Business lured to Sun Belt amid tax-friendly environment, ‘great employee base’

Companies have been flocking to the Sun Belt over its business-friendly environment, with one executive noting that tax incentives and a “great employee base” incentivized his materials science company to operate in Arizona.

Senior Vice President of Sales at Footprint, Jeff Bassett, said during a live interview with FOX Business’ Grady Trimble on “Varney & Co.” on Wednesday that the company “needed a strong foundation” and was lured to Arizona given the area had employees that were trained as material scientists, engineers, among other roles “all the way down the chain.”

“We found Arizona had a great pull because of the educational facilities and institutions and just a great employee base to begin with,” Bassett explained.

Footprint, which is based in Phoenix, is a company founded with the goal “to create a healthier planet,” according to its website, which added that the company invents and manufactures “solutions that replace short-term use plastic.”

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The company, which was founded in 2014, noted that it helps retailers and food companies “transition to plant-based solutions, reduce CO2 emissions, cut landfill waste, and achieve sustainability goals.”

Phoenix skyline at sunset (iStock / iStock)

Bassett also cited tax incentives as a major reason for the company’s choice to operate in the state.

“Those early costs of start-up, getting the job training credits and the property tax negotiated into those deals and those incentive plans was really critical and we found that both Arizona and the specific city that we’re in had one of the best packages we found, “he said.

From Arizona to Texas to North Carolina, the Sun Belt is becoming a hot spot for business relocation as companies across the United States are cutting costs by moving south.

Jeff Holzmann the CEO of asset management firm IRM Services said the move from the New York-New Jersey area to Dallas has saved the company millions of dollars in under two years.

Holzmann said on a per-foot, per-employee basis his company is paying about 60% less in Dallas compared to what it would pay in New Jersey, noting that the figure would be “even less” compared to Manhattan.

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He added that the Sun Belt region is “a fantastic place to be” given “the prices are affordable” and “the talent is around” and seeking opportunity.

Tesla, Apple and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are a few of the tech giants also making their way south.

Samsung is another major company moving part of its operation to Texas. This move alone will open around 2,000 jobs in the Austin area.

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FOX Business’ Joy Addison contributed to this report.

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