Delocation: The Slow Burn of Cash Forces N.Y. Companies to seek Alternate Locations

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 15, 2019)— Money talks — and walks. According to recent data from the US Census Bureau, businesses and residents are exiting New York in droves, as the state lost more of its population than it gained between July 2017- July 2018. The Empire State lost 180,306 people— the biggest decrease of any U.S. state, with Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Delaware not far behind. 

Even more, of the 25 cities that millennials are moving to, not a single one is in the Northeast, according to data on migration patterns from SmartAsset. With increasing tax burdens, skyrocketing housing costs, and brutal winter months, business owners and job seekers are saying enough is enough and migrating to more affordable, business-friendly environments.

According to a study from LendingTree, the top state people are moving to is Florida.

In February 2019, Founder & CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners Shirl Penney announced the relocation of his company's headquarters from Manhattan to St. Petersburg.

Shirl Penney, Founder & CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

"The delta in savings for our employees and company in terms of real estate (both residential and commercial), talent, taxes, and overall cost of living were all important items on our evaluation list," Penney said.

"For a business that is growing quickly like us, being able to add operating margin by lowering expenses while also enhancing the quality of life for our employees is a win-win for everyone.  And as a kicker, the sunshine was free!"

A recent review of the New York Department of Labor WARN notices shows several New York companies joining Dynasty and the 'delocation' trend, moving jobs and families south.

AT&T Services is moving one of its call centers from Syracuse to Orange Park, Fla. A total of 155 layoffs are planned for mid-April.

Not so recently, iQor, the global provider of customer contact solutions and product support services, relocated its global headquarters from New York City to downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, bringing senior leadership and more than 100 of its employees. 

iQor's HQ offices in St. Petersburg include slides between floors, a space for regular cornhole tournaments, and a large area dedicated to collaboration

In a recent appearance on Fox and Friends, Florida senator Rick Scott, said he welcomes the companies fleeing the high-taxed state of New York. Scott notes that as the businesses move, jobs and talent follow.

But aside from the tax-friendly business climate, what is it about Florida and the Tampa-St. Pete region drawing so many?

Quality of Life

St. Pete routinely ranks as one of the top places to live and work in the U.S. Most recently, the city was named one of the ‘Best 25 Towns in America’ by Outside Magazine and the of ‘Best Place to Live’ by Southern Living.

With 137 parks and 7 miles of preserved downtown waterfront, the city boasts the third largest urban waterfront park system in North America. Not to mention, the Pinellas Trail, a 37-mile hiking and biking trail, is the longest urban linear trail in the Eastern U.S. Home to seven arts districts and counting, each arts district has distinctive character and boasts museums, galleries, studios, and thriving businesses. SHINE Mural Festival brings national and international artists to the city each year to transform public walls into life-size works of art.

The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg

Cost of Living

Ranked as the best market for first-time home buyers, the Tampa-St. Pete region offers home buyers wise investment opportunities. The median sales price for a single family home is $206,500, and $145,000 for a condo or townhome, (Pinellas Realtor Organization, October 2016). The city’s cost of living is also below the national average, making it one of the most affordable mid-sized cities to live in the Southeast.

Connectivity 

Two international airports serve St. Pete: Tampa International Airport (TPA) is a 25-minute drive across the scenic Howard Franklin bridge, and connects travelers to major hubs in the US, Canada, and around the world. St. Pete-Clearwater (PIE) provides non-stop flights to regional airports around the US, and two destinations in Canada. Even closer to home is the Albert Whitted airport, located a few blocks south of downtown. Here, you’ll find private charters and rentals, and a commercial St. Pete - Ft. Lauderdale flight.

Even more, St. Pete recently joined the likes of Austin and Chattanooga as one of U.S. Ignite's Smart Gigabit Cities— the first community in Florida.

With more sensible business costs,  lower commute times and an average temperature of 73.7 degrees, the delocation movement does not look to be slowing down any time soon.

To learn more about business opportunity in St. Petersburg, contact the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation.