like abortion and voting rights.
“I think last year, and the civil unrest and the killing of George Floyd have opened people's eyes. And I think business leaders nowadays understand they don't have to be political, but on key social issues, they probably have to take a stand because their talent pool, their employee base, want to know [where they stand],” he said.
Governor Pritzker Joins Effort
Meanwhile, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker joined the Chicago recruitment efforts. Reports said that Pritzker is now writing letters to CEOs of Texas-based companies such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Match.com, Oracle, and others.
The governor criticized “radical legislators in Texas” and urged the firms to move north. He’ll welcome them to a state that “embraces the 21st century and aligns with your company's values to ensure women succeed.”
A recent PerryUndem poll reported that two-thirds of college-educated workers say the new Texas abortion law would discourage them from taking a job there. However, Governor Greg Abbott dismissed the concerns.
“The people who are not wringing their hands are the people who create jobs that run businesses that care about their daily lives and people are choosing Texas over any other state,” Abbott said.
“People vote with their feet and this is not slowing down businesses coming to the state of Texas at all. In fact, it is accelerating the process of businesses coming to Texas.”
Texas Economy Is Booming
In addition, Abbott's press secretary Renae Eze said things are going great in Texas. “The Texas economy is booming. People and businesses vote with their feet, and month after month they are choosing to move to Texas more than any other state in the country.
Businesses are relocating to and investing in the Lone Star State at a record pace because we've built a framework that allows free enterprise to flourish and hardworking Texans to prosper,” Eze said.
In fact, data show that Texas leads the nation in the number of people moving there from other states. The state also leads the field in accepting corporate relocators.
Adam Bruns is the managing editor of Site Selection, a magazine that tracks company relocations. He says that in the end, other considerations still make Texas an attractive business destination.
Aside from social issues, businesses consider tax rates, transportation, infrastructure, access to markets, and supply chain among other issues. “While there may be boycotts and you know, some understandable stress caused by this or that political issue, companies will still return to those underlying reasons when they make a final decision,” he said.
Watch the Eyewitness News WTVO WQRF video reporting that Illinois Governor JB Pritzker invites companies from Texas to move to Illinois:
Do you agree that Texas remains a viable business destination? Will social issues negate its business-friendly policies? Let us know what you think about investing in Texas. Share your comments below.
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