Inland Empire Mission
After a recent visit to Southern California, EDCUtah reports a positive outlook for business opportunities in Utah due to California’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana. At one point, manufacturing companies were pushed out to do business in the Mojave Desert after originally starting operations in areas like Newport Beach. As California has now designated specific areas for marijuana cultivation, land prices skyrocketed, and companies in these areas are once again being forced to relocate because of high costs and land values. California’s vote to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the 2016 elections is a factor which will greatly impact Utah’s economy because of factors like land price.
Many California-based companies have found that the cost of shipping products to California from Utah is cheaper than keeping the entirety of their business there. EDCUtah left California with three new projects and four leads for potential projects. These recent changes in California’s legislation create a new dynamic for companies and many are exiting the market completely and choosing Utah as the place to relocate.
EDCUtah traveled to numerous cities, including Corona, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Upland, Adelanto and Los Angeles. The purpose of the mission was to meet with small- to medium-sized manufacturing companies to educate them about prospects here in Utah. A majority of the companies were already looking to either expand or relocate, and Utah was at the top of their list. Doing business in California is expensive and several companies explained that due to operating costs they are unable to expand any further in California. Utah is more affordable for a variety of reasons, and many companies view it as an attractive alternative.
“The lifestyle and cost of living in Utah are attractive selling points,” says Becca Haynie, Business Development Manager at EDCUtah, “California CEOs see the value of retiring here.” Many companies had either visited Utah or knew of its excellence by reputation and are attracted to the slower pace of life here.
Living conditions in Utah are not the only enticement. Many of the California companies were in search of a responsible workforce as some have experienced their employees walking out in the middle of a work day. As Utah has a reputation for a reliable labor force, it was another draw for manufacturing companies. EDCUtah was able to vouch for Utah’s workforce of dedicated people who possess a culture of working effectively and efficiently.
Overall, the trip was a fantastic opportunity to tell the story of Utah and explain why the business climate here is so successful. “The purpose of the mission is to increase interest in coming to Utah,” says Haynie, “We are opening people’s eyes to possibilities.” When EDCUtah visits a location, they take advantage of being in the area. In addition to visiting the manufacturing companies, EDCUtah also met with an existing project and site selectors while in California. There are many companies who are looking to expand or to change business environments, but they often don’t have the time or the knowledge of the process to make it happen. That’s where EDCUtah comes in. EDCUtah is eager to help companies find the public and private support they need to grow successfully and to connect them with corporate and government investors working together to ensure Utah’s economic prosperity.