If venture capitalists’ money could talk, it would be telling you that Oregon is an inviting place to do business.
The latest bit of anecdotal evidence that Oregon’s business climate is good, and wasn’t harmed by Measures 66 and 67, is the news that Bend, Oregon-based G5 Marketing just landed $15 million in venture capital and plans to double its workforce. G5 Marketing’s success, The Oregonian reported, comes on top of what “has been an unusually strong year for venture capital in Oregon, which had its best first-half in four years.”
This news comes as no surprise to me and many of those who supported the tax measures last January. We continually pointed out that taxes play a very minor role in business location decisions. Much more important are factors such proximity to customers, the quality of the workforce, the quality of public structures and the quality of life in Oregon.
G5 Marketing CEO Dan Hobin alluded to the importance of these other factors:
Hobin . . . said he's able to find talented employees without paying Silicon Valley wages.
It's "geographic arbitrage," Hobin said, because tech workers can live better on less money than in California.
"Our plan is to stay here," he said. "We've been fortunate. We've found some really good employees in Central Oregon.
It’s also noteworthy that G5 Marketing plans to double its workforce, which means the venture capital investment will create more jobs in Central Oregon than the jobs lost by the departure of O’Keeffe’s Company, after founder Tara O’Keeffe sold her hand and foot creams business to a family-owned, Ohio-based company, Gorilla Glue.
As some of my BlueOregon colleagues observed last week (see here and here), some in the media once again fell for the spin of opponents of Measures 66 and 67, taking at face value the absurd claims of Tara O’Keeffe that her decision to sell the company and ship 20 jobs to Ohio were due to the tax measures.
Is it too much to hope that, in view of the news of G5 Marketing’s success in attracting venture capital, The Bend Bulletin and OPB will set the record straight about Oregon’s business climate? Is it too much to hope that the editors at those outlets will explain that, despite all the heated rhetoric, the tax measures have not had an adverse impact on Oregon’s business climate?
Can’t they hear the venture capital speaking?