NTX Magazine Volume 1 - Page 44

Industry Spotlight RELOCATION has since become one of the state’s most competitive tools to recruit and bolster business. To date, the TEF has invested more than $435 million, and has generated nearly 60,000 new jobs and more than $14 billion in capital investment in the state. Businesses are also attracted to Texas because it’s known for having one of the 10 lowest tax rates in the country – corporate taxes are kept low, while personal income taxes are nonexistent. Texas also has no state taxes on property used for pollution control, on goods in transit, or on manufacturing machinery and equipment. As a right-to-work state, Texas also boasts relatively light regulation policies and large financial incentives, along with strict laws regarding labor union power. Ease of Location In addition to the financial benefits that come along with moving to North Texas, the area’s infrastructure and centralized location are other important factors that contribute to a favorable business environment. “We looked at Washington, D.C., Chicago, London and Houston,” said Keith Stephens, senior media director at Fluor Corporation. In 2006, Fluor relocated its headquarters from southern California to Irving after its then-current business climate had proven to be less than beneficial for the company’s bottom line. After realizing the healthy business environment found in North Texas and the perks that came along with it, like its centralized location, Fluor made the move. “We wanted to be close to clients, first and foremost, and also close to the financial markets and government centers,” added Stephens, who said the company also wanted to be closer to its customers in the oil, energy and chemical sectors. “When traveling from California, it took almost a day. So one deciding factor was DFW Airport – we could fly almost anywhere without a connection. There were a lot of reasons that played into it, but the airport was really one that helped seal the deal.” Holly Reed, executive director of External Affairs at AT&T agrees. “We needed to be able to move our people throughout the country and internationally,” she said. “When we moved to San Antonio, we were a five-state operation that had investments in Mexico. Today, we’re a global company and we need to be able to get our folks where they need to be as quickly as possible.” AT&T relocated its headquarters from San Antonio in 2008, and as a growing company with customers across the globe, being headquartered in North Texas, according to Reed, has helped them operate more efficiently, better serve clients and broaden its global reach. Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, home of the Dallas Cowboys and Super Bowl XLV, at night. Photo by James Smith/Dallas Cowboys. 42 North Texas Magazine www.ntc-dfw.org