Governor Greg Abbott erased any doubt that Texas is becoming the number one state in the nation for women-owned businesses.
In his remarks to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) 2015 National Conference in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday, Abbott emphasized that the Texas legislature recently passed regulations to maintain the Lone Star State’s dominance in rankings for women-owned businesses.
“It’s fitting that the country’s premier women’s business organization is meeting in Texas, because Texas is the country’s premier state for doing business,” said Governor Abbott. “Women have been leaders of that success, and by investing in themselves and inspiring change in others, they represent the greatest potential for job growth. That’s why my aspiration as Governor is to make Texas the #1 state for women-owned businesses.”
Abbott noted that “Texas set an all-time record last year when we added over 450,000 jobs – the most ever for a year in Texas.”
“We’ve been the top exporting state for 13 years and ranked the best state for doing business for 11 years in a row,” the Abbott continued. “Texas was just named by Forbes as the best state in America to make a living.”
San Antonio is the leading metropolitan area in the nation for women-owned firms, with Forbes’ listing Austin, McAllen, Dallas, and Houston listed in the top ten.
“Women are growing businesses faster in Texas than California,” Abbott told the conference audience. “Soon Texas will be #1 in America for women-owned businesses.”
In June, the Governor shared his mission, “by unleashing the power of entrepreneurs and innovators—and securing the freedom to aspire—Texas will long remain the best state for business.”
“Businesses succeed in Texas because we’ve built a framework that allows free enterprise to flourish,” Abbott wrote in an open letter to all Americans this summer. “Less government, lower taxes, smarter regulations and right-to-work laws—these are the pro-growth economic policies attracting employers to Texas from states that overtax and over-regulate.”
“While some may dismiss our economic dominance as due only to our energy leadership, we are also among the top states for technology, manufacturing and health-care jobs,” noted Abbott, in the letter. “Over the past year, Texas added jobs in all 11 major industries.”
The Governor outlined some specific actions he is focused on and Texas has enacted to accelerate the achievements.
“I focus on policies that reduce those challenges and make doing business in Texas even more rewarding,” Abbott stated. “For example, while other states are raising taxes, Texas just slashed the business franchise tax by 25%. We also fast-tracked the permitting processes, we eliminated occupational licensing fees for 600,000 Texans and we exempted from the franchise tax veterans who start a business.”
Other initiatives Abbott shared included:
- “To make our infrastructure the best in America, we’re investing an unprecedented $4 billion a year to build more roads without raising fees, taxes, tools or debt.”
- Recent legislation that will improve education to develop the skilled workforce required for Texas opportunities and positive growth.
- Providing small business forums on financing, marketing and networking.
- Establishing his commission for women to connect Texas businesswomen to contracting opportunities.
- Approval of more than $2 million for Texas Woman’s University to establish a center for women in business.
As Texas Attorney General, and now, as governor, Abbott has built a national reputation for aggressive push back against federal over-regulation, “whether it’s Obamacare, Dodd-Frank or the EPA.”
“Businesses only expand where the workforce is ready,” the Governor wrote in his June letter to Americans. “With the third youngest median age in the country, Gallup shows that employees here are among the most engaged in the nation. Attracted by a relatively low cost of living, no state personal income tax and job growth across all wage quartiles, Americans are relocating to Texas more than to any other state.”
Abbot says he will not be complacent as Governor. Some of his major programs and strategies include:
- Cutting the burdensome business franchise tax and property taxes by nearly $4 billion. This will release businesses and homeowners to invest more in new jobs, higher wages and stimulating the Texas economy.
- Reining in regulatory regimes that create a patchwork of compliance complexities. Texas is investing in infrastructure, adding nearly $4 billion more per year for roads without raising tolls, fees, taxes or debt.
- Texas continues to lead the country in exports, and will continue to focus on attracting more foreign direct investments to make Texas a hub for global commerce.
- “Because technologies not yet invented will drive continuing innovation, we are committing $450 million to elevate our university research programs and to attract even more nationally recognized researchers and Nobel Laureates to our higher-education institutions.”
- “We are making college more affordable and ensuring the path to career and technical training is cleared of obstacles.”
- “While already experiencing the second-highest high school graduation rate in the nation and the highest for black and Hispanic students, we are aiming to be the No. 1 education system in America.”
“Freedom is the intangible but very real promise of Texas that encourages businesses to grow in the Lone Star State,” Abbott observed. “It’s no surprise Texas is again ranked the best state for business—for the 11th year in a row—according to Chief Executive’s survey of the nation’s top CEOs.”
“When businesses succeed, Texans succeed,” Abbott stated.