CEOs Rank Connecticut’s Business Climate Near Last

Chief Executive magazine has released its 2011 rankings of the best and worst states for doing business. Connecticut’s ranking—a dismal 44th among the 50 states—remained unchanged from last year. More than 500 CEOs nationwide were surveyed for this annual measure of states’ business friendliness.

Only Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, New York, and California were ranked behind Connecticut. Rhode Island climbed four places from last year and was ranked 39th.

At the top of this list were was Texas (also tops in 2010), followed by North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia.

CEOs graded states on a variety of factors, including taxation, regulation, workforce quality, unemployment rate, and living environment.

Sound Advice for Connecticut

States with punitive tax and regulatory systems were punished with lower rankings. The magazine noted, “While state incentives are always welcome, what CEOs often seek are areas with consistent policies and regulations that allow them to plan, as well as intangible factors such as a state’s overall attitude toward business.”

Offering advice to states that want to keep and attract business investment, one CEO told Chief Executive, “Do not overtax business. Make sure your tax scheme does not drive business to another state. Have a regulatory environment and regulators that encourage good business—not one that punishes businesses for minor infractions. Good employment laws help too. Let companies decide what benefits and terms will attract and keep the quality of employee they need.”

Considering those remarks, it’s not surprising that Connecticut ranks near the bottom when it comes to business-friendliness. That ranking is not likely to improve as long as the General Assembly continues to consider and approve anti-business bills and pass tax increases that penalize small and midsize businesses.

Click here for more on Chief Executive magazine’s 2011 state rankings.

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