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business - best and worst

CEOs Rank Best, Worst States For Business

For the eighth year in a row, CEOs rate Texas as the No. 1 state in which to do business, according to Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best & Worst States Survey. Florida rose one spot to take the No. 2 rank, while North Carolina slipped to No. 3. Tennessee remained at No. 4 while Indiana climbed a spot to capture the No. 5 rank. CEOs named the worst states to do business as California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan.

Arizona ranked No. 13, down two spots from its ranking in 2011.

The Best & Worst States Survey measures the sentiment of CEOs on business conditions around the nation. For the 2012 survey, 650 CEOs from across the country evaluated the states on a broad range of issues, including regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, educational resources, quality of living and infrastructure. The survey was conducted from Jan. 24 to Feb. 26, 2012.

Louisiana was the biggest gainer in the survey, rising 14 spots to be the No. 13 most attractive state in the country to do business. The biggest loser was Oregon, which dropped nine spots to No. 42.

CEOs surveyed said California’s poor ranking is the result of its hostility to business, high state taxes and overly stringent regulations, which is driving investment, companies and jobs to other states. According to Spectrum Locations Consultants, 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state in 2011, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year and five times as many as in 2009.

“CEOs tell us that California seems to be doing everything possible to drive business from the state. Texas, by contrast, has been welcoming companies and entrepreneurs, particularly in the high-tech arena,” said J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net. “Local economic development corporations, as well as the state Texas Enterprise Fund, are providing attractive incentives. This, along with the relaxed regulatory environment and supportive State Department of Commerce adds up to a favorable climate for business.”

Inhospitable business environments mean less jobs, as entrepreneurs and established corporations seek more cost-efficient and tax-friendly locales, said Marshall Cooper, CEO of Chief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net. “This survey shows that states that create policies and incentives are rewarded with investment, jobs and greater overall economic activity.”

For complete results, including individual state rankings on multiple criteria, methodology and more, please visit ChiefExecutive.net.