Nobody messes with Texas when it comes to business climate. For the tenth year in a row, Chief Executive magazine has ranked the Lone Star State number one in the country for doing business. The annual rankings are based on a survey of more than 500 CEOs across the U.S., and they take several factors into account, including taxes, regulations, and quality of life. High ratings for business and economic growth are nothing new to Texas, but this survey carries more weight, according to Economist Ray Perryman with The Perryman Group. "This one is particularly important, because it's a survey of corporate CEOs around the country," he tells KTRH. "And after all is said and done, they're the ones who make the ultimate decisions about where companies locate, where companies invest and hire."
Perryman isn't surprised to see Texas at the top of the business rankings. He says there are several items that CEOs tend to look for when deciding where to do business. "Transportation infrastructure, or a lot of them are looking for a particular size and type of work force, they're looking at the cost of doing business, the regulatory climate, the incentive packages that are available...and Texas does very well on all those fronts." With business comes jobs, and with jobs comes people, which is why Texas is also seeing a population boom. "Of the ten fastest-growing cities in the country, four are in Texas," says Perryman. "And predictably, it's Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio."
The rankings had a definite southern theme toward the top. After Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina rounded out the top five states for business. In contrast, the five worst states for business on the list were California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts. It's not surprising that Gov. Rick Perry has recently traveled to the bottom three states on the list to promote Texas as a better place to do business. "Southern states in general have a better regulatory climate and, in most cases, a better tax climate than some of the other states," says Perryman.