In its eleventh year, the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business Study for 2014 has listed Utah as the top state for business for the third year in a row. Again, Utah stands out above the rest of the states as “a symbol of economic growth that other states should emulate,” according to Brent Pollina VP of Park Ridge, Illinois-based Pollina Corporate Real Estate and co-author of the 2014 study.
“Under Governor Gary Herbert’s leadership, Utah has held the top position for the third year in a row. In 2005, Utah ranked #23 and by 2012 it ranked #1 moving up in rank 22 places in only seven years,” he explains. “Utah is a great example of what enlightened and motivated political leadership can accomplish with a solid plan. Like the early Utah pioneers, the recent political leaders of Utah have relied on their own ‘industry’ to prosper.”
Through efforts by Gov. Herbert, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah and the Salt Lake Chamber–both on their own and collectively–the focus has been to make Utah an environment where business and the economy can thrive. A few things that make Utah so great business include a stable regulatory environment, low unemployment, ease of starting a business, low operation costs, a well-educated workforce and, of course, the great quality of life our state offers.
In Utah’s report card from the Pollina study, Utah earned an A grade in various categories, such as unemployment rate, high school completion, right-to-work, workers compensation, corporate tax index, business inventory tax, property tax, regulatory and litigation environments, cost of electricity, as well as marketing/website/response to new and existing employers in state education. Utah also had a strong showing in overall tax environment.
The categories where Utah could improve include average teachers compensation, incentives and funding per college student.
“A handful of states have shown exemplary leadership in growing their economies and employment base while countering these trends by improving their business environment, adding new companies and growing existing companies,” said Dr. Ron Pollina, an economist and corporate relocation expert. “These states have broken the bonds that hold others back and positioned themselves for success today, tomorrow and the remainder of the decade, which is a remarkable achievement in the aftermath of the Great Recession.”
The Pollina Corporate study, a joint endeavor with the American Economic Development Institute, “draws attenttion to those states with political leaders who have a strategic plan that works as well as states that need help.” The study examines 32 factors relative to state efforts to be pro-business and has become recognized as the “Gold Standard” for evaluating states. It is the most comprehensive and impartial examination (with no advertising) of states available.
To have Utah stay on top of this prestigious list for three years in a row means something special is going on in the Beehive State that spells good things for business, our economy and our community.