Gov. Kevin Stitt, R-Okla, says the number of businesses moving to Oklahoma has “never been bigger” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re having companies from California, some of these heavily regulated states, high-tax states, states that are just so frustrated that they’re still shut down,” Stitt said on FOX Business’ “Varney and Co.”
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He said the appeal isn’t limited to business – a lot of parents have also reached out about moving to his state because Oklahoma schools are open.
“Hundreds of companies are calling and reaching out and we’ve never had more appetite to move to Oklahoma,” he told host Stuart Varney.
Stitt said his state’s success is due to taking a “balanced approach” to the coronavirus.
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“Even in the height of the pandemic, we knew we couldn’t make a decision based on one isolated set of facts,” he said. “So I set out the vision to protect the health and lives of Oklahomans… but also to keep our businesses open safely and get our kids back in school safely.”
The state “fully reopened” in June 2020.
Stitt went on to say this approach has now led to low cases and hospitalizations, a strong economy, low unemployment and even a $1.2 billion surplus in the state budget.
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Some Oklahoman cities, like Tulsa, are offering further incentives for workers.
Tulsa Remote is a one-year program that gives $10,000 to remote workers who move to the city. The initiative is several years old but has flourished recently due to the pandemic-induced work-from-home trend.
“We have thousands and thousands of applications,” Stitt said. “We’re actually getting those folks plugged into the state government, the local government just having great incubators where they’re getting plugged in with other like-minded entrepreneurs.”
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He said the program is a “great success.”
“From day one, my goal as governor was to make Oklahoma a top 10 place for business,” he added.