Posted: May 28, 2020 by Kelly Murphy-Redd
Amid the furor of Elon Musk threatening to sue Alameda County, CA and move his headquarters to Texas or Nevada, I wonder if companies will look at how states handled the Coronavirus pandemic when making relocation decisions in the future.

The Tesla founder said the “lockdown” rules instituted by the Governor of California and implemented by local officials were against his Constitutional rights and common sense when officials wouldn’t let him reopen his company.

Not all states have handled this pandemic the same way. Not all states were affected the same way. Georgia “opened up” earlier than most, as did Colorado. One governor is a Democrat and one is Republican, so it isn’t just politics. Some states have had very strict rules and others have been less restrictive.

It is obvious the U.S. economy has been devastated by the shutting down of business. Most leaders probably did the best they could with the information available. Some leaders have been criticized for going too far. Will governors look back at how they managed their state during this time and match their policies to the rate of economic recovery? I don’t know.

Policies matter on many levels. The economy is one of them. When I say economy, I am not just using some glossed-over, impersonal term, laden with statistics. Economy means people making money to provide food, shelter and clothing for their families. Economy means people owning companies that employ other people. Small businesses make up most of the economy. Self-employed/Independent Contractors/Gig Workers/Freelancers are also a very important part of the economy. It means people living their lives and trying to live them as well as they can with dreams that look as different as the people that have them.

Companies already look at some policies. Being a right to work state, as Florida is, makes a difference to some companies that do not want to deal with a robust union presence. Businesses always look at the tax structure of a state. Florida having no state income tax has always been a huge business attraction attribute.

In the future, companies may factor in leadership and policies during crisis.

Florida periodically deals with the threat of hurricanes. Companies probably want to know how well- prepared Florida is to handle those emergencies. For example, companies may research what procedures are in place to get power back up and running.

I’ve written before about how healthcare in a community matters to businesses. How prepared is the healthcare infrastructure for emergencies? Will businesses look to see if a state has a stockpile of necessities to deal with a potential crisis?

In the future companies may analyze a state’s policies towards businesses during this pandemic. Will companies analyze how their business has been affected during this crisis and move to another state as Tesla has threatened to do? I think it is possible. Do you think states other than Nevada and Texas are trying to contact Tesla? Yeah, so do I.