Why Tesla, Oracle fled California for Texas

Texas cities see job, economic growth thanks to lenient pandemic policies

FOX Business’ Connell McShane reports just outside Austin, Texas, where business owners say outsider are ‘coming in troves.’

The state of the Texas economy is growing and thriving, and a new study suggests it could be linked to the Lonestar State’s less restrictive COVID policies.

"People and businesses know that if they come to Texas, they're going to stay open," Texas Association of Business President Glenn Hamer told FOX Business’ Connell McShane Wednesday.

"They know that there's always that threat, if it's a pandemic or God knows what. If they're in another state, they could be closed down or regulated out of existence," Hamer continued.

A recent Johns Hopkins study found that pandemic lockdowns and closures had "little to no" effect on reducing COVID deaths, and Texas is just one of four states surpassing pre-pandemic job levels after touting no-mask, no-lockdown measures last year.

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Cities around the Austin area have seen an especially high outsider exodus which local business owners contribute to the open-for-business protocols, which have attracted larger companies like Tesla and Oracle to settle in Texas.

"People are coming in droves," one Bastrop restaurant owner told McShane. "It's just been with the Tesla factory coming in and all of the ancillary stuff that's come along with that, and we were already on a pretty good growth trajectory anyway."

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Another local business had to increase its staff by 36% in order to meet increased consumer demand.

"We've been hiring as we can and trying to hire more and more right now as they're available," Pyrology owner Kemper Morrow said.

In December, Texas brought in more sales tax than ever before, hitting $3.6 billion. Texas recorded only four months before the pandemic when sales taxes collected $3 billion or more. Now, the state has recorded nine consecutive months, from April to December, of hitting or exceeding the benchmark.

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Gov. Greg Abbott praised the state’s strong economy, tweeting earlier this month that "Texas is #1 state for business."

The governor continued: "Companies of all sizes thrive in Texas due to our low taxes, superior business climate & world-class workforce."

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