Businesses Continue to Leave California: A Seven-Year Review

In California, costs to run a business are higher than in other states and nations – largely due to the states tax and regulatory policies – and the business climate shows little chance of improving. It is understandable that from 2008 through 2014, at least 1,510 California disinvestment events occurred, a count that reflects only those that became public knowledge. Experts in site selection generally agree that at least five events fail to become public knowledge for every one that does. Thus it is reasonable to conclude that a minimum of 9,000 California disinvestment events have occurred during that period.

The report has been designed to rely only on public sources of information – primarily news reports and company reports to some government agencies. Every single one of the 1,510 disinvestment events can be substantiated simply by checking the entries against sources of information available on the Internet. The nearly 3,000 endnotes in this report would ease any such effort.

This report provides a catalog of disinvestment events, which is why the bulk of Chapters 16 through 23 are fact-filled, listing actions by companies large and small. The entries show that some companies left the state entirely while others declined to grow their in-state facilities but invested in expansions elsewhere. A few companies that planned to relocate to California decided against doing so – performing a “U-Turn,” so to speak.

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