AUSTIN, Texas — Folks with Austin Chamber of Commerce said they can't wait to see what Tesla and CEO Elon Musk bring to Texas. Musk confirmed he moved to the Lone Star State this week, and that news came one day after Bloomberg reported the Musk Foundation is coming to Austin from California.
"For the state, it's a huge name and people see that name and he's got a following," said Charisse Bodisch, Austin Chamber SVP, economic development and Opportunity Austin representative. "He's not the only one to move here that's a big name from a big company, and we continue to see these big CEOs chase Texas. Texas has a very business-friendly climate."
Bodisch said if you want to grow a business, Texas is where you should be. While Musk's move to Texas doesn't surprise her, she is still excited.
"We are very cost-competitive with a lot of other places in the country and it kind of sets that standard up," said Bodisch.
Musk is expected to save money in Texas because it doesn't have a state income tax, like California. In July, Tesla also announced a new Gigafactory coming to Central Texas, which will employ 5,000 people with wages starting at $35,000.
"If you look at where his foundation is having impact, it's in renewable energy, it's in space exploration, pediatric research, science and engineering, A.I.," said Bodisch.
In a statement, the Downtown Austin Alliance said:
"The Downtown Austin Alliance sees Elon Musk's decision to move Tesla to Austin as another indication that the city is well-positioned for a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. People continue to want to live, work and play here, and companies like Tesla see the talent and innovation the region has to offer. The Downtown Alliance continues to study all options for downtown's economic recovery from the pandemic as we put together the 'Roadmap to Recovery' for Downtown Austin. We are encouraged by the confidence and optimism we are observing in the business community."
Bodisch said she's looking forward to see what happens next.
"I can tell you it's pretty significant and it's interesting because we were talking internally that you have projects that are game-changers and you have ones that are going to change the face of how you work and things like that. But this truly fits any definition of changing not just our region, but changing the world," said Bodisch.
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