Originally Posted by the Austin Business Journal by Kathryn Hardison – Staff Writer on March 1, 2021.
“For the ninth consecutive year, the Lone Star State led the United States for capital investment in 2020.
On March 1, Site Selection magazine awarded Texas the 2020 Governor’s Cup for having the most economic development projects last year. The state had roughly 781 projects underway in 2020, according to Site Selection’s annual rankings.
“I am proud to accept the Governor’s Cup for a ninth year in a row on behalf of the business owners, entrepreneurs, and skilled workforce that keep Texas the economic engine of America,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “This record-breaking achievement would not have been possible without the local, regional, and statewide economic development teams who work to expand economic opportunity in Texas, nor would it have been possible without the companies that choose to invest and create more jobs throughout our state.”
Texas’ project count ranked far ahead of No. 2 Ohio with 419 projects last year and No. 3 Georgia with 360, according to the magazine. Ohio was also awarded a 2020 Governor’s Cup for having the most projects per capita. In the per capita ranking, Texas came in at No. 6, according to the magazine.
Two Austin-area developments ranked among the top 25 projects in the state. Those were Tesla Inc.’s $1.1 billion factory now under construction in eastern Travis County and BAE System Inc.’s $150 million Austin expansion.
Construction is full steam ahead on the 2,500-acre Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) site east of Austin, where the company plans to start electric vehicle production later this year. More than 5,000 direct jobs have been pledged at the plant where Tesla will produce its Model 3, Model Y, Cybertruck and Semi tractor-trailer.
Virginia-headquartered BAE Systems announced in August plans to build a large corporate campus in North Austin, relocating from an existing campus in far East Austin. The aerospace and defense contractor intends to double its local headcount to more than 1,400 at the 390,000-square-foot facility.
Of the 25 projects mentioned by Site Selection, the Houston area had the most with eight, including Axiom Space’s expansion. Other Texas projects recognized by the magazine were energy company Max Midstream’s project underway in Point Comfort, on the Gulf Coast, and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) projects in Waco and El Paso.
Texas’ project count in 2020 was down slightly from 859 in 2019, according to the magazine, likely an impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Both Ohio and Texas have diverse economies, as do the other high-ranking states, so that was a factor in their capital investment success,” the magazine said. “All states benefited from a strong national economy heading into 2020 — until Covid-19 slammed the brakes on their momentum.
“Economic development agendas turned to business recovery and assistance, and suddenly governors were seen leading daily pandemic updates and determining to what extent they would remain open for business.”
Texas, and the Austin area specifically, have been magnets for corporate relocations the past few years, in part because of a business-friendly climate and relatively low taxes. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a record year for the number of jobs created from corporate relocations and expansions to the Austin area. According to a tally by Opportunity Austin, an initiative of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, roughly 12,171 jobs were created from corporate relocations and expansions to Central Texas last year, and another 9,693 positions were created through expansions at companies already in the Austin area.
At least a dozen companies have relocated here since the start of January, and Samsung is considering the area for a $17 billion chipmaking plant — one of the largest economic development projects in U.S. history.
Relocations and expansions to Austin are expected to continue despite the winter weather in February that left many Texans in the dark for days on end. However, economic development experts say there could be an impact to Austin’s allure in the long term if nothing is done on the state level to make the electrical grid more resilient.”
Check out the original post here: https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2021/03/01/site-selection-magazine-awards-tx-top-honor.html