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What’s “Good” About the 5 Worst States for Business

Underneath all that red tape and high taxes, here are a few reasons why some companies will never move, no matter what ranking, good or bad, their home state gets. Here are the 5 worst states for business from Chief Executive’s 2016 ranking and something CEOs should know that’s good about each of them.

50. California. In addition to being “the” high-tech and entertainment industry hub, the golden state is a tourism powerhouse, generating more than $121 billion in direct travel spending and more than 1 million jobs in the sector. It’s also home to Stanford U, the fourth best school in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking.

What CEOs should know. California’s growth is currently outpacing the nation, and will continue to do so over the next two years, according to a UCLA Anderson Forecast. Primarily in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco area, tech innovations and research are fueling that growth.

49. New York. Despite continually ranking in the bottom 5-10 year over year, the quality of the life in New York has real benefits, with attractions such as Broadway, major league sports and  tourism icons such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

What CEOs should know. Clearly there’s a networking capability in New York that should be looked into. Since last year, two large corporations—Cadillac and Anheuser-Busch—have both announced they will move their sales and marketing headquarters from the midwest to New York.

48. Illinois. Due to its high tax rate, Illinois has lost several key businesses, including Caterpillar, General Mills and Mitsubishi. However, Illinois still ranks as the 4th highest in number of Fortune 500s—at 34.

What CEOs should know. It’s midwest location makes it easy to get to and from anywhere else in the country. But its transportation infrastructure is crumbling, and the state needs $43 million to make repairs. One way or the other, residents are going to pay for it—either through a gas tax or by paying by the mile.

47. New Jersey. Although just in the RFP stage, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is seeking proposals to develop a three-decade master plan for expansion of its terminals and cargo volumes. Its vision is to become the busiest import/export facility in the U.S., according to The Wall Street Journal. Once operational, the increased volume could lower unit costs and could play a major role in helping companies grow globally.

What CEOs should know. If you’re hiring, you might want to move quick, since Amazon is opening two facilities in New Jersey and will need to fill 2,000 positions.

46. Connecticut. With the impending loss of GE to Boston, and rumors flying about Aetna following suit, Gov. Dannel Malloy knows he has a lot to prove to business leaders.

What CEOs should know. Malloy is in a position to negotiate and is proactively going after new business. He even made a point of publicly addressing North Carolina businesses, saying that Connecticut doesn’t have a religious freedom law and that all North Carolina businesses are welcome  up north. CEOs: When it comes to Connecticut, you’ve got the upper hand right now.

Review the entire 2016 Best & Worst States for Business results, including individual state rankings, CEO comments, methodology and more at



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