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Brittani Bell

A panel of CEOs gathered recently at the 2023 Economic Outlook Conference to discuss their decisions to relocate their businesses to The Woodlands. CEOs Jaime Castle of Obagi Cosmeceuticals, Robert S. Barnwell of Centric Infrastructure Group and Deborah Wild of Cellipont Bioservices spoke on a variety of factors that influenced their move. The cost of living, business-friendly environment and high quality of life were among the common threads.

The economic advantages of a relocation to Texas, particularly affordable living, were at the forefront for Obagi Cosmeceuticals. “Over 60% of our workforce, with an average age of 46, were unable to own a home due to the high cost of living in California,” noted Castle. “The nature of our business allows us to function anywhere, so we felt it important to give our employees the opportunity to have that part of the American dream.”

Food, fuel, health insurance and entertainment are just a few of the many living expenses that are lower in Texas than other states. Castle mentioned that “at one point recently we were spending eight plus dollars for a gallon of regular gas in California.” Other savings enjoyed by Texas residents include property tax abatements for qualifying businesses and no personal state income tax.

Access to an educated workforce was also discussed. “We are obtaining a large number of new employees through our partnership with Lone Star College,” Wild said. The Woodlands boasts a highly educated population (62.4% of residents have earned at least a bachelor’s degree), allowing companies to easily expand their workforce with locals upon relocation.

Adding to the appeal for Cellipont were the 200+ restaurants to choose from within the community. “We’re a client-based business,” said Wild. “Clients visit constantly and require hotels and places to eat. The ability to choose from an array of options in our own backyard appealed greatly to us.”

Mentioned by all CEOs was how much quality of life weighed into their relocation destination decision, with ample outdoor space tipping the scales in favor of The Woodlands. “The trees, the water, places to walk around and enjoy nature, it all contributes to the high quality of life here,” Wild stated. “That’s important because people living in those circumstances tend to be more invested in their jobs and happier in life overall.”

Barnwell added that his workforce enjoys an active lifestyle, so the “220 miles of walking paths and multiple golf courses and tennis courts has excited the employees” of Centric.

Other noted components adding to the high quality of life offered in The Woodlands were excellent school systems and access to quality healthcare. Home to five of the top medical providers in Houston, The Woodlands residents enjoy high-quality, readily accessible healthcare in their own neighborhood.

“The school districts are great and the access to quality healthcare is convenient, which appeals to our workforce base,” said Barnwell. “It’s just a fantastic place to live with all the amenities, outdoor space, and activities that it has to offer.”

Also, high on all the CEOs list of factors contributing to the move to The Woodlands was the business-friendly environment, particularly airport access. A major international airport with 500+ daily flights is located less than 30 minutes away from The Woodlands, allowing seamless business dealings both nationally and globally. “We knew we wanted to be centralized and needed to be near airports, and now we have two airports within a stone’s throw,” Wild said.

There’s no debating The Woodlands checks all the boxes for businesses looking to relocate. If you’re considering relocation and are looking for a business-friendly location with a high quality of life and low cost of living, look no further than The Woodlands.  Learn why The Woodlands could be the perfect fit for your company.