“We’re excited,” says Tom Brizes of Aeromax.
Aeromax has been in business for 32 years, mostly selling airline parts for military aircraft.
The Brizes have been running Aeromax in Canoga Park for years, but say the cost of doing business in California is just too high.
They’re moving Aeromax and most of its employees to Fort Worth, Texas.
“There’s so much regulation, that we really need to be in a place that allows our small business to grow and I feel that Texas will do that for us,” says Micki Brizes.
“We have to move to a bigger building,” says Tom Brizes. “We need 10,000 square feet and there’s nothing in the Valley under 16,000 that fits what we need… that we can afford,” says Tom Brizes.
He says it’s also about quality of life and points to the homeless problem he says is getting worse and worse by the year. Brizes says his employees are afraid to take walks at lunch time and recalls one UPS driver who was attacked by a pit bull that jumped out of a homeless person’s RV. Brizes says the UPS driver required hours of surgery.
Brizes says he called the LAPD at least three times to complain about issues related to the homeless population, but says he was told nothing could be done.
“It took us two years to get them out. All the business owners here got together, and it took us two years. They moved one street away,” says Tom Brizes of the homeless population in his area.
The Aeromax story isn’t unique. From 2008 to 2016, 13,000 businesses left the state.
Joseph Vranich is a consultant who helps businesses relocate.
“There’s such squalor that people are looking to leave,” says Vranich. “I’ve experienced companies, company leaders going to employees and saying, ‘you know what – we’re interested in moving out of state,’ and employees volunteer to go.”
Mauricio Lopez has been with Aeromax for two years, and he’s moving to Texas with the company. Lopez says the cost of housing in Southern California is too high.
“The rent started at $600, now it’s $2,300 for a two-bedroom apartment,” says Lopez. “It’s so hard for a family.”
Brizes says a move of this magnitude is certainly not cheap, it will cost more than $100,000 — but he says he’ll make that up in no time and in the long run it’ll definitely help the company.
“It’s a better solution for a small business so that we can compensate our employees and have them get ahead,” says Micki Brizes.
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