Business Climate Woes Weigh Heavily

Beyond the hard data and growing anecdotal evidence of departing companies, declining investment, lost jobs and shrinking population, California’s badly neglected business climate is also taking a troubling psychological toll on the state’s ability to recover. And it could have deep and lasting effects. Appearing in dozens of news stories in recent weeks on the issue, the Bay Area Council has emerged as a leading statewide voice in calling attention to the need for addressing California’s profound business climate problems, including a broken tax system, lack of fiscal accountability, onerous regulation and a historic housing affordability crisis. Others are starting to echo these concerns. A story this week in the San Francisco Business Times highlighted how recent business departures are dramatically changing the psychology around which people view a Bay Area region once believed impervious to economic troubles. The story echoes comments Council CEO Jim Wunderman has been making for the past several months as the pandemic-fueled economic crisis exposes California’s competitive vulnerabilities.

“California’s business climate deniers need to get their heads out of the sand,” Wunderman said. “Ignoring the reasons businesses and people are fleeing the state only signals to the world the they should look elsewhere to invest and grow.”

The Bay Area Council is committing significant resources in 2021 to continue raising awareness about the perils of ignoring the state’s business climate issues, working to beat back new tax proposals in Sacramento and defending the state’s innovation economy.

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