California Business Owner Relocates to Texas for Better Opportunities

Jeffrey VonderHaar, owner of a medical equipment business, shares his reasons for leaving California and moving to Texas.

After years of navigating the challenges of running a business in California, Jeffrey VonderHaar, owner of a medical equipment company, has decided to relocate to Texas. VonderHaar cites the excessive regulations, high taxes, and increasing cost of living as major factors that have made it difficult to thrive as both a resident and a business owner in California. In this as-told-to essay, VonderHaar discusses his decision to move, the advantages of doing business in Texas, and the welcoming community he has found in his new home.

California’s Burdensome Regulations and Costs:

VonderHaar’s medical equipment company consists of three divisions, including manufacturing prosthetic limbs, providing physical therapy services, and supplying post-op and rehab equipment for orthopedic surgeons. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he employed 33 individuals, but due to the challenges posed by California’s regulations, he has had to downsize to 13 employees and contract an additional nine. VonderHaar expresses frustration with the constant changes in regulations and the never-ending taxes and costs associated with doing business in California. He argues that the state’s focus on extracting revenue from businesses, even those with lower incomes, is driving entrepreneurs away.

Concerns for Family and Safety:

VonderHaar’s decision to move his family to Texas was also influenced by concerns about the quality of life in California. He highlights the issues of homelessness, crime, and public safety that have affected his daily life and that of his children. VonderHaar recounts incidents of attempted break-ins at his business, the presence of Winnebagos housing individuals near his workplace, and the need to take precautions for the safety of his female employees. He emphasizes the importance of providing support for the homeless population while acknowledging the responsibility of the government to address these issues effectively.

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The Impact of Traffic and Commute:

Another challenge VonderHaar faced in California was the issue of traffic, particularly as a salesperson who needed to travel extensively for his business. He describes the logistical nightmare and high costs associated with navigating California’s congested roads, including the burden of high gas prices. VonderHaar recalls a specific instance where it took him over an hour to travel to Beverly Hills, highlighting the time-consuming nature of commuting in the state.

The Appeal of Texas and a New Home:

VonderHaar reveals that he had been doing business in Texas since 2016 but had not fully explored the possibilities until now. Recognizing the need for a sustainable business for his employees in the future, he decided to focus on expanding his operations in Texas. VonderHaar and his family initially considered purchasing a home in Texas as an investment property but ultimately decided to make the move sooner rather than later. They purchased a four-acre property with a 5,400 square foot house, complete with a pool, barn, greenhouse, and chicken coop, in a gated community north of Houston. VonderHaar expresses his delight at the warm welcome he received from his new neighbors, which reaffirmed his decision to relocate.

Conclusion:

Jeffrey VonderHaar’s decision to leave California and move to Texas reflects the challenges faced by many business owners in the Golden State. Excessive regulations, high taxes, and rising costs have driven entrepreneurs to seek more business-friendly environments. VonderHaar’s experience highlights the importance of considering the overall quality of life, safety, and community support when making such a significant decision. While California holds cherished memories, VonderHaar is optimistic about the opportunities that await him and his family in their new Texas home.

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