Texas continues to be one of the most business-friendly states in the nation. In the following pages, YTexas—a business network for companies relocating, expanding, and growing in the Lone Star State—has collected a wide array of business and civic leaders to discuss our state’s enduring appeal, and how we can continue to stay competitive post-COVID-19.
YTexas’ celebration of business in Texas looked a little different in 2020—for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, we created a goldmine of insight from business and community
leaders about why some of the best organizations in the world are choosing Texas as their home.
Like many of you, I had big plans for 2020. Since 2013, I have led YTexas, an elite business
network that helps support, promote, and connect companies that are relocating and expanding into the Lone Star State.
In 2019 we at YTexas generated the most annual revenue in our history. Our success enabled us to launch the YTexas Foundation, which supported our first YTexas Leadership Academy, a mentorship program for first-generation college students at the University of North Texas at Dallas. This positioned us to grow the Academy with universities from around the state.
In late 2019, we also signed a two-year deal with the Omni Frisco Hotel to host a yearly event honoring Texas’ past decade of success in attracting corporate relocations.
The two-day celebration was slated to recognize more than 200 companies that moved their headquarters to the Lone Star State between 2010 and 2019.
In a similar vein, we secured a syndicate of sponsors to host our seventh annual YTexas Rēlo Awards Gala and second YTexas Summit. With the support of Frisco mayor Jeff Cheney and his city, we were ready to go.
Then came COVID-19. Sponsors called to cancel their commitments. I called off the event to avoid putting our employees and organization at risk.
After speaking with our members to see what we could do for them during these
trying times, I noticed a common theme: All of them were planning their next step. I realized we had to do the same.
With a little luck and some resilient partners, we hosted the virtual YTexas State of Business Summit on September 24, 2020. Presenting sponsor Ryan, LLC, and event sponsors BGSF, Insperity, and DHD Films stepped up to save the day. Over a four-hour livestream event, more than 100 CEOs discussed the future of our state. I was astonished at these leaders’ willingness to talk both about what’s next for Texas and about their day-to-day challenges. In retrospect, it shouldn’t have surprised me.
With Gary Kelly showing how Southwest Airlines will lead the future of travel, Andy Roddick discussing why companies like Tiff’s Treats will lead the retail revolution, and Emmitt Smith educating attendees on how Opportunity Zones can bridge a pathway to prosperity in South Dallas, we turned a cancelled event into four hours of video of some of the best minds in Texas.
As our organization’s name implies, much of the discussion at the Summit
centered on one core question, “Why Texas?” As the discussions took place,
one simple answer surfaced again and again: our people. The winning mindset
of Texans is truly why companies want to be here. It’s the most important
ingredient in the Texas miracle.
The following Texas spotlight articles, authored by business journalist Jeff Bounds, are based largely on panel discussions held at the YTexas State of Business Summit. The stories address the community, commerce, and culture of Texas’ four most populous regions: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. They include companies that, despite the pandemic, chose to announce in 2020 that they were moving to Texas.
Austin: The Plus Side of a Pandemic
Texas metros like Austin have long been attractive to businesses stuck in higher-cost
areas of the country. Today, COVID-related pressures may actually be making Austin
even more appealing to businesses—particularly those in the growing tech sector.
Dallas: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Do Something Different
Businesses across Dallas-Fort Worth got through COVID-19 by trying new things.
Many found opportunities that will carry on beyond the immediate crisis.
Houston: Change, Meet Opportunity
Between COVID, tech disruption, and a slow economy, almost every area of Houston
business is having to take a new road. This is how they plan to make a better tomorrow.
If you’re San Antonio, a recession is when companies, government, and academia prepare for how they will look tomorrow.
From tech titans to an athletic conference to a Korean fried chicken restaurant chain, a whole host of excellent businesses announced they were moving to Texas in 2020. This directory features 23 of them—see the full list at YTexas.com/Relo-Tracker. Let’s keep making Texas the best place in the country to do business, and we’ll see even moretop companies like this heading to our great state.
To see a list of corporate relocations to our state since 2010, visit YTexas.com/Relo-Tracker.
All panels from the YTexas State of Business Summit are now available online! Watch them at YTexas.com/2020-summit.
Our mission at YTexas is to be the most reliable resource for organizations looking to expand and relocate into our great state. The way to do that is not to tell them how great it is to do business here, but to show them. If you are inspired by our mission and are the best at what you do in the state, join us.