They're from Texas -- and they're coming for your job. A delegation of business advocates and corporate executives took to the streets of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs last week to lure Illinois businesses to the Lone Star State. They're looking to capitalize on Illinois' stagnant job growth and reputedly unfriendly business environment to convince the state's job creators to pack up and move to Texas.
Texas Economic Development Corporation President Tracye McDaniel led the charge. McDaniel said that in addition to low workers’ compensation insurance costs for businesses and no state income tax, Texas' worker-freedom laws have a special appeal to Illinois businesses.
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"Texas stands top on the list as a right-to-work state," McDaniel said. "It's a major consideration for site selectors, C-level executives and decision makers from across the country."
McDaniel said the biggest key to luring businesses from all over the world to Texas is to listen to the voices of their own job creators and create policies that will let them prosper.
"Our main advantage is for our corporate executives at the table with us designing our business-development strategies," McDaniel said.
If the latest IRS data says anything, it's that McDaniel is succeeding. Recent IRS Records showed that more than 10,000 people recently moved from Illinois to Texas, with net migration gains from 46 other states as well.
McDaniel said a number of Illinois businesses already have one foot in her state, citing aviation giant Boeing, sporting-goods company Wilson and manufacturer W.W. Grainger as Illinois companies with operations in Texas.
McDaniel wouldn't say whether Texas lured away any businesses this week, but did say it was a productive trip to Illinois.