The Silicon Valley used to be thought of as the mecca for any tech junkie, the ideal place to live. Large tech companies like Google advertise the high living standards and quality of life offered by their companies and the location. Now, however, some of those same higher ups are questioning whether the valley is worth the cost, and they’re the ones making the most money. Even if the companies won’t leave, the employees will. So, where will these corporations move? Hopefully, Phoenix.
The state is business friendly, with one of Governor Ducey’s favorite taglines even being, “Arizona is open for business”. He is a fan of smaller government and limited interference with innovation. Taxes are low and business is thriving. So, what’s the issue? In an article written for the Phoenix Business Journal, reporter Eric Jay Toll talked with two executives who considered moving their companies to Phoenix, but decided against it, citing Arizona’s reputation for a poor education system as one of the main reasons. Executives don’t want to move their companies to a city that doesn’t offer a good educational system for the children of potential recruits and employees, not to mention their own. However, Arizona’s reputation for a weak education system may soon be a thing of the past. Proposition 123 is a measure that, if approved, would provide $3.5 billion in educational funding to the state from the State’s General Fund and the Land Trust and is up for a vote in May. If the bill passes, corporations will have no reason not to move to the sunny city.
For small companies, the appeal is just as strong. Regulations are relatively low and Ducey recently passed a law allowing equity crowd funding legislation, so small companies can get up off their feet and startups can come to innovate, and one may just be the next Apple.
The temptation is real. With the possibility of improving education, low taxes and small government, a new population eager to work, and a better housing market value than the Silicon Valley, what’s not to like?