Is California Business Flight Growing?

In 2010 193 businesses pulled up stakes or materially reduced their business investment in California to build facilities out of state or out of the country.  This compares to 51 companies leaving in 2009 according to Joseph Vranich who bills himself as a business relocation coach. In a series of posts on his business relocation blog he documents the companies departing and where they said they were going.

These business losses are driven by deliberate business decisions to relocate outside of California followed by decisions to redirect capital investment that more likely than not would have been directed to California but now will not.  California is losing its attractiveness to business while other states with better business conditions are working hard to suction up the doubters.

Texas appears to be the big winner from this Golden State flight along with other Western and Southern states where presumably taxes, regulations and growth prospects are better.

The biggest losers among California Counties are Orange County (40) Santa Clara (36), the heart of Silicon Valley, Los Angeles County (34) and Alameda County (14) together making up 64% of the business losses.

The series of blog posts Joe Vranich has produced is eye opening reading for those who want California to return to growth and succeed, but it is going to take a change in attitude to match changes in policies for that to happen.



  1. Thank you for your post about the list of businesses leaving California. As you were writing I was updating my list for 2010 for the last time, and my results are summarized in the headline: “Record in 2010 for Calif. Companies Departing or Diverting Capital: 204 – Four Times Last Year’s Level.” This is a sad state of affairs for the formerly Golden State. You can see the updated list at — Joseph Vranich, The Business Relocation Coach, Irvine, Calif.

  2. Joe: Thanks for your great work in documenting the reality we face. Regrettably, California is a hostage to its special interest groups and the public is still largely in denial about the seriousness of the situation.

    It does not have to be this way. California could be the Golden State again if it would cut its spending and regulatory impediments to growth and position the state to be a magnet for investment, business growth and entrepreneurship.

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