High taxes, crumbling infrastructure, a weak economy, crime … all of these factor into where a business decides to do business or avoid.
We predict companies of all sizes and across a range of industries will continue to relocate and/or shrink their footprint. COVID restrictions, for example, opened business leaders’ eyes to the cost-savings possible by embracing remote work and virtual meetings. Owners and execs can afford to be choosy where they build or rent as each of the 50 states offers at least one perk.
The annual “America’s Top States for Business” rankings by CNBC are no more of a final word than other Top 10 lists, but they’re a good starting point. CNBC irked some Texas elected officials by ranking the Lone Star State as the 2nd worst state to live in, but as the 5th best to do business in.
Right or wrong as CNBC may be, it might be worth checking out how your home base(s) compare to other locales.
Southern states come up tops in key categories
For a startup, the talent pool living in a state matters a lot. And it’s pretty critical for a business on the move since not all of its employees will be willing to pull up stakes.
For quality of workforce availability, the top 3 states (in order) are North Carolina, Arizona and Texas.
Maybe robust infrastructure is a must? If so, then Georgia, Illinois and Tennessee look like the best bets.
When it comes to technology and innovation, the top opportunities are on the coasts. Topping the list for tech are Massachusetts, California and Washington, not coincidentally home to MIT, Cal Tech and the aerospace industry.
Access to capital is never far from an owner or CFO’s mind. Two states tie for No. 1 in that category – California and Texas.
Whose economies are booming the most?
CNBC’s rankings of states boasting the best economies mirrors net migration patterns since March 2020. The top 3 states are Florida, Texas and North Carolina.
Last but not least, topping the “best overall” rankings are:
- North Carolina
CNBC ranked states using 86 metrics in 10 categories. Each category was “weighted based on how frequently states use them as a selling point in economic development marketing materials.”