Salt Lake City is the top city in North America for ease of doing business, according to a report by Arizona State University.
The Doing Business in North America report, released by ASU’s Center for the Study for Economic Liberty takes an in-depth look at regulations that enhance or restrain business activity and provide insight into economic outcomes. It ranks over 80 North American cities in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., giving them a gauge of how well they rank and how far they may have to go to improve the ease of doing business.
Specifically, the Ease of Doing Business Score is derived using scores from six categories: starting a business, employing workers, getting electricity, paying taxes, land and space use and resolving insolvency. Thanks to its high scores across each category, Salt Lake City received the top score of 84.325.
Derek Miller, President & CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, had the opportunity to comment on the report and its implications for business during the Avenues to Opportunity Conference. The one-day policy conference focused on how to remove the barriers entrepreneurs face and provide a context for thinking about policy reform.
When asked how the DBNA report supports the work of chambers across the country, Miller explained that Salt Lake City achieved the #1 ranking thanks to intentional efforts from both the public and private sectors.
“Nothing that you accomplish is ever done by accident. I’ve never met a business owner who accidentally started and ran a successful and profitable business. I’ve never met a farmer who harvested a crop that he or she did not sow. It just doesn’t happen,” Miller explained. “This report helps us, and hopefully everyone else, to say, ‘What are we doing well?’ and ‘What can we work on?’”
Miller also credited a number of Salt Lake Chamber initiatives that remove business barriers for Utah entrepreneurs and businesses, including the Diverse-Owned Business Accelerator and the Women’s Business Center of Utah. Those programs, among others, helped propel Salt Lake City to the top of the rankings — but that doesn’t mean other cities can’t also make efforts towards better ease of business. The most important takeaway, he said, is that it’s not a zero-sum game.
“Whereas only one team is going to win the Super Bowl in a few weeks, that is not true in economic prosperity,” Miller said. “Everyone can win.”