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Surveys say Ohio’s business environment improving greatly PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 08, 2013 12:39 AM

BY ED GEBERT

DHI Correspondent

COLUMBUS - The opinion of CEOs about the business climate in Ohio is improving.

The annual survey of top executives by Chief Executive Magazine shows Ohio as improving more than any other state. The Buckeye State jumped to the 22nd ranking for business climate in the 2012 survey. That is 13 places higher than in 2011 when Ohio was ranked 35th, and 22 slots better than 2010 when the state rated a dismal 44th.

Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich was happy to hear the news.

“It’s great for Ohio workers when the nation’s CEOs see Ohio more and more as one of the best places in the country to do business. It’s incredibly gratifying to see all of our hard work continue to pay off like that. We’re achieving what we set out to do: get Ohio back on track by creating a jobs-friendly climate. We’re not there yet and we’ve got a lot of work still to do, but we’re making real progress and it’s great news for Ohio’s families,” Kasich commented in a released statement.

The second highest jump for any state was six positions, with Minnesota going from 36th to 30th.

Several comments from CEOs who completed the survey were quite positive. “Ohio is doing some amazing things to attract and support a pro-business climate,” said one. Another added, “Ohio has made a dramatic turnaround under Republican leadership.”

Another comment was not as positive, as one CEO stated, “Ohio’s lack of ‘right to work’ regulations and high utility costs make it increasingly more unattractive for capital investment.”

Overall, the report summarized Ohio’s progress as positive, noting, “Business appreciates Gov. Kasich’s help despite lots of legacy obstacles.”

One of Ohio’s biggest concerns in attracting new business to the state lies directly to the west. Indiana was ranked as having the 5th-best climate for business in the U.S.

The top four states for business did not change rankings since last year’s survey. The best states for business were once again, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The four states with the worst business climate also did not change since last year. California ranked dead last, followed by New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts.

Ohio’s positive trend for business was reinforced in another just-released survey. Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation surveyed small business owners about the state’s friendliness to small business. That survey showed Ohio moving up from a poor D+ ranking last year to a C+ this time around.

Each category of the survey for Ohio showed improvement. Ease of starting a small business, ease of hiring, regulations, health and safety, employment, labor and hiring regulations, tax code, licensing, environmental laws, zoning, and training and networking programs scores were combined to come up with a C+ grade on overall friendliness.

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 9:01 AM
 

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