Life in our part of Florida has changed dramatically in the last four years. “Growth on steroids” is a phrase used to describe the surge of Americans relocating to our part of the country. We are dealing with more traffic jams and longer waits for appointments with physicians. 

We have often discussed the driving forces behind these relocations: high taxes and excessive lockdown regulations.  Years ago, before the enactment of civil rights legislation, southern blacks relocated to the north to find a better life without the overt racism they faced in the south. In the past few years, a reverse migration has occurred from northern high-tax states with excessive lockdown rules to the southern “free states.” 

Not only have many residents moved south but so have many businesses. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that showed many small businesses have also relocated south. 

According to BLS statistics, in 2021, over 6300 small businesses moved across state lines which was an increase from 2020. This figure was almost double the amount of businesses that moved in 2010. 

After years of gaining businesses, the West lost businesses in 2021 with California losing the most. New York lost 487 businesses , California lost 487 businesses and Illinois lost 208. 

Guess which states gained businesses. Florida gained 399, North Carolina gained 148, Nevada gained 103, Texas gained 103 and Tennessee gained 92. Most of the states that gained businesses have no income tax. 

Texas also had an increase in businesses that relocated their headquarters to the state. Texas had an additional increase of 42 in 2020 and 80 in 2021.

As we have often discussed, high taxes are not new to the Northeast. The terrible lockdown regulations in the Northeast, however, were the tipping point for many to leave and head south. With the ability to work remotely and change jobs with ease, many Northeasteners and Californians have said: “enough is enough.”

Remember former  Manatee county commissioners who argued for tougher lock-down restrictions during the pandemic? These former commissioners may find new employment opportunities for political office by relocating to the Northeast. Also, remember the Manatee county Democrats were arguing for tougher lockdown restrictions.

We are fortunate to have a county commission in Manatee county that respects personal responsibility and individual freedom. The states in the Northeast and the state of California will be suffering for decades under the regulatory and tax burdens. Unfortunately, many of their small businesses will not have the ability to relocate and instead will be forced to close shop or earn less profits.

Bob Spencer
Manatee Herald

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