published Friday, May 9th, 2014

CEOs rank Tennessee as third best state for business behind only Texas, Florida

For the tenth year in a row, CEOs rated Texas as the No. 1 state in which to do business, according to Chief Executive magazine's annual Best & Worst States for Business survey released today.

CEOs ranked Tennessee ranked as the third best state, behind only Texas and Florida.

Georgia placed 10th and Alabama was 17th in their appeal to chief executives interested in locating or growing their businesses.

The states rated worst for business are California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Chief Executive magazine said the rankings are crucial because CEO sentiment drives investments in offices, factories and other facilities that bring jobs to a region.

"Texas is the best state for business and I don't see anything to slow [it] down," one CEO said. "The education and quality of eligible employees is excellent right now. Business is booming and growing quicker and more rapidly in 2014 than any other year. It's an exciting time in Texas."

California received more negative comments than any other state. CEOs said California's poor ranking is the result of regulatory red tape, high taxes and a generally negative attitude toward business. "We dread doing business in California," one CEO responded. "State regulations duplicate federal regs, especially in Safety. In addition to MSHA and OSHA, we have to comply with CALOSHA. No other state has a similar system."

The CEO ratings were released just three days after Site Selection magazine picked Georgia No. 1 and Tennessee No. 2 for economic development in 2013.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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