published Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Tennessee rated No. 4 state in which to do business

TOP STATES FOR BUSINESS

1. Texas

2. Florida

3. North Carolina

4. Tennessee

5. Indiana

Source: Chief Executive magazine (ChiefExecutive.net)

For the ninth year in a row, CEOs rate Texas as the No. 1 state in which to do business.

The Lone Star state benefited by having the best overall tax, regulatory and workforce climate, according to a survey of CEOs released Tuesday.

In its annual rating of the best and worst states for business, Chief Executive magazine ranked Tennessee No. 4 and Georgia No. 10 among the 50 states. The results are based upon a survey of 736 CEOs who rate states based upon regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, educational resources, quality of living and infrastructure.

Tennessee got four out of five stars for its taxation, regulations and living environment, but only three and a half stars for its workforce quality.

"Logistics are great with great access to a larger percentage of the population within an eight-hour truck haul," Chief Executive magazine said in its assessment of the Volunteer State. "Tennessee has excellent people for manufacturing and can attract high quality professionals."

Georgia also placed among the 10 best states for business, although its taxation, regulations and living environment were not as high as those in Tennessee.

"Traffic is the only drawback in Georgia," the magazine said.

Chief executives rated California the worst state for a perceived hostility to business, high state taxes and onerous regulations, all of which drive investment, companies and jobs to other states.

"When you investigate acquiring businesses in some of the states rated poorly for business conditions, the anecdotes all wind up being true," said Kevin Hawkesworth, president & CEO of Florida-based Shaw Development.

A common theme among CEOs is the burden of constantly changing regulations.

"Business is too hard without dealing with piles of regulations that are constantly changing," said Rick Waechter, CEO of Boston Magazine. "I believe there have to be controls, but keep them simple and straightforward -- and most importantly, don't make it a moving target."

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