11/05/2014 12:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

7 Reasons California's Most Liberal Region Is Good For Business (No, Really)

When considering the most business-friendly climates in the nation, California isn’t often the first that comes to mind. (The Tax Foundation ranked the state 48th this year. Ouch.) But if the Bay Area’s business success is any indication, it might be worth taking a second look.

Here, we’ve partnered with Citi and come up with seven reasons the Bay Area’s unique social culture has been good for business, and why those “San Francisco values” might be making some serious cents.

For over 200 years, Citi’s job has been to believe in people and to help make their ideas a reality. Learn more about how Citi is supporting progress makers in San Francisco and beyond at

We work from anywhere. (And we mean anywhere.)
“The Bay Area is a place where we constantly challenge ourselves to use technology to improve lives,” said Elizabeth Tse, SVP of Operations, Elance-oDesk. “By creating the world's largest online workplace, we knock down traditional hiring barriers to create better access to job opportunities for people throughout the world."

No office? No problem. Though we might look like a bunch of slackers, Bay Area people know how to find the coolest park or restaurant to work from. Companies like Elance-oDesk even creates a community for like-minded individuals.

We aren’t afraid of new ideas.
According to the CEO, the spirit of social change and equity is pervasive at Impact Hub Oakland. "[Here], it takes the form of social enterprise, in a space that provides support, connectivity, and opportunities for ideas and businesses to flourish."

The Bay Area isn’t nicknamed the petri dish for nothing: it’s been a hotbed for innovative ideas for nearly a century. We’ve turned old city buses into mobile showers for the homeless, we elected the first openly gay politician to California public office and before the California Attorney General proposed her “smart on crime” idea statewide, she tried it in a pilot program in San Francisco. Companies like Impact Hub Oakland are hopping on this bandwagon big time, by fostering social enterprises all over the Bay Area.

The Bay Area knows how to meld the old with the new.
new park theater
The New Park Theater is a quintessential picture of history restored in the Bay Area.

Don’t let the love affair with technology and the shiny and new fool you: The Bay Area is in love with its past. Just ask J Moses Ceasar, a film buff whose New Parkway Theatre succeeds by giving a second life to a beloved piece of Oakland’s cinematic history.

We invest in the right places, especially the unexpected ones.
kickstart international
KickStart International sells irrigation pumps to Africa’s subsistence farmers at an affordable cost. Ownership leads to hard work, better and more frequent harvests, and increased income. It’s a sustainable model that is lifting farming families out of poverty.

Whether it’s the San Francisco mayor investing in a formerly homeless small business owner or Citi Foundation investing $50 million in job training for low-income youth, the Bay Area knows that it pays to not judge a book by its cover.

We can use our tech powers for good.
myhealthteams, co-founded by Internet entrepreneurs Mary Ray and Eric Peacock, bridges a gap in the healthcare system by making it easy for people diagnosed with a chronic disease to connect with and learn from others with the same condition.

Though the tech industry sometimes gets a bad rap, there are plenty of tech businesses fighting the good fight. uses social media to create online communities for people with chronic diseases, along with a number of other companies that are fighting the good fight.

There are some really, really smart people here.
it source
Brian Arellanes, Chairman and CEO of ITSource, sees diversity as a key ingredient in the creative fuel that his employees bring to client projects.

The Bay Area is famous for Silicon Valley and fantastic universities, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge lies both ITSource, a ninja in cyber-security app protection and IT project development.

The Bay Area is not the worst-looking place in the world.
san francisco

At the end of the day, could you blame us for wanting to work here?