Toyota’s decision to relocate from southern California, where it has operated for over 50 years, to Texas is extremely disappointing and concerning for Los Angeles County. Not only are we directly losing nearly 3,000 individual jobs, but also the small businesses, like dry cleaners and restaurants, that will be impacted. There is a huge multiplier effect and we just can’t replace jobs like these overnight.
For years, we’ve seen businesses flee California’s high taxes and strict regulations for more business-friendly states like Texas. This mass exodus should have sent a message to our state leaders that something needs to change, and fast. This is a textbook case and we need to do an ‘exit interview’ with Toyota to learn what we can, as a state, do better, so that we stop being a target for other states.
Our only sell cannot be the great weather! We need to come together, quickly and aggressively, and work across state, county, and city borders to improve the business climate. California has an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit and an historically strong education system. We must work together across sectors to sell our strong workforce, create business-friendly policies, and make California a place people want to do business again.