Plano is home to more than 500 corporate and regional company headquarters, with that number continuing to grow.

Graze Inc., an autonomous lawnmower company, is the latest addition, announcing its move to Plano on Jan. 11. CCIntegration, Fisher Investments, SK Signet and QuickFee, among others, opened headquarters in the city last year.

“We’ve been very focused on being forward-thinking,” Plano Director of Economic Development Doug McDonald said. “I think what we’ve done this past year is going to set us apart and make us successful for the next 20 years.”

What you need to know

Developing relationships with business communities across the world has been a major factor in bringing large companies to Plano, McDonald said.

City officials went on recruiting trips to Chicago, South Korea, Japan and more last year.

Relationships with businesses in Japan, South Korea and India have brought companies such as Toyota, Samsung and Tech Mahindra to Plano. It has also given the city a “stamp of approval,” which has helped with the recruitment of other companies, such as SK Signet, McDonald said.

“They can look at how other companies have been very successful here; they enjoy working here, and they enjoy working with the city,” he said. “Those long-lasting relationships that we’ve built have really paid off.”

Plano officials can also provide incentive packages that include tax abatements and other benefits to companies that will create high-wage jobs and contribute to the economic growth of the city. The incentives can be used for foreign and domestic companies.

Plano also has several inherent advantages that make it attractive to businesses, including:
  • Proximity to two large airports
  • Public transit
  • A diverse building stock that includes office and manufacturing space
Diving in deeper

Access to Plano’s existing business community and schools is another benefit for large companies moving to Plano, McDonald said.

Connecting with local businesses as suppliers or partners is one benefit, while large companies can also look to Plano ISD and nearby colleges for a talent pipeline into the workforce. McDonald added that the city looks to connect businesses with local students through certain events.

The benefits are mutual, said Kelle Marsalis, Plano Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

The arrival of large businesses helps attract potential suppliers, vendors, clients and competitors to the city.

“When large corporations move into the community, it really does benefit everyone,” she said. “They bring jobs; they bring economic growth and stability; they bring more kids for our school district, which helps us offer more to the kids that we have in our district. The small-business community appreciates that partnership as well because [employees of large businesses] are potential clients, ... and it brings more talent into the region.”

Along with its convenient location just off the tollway, that collaboration between “the corporate and business community” is a major reason that Graze Inc. chose Plano as its new home, CEO Logan Fahey said.

“Companies like Toyota, Frito-Lay and others have created a really great corporate community in Plano,” he said. “There’s great synergy with a lot of the companies here, and I also think [the city] has just done a really great job of combining the corporate and the business community.”

What’s next

City staff is continuing to look for other opportunities to bring businesses to Plano, including large redevelopment projects such as what is happening at the former Electronic Data Systems headquarters.

Plano Director of Special Projects Peter Braster said one key is making sure even vacant buildings remain in good shape to help attract tenants when the time comes.

The main focus going forward is to continue to adapt and stay ahead of the curve, Braster added.

“We want to make sure that we’re giving our citizens and taxpayers the best value that we can,” he said. “We want to be on the leading edge so that we’re not looking back 20 years from now, thinking, ‘I wish we would have done that.’”