OKLAHOMA (OBV) – A national spotlight was shined upon Oklahoma Thursday when The New York Times published a feature article on the Sooner State’s growing reputation as a go-to destination for companies looking to expand.
Oklahoma is now considered fertile ground for companies looking to grow, according to the Times.
The article cites Oklahoma Department of Commerce data, which states that more than 100 companies have come to Oklahoma in the past five years, including 29 in 2002. Two hundred other companies are planning to expand into the Sooner State – substantial growth that is estimated to net more than $10 billion in promised new investments.
The biggest noisemaker of all was the company that chose to expand into another state instead of Oklahoma – Tesla.
Elon Musk, the co-founder of Tesla who is arguably the world’s most prominent leader of industry, met with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt in 2020. The topic of discussion: Musk’s plans for a massive new Tesla factory. The magnate/entrepreneur was considering two locations for the new plant: Austin, Texas, and an area outside of Tulsa.
Musk ultimately chose Austin over Tulsa, but according to the Times, major companies across the nation took notice when one of the world’s leading industrialists and innovators considered Oklahoma as the destination for his preeminent company’s biggest expansion yet.
The Times states that though Oklahoma has long loomed in Texas’ shadow, it is now emerging into a brighter, more prosperous light.
The article highlighted two initiatives that are transforming Oklahoma into a business-rich environment. Tulsa Remote offers remote workers $10,000 to move to the city for at least a year. Oklahoma City’s lauded multi-billion dollar MAPS program has used funds amassed from a 1 percent sales tax first approved by voters in 1993 to build a wide range of infrastructure and downtown attractions.
Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell acknowledged in the article that he and fellow state leaders hope Oklahoma will become the next Texas. The potential is certainly there.
More and more companies are not only expanding into the state, but also relocating to it. Six companies moved their headquarters to Oklahoma. Even international companies are choosing Oklahoma as their home base. Stitt announced in October that Premium Aerospace Center will move its international headquarters to Washita County, according to the article.
Oklahoma also has a few key advantages over Texas, including much more affordable cost of living compared to the steep housing prices in Austin and other Texas cities, as well as a more reliable electrical grid.
Click here for the full Times article.