CEOs rank Texas at the top, California at the bottom

Chief Executive magazine has published its newest list of the best and worst states for business. Texas ranked Number One—again. California is Number 50—again.

In the executive summary of its findings, the magazine quoted a consultant as saying: ” ‘the Chief Executive ranking … reflects what decision-makers are saying. And it’s what they think that counts’.

“In that regard, the best states can practically do no wrong, with their inherent advantages enhanced by enlightened administrations continually finding ways to be welcoming to CEOs and their economic booty.

“California has it real bad,” the magazine said, “with the state’s ideal climate and digital-tech dominance simply not able to overcome CEOs’ impressions that the Golden State just doesn’t care about how expensive and difficult it is to do business there. So it keeps hogging the bottom of the Chief Executive list.”

Top U.S. energy producing states

Crude Oil - A Look at U.S.A.'s Energy States: Which Are the Best and Worst for Business? - Oil & Gas 360

Source: EIA

Natural Gas - A Look at U.S.A.'s Energy States: Which Are the Best and Worst for Business? - Oil & Gas 360

Source: EIA

Coal - A Look at U.S.A.'s Energy States: Which Are the Best and Worst for Business? - Oil & Gas 360

Source: EIA

How the top energy-producing states fared in Chief Executive’s 2019 list

The magazine’s rankings of the bigger oil, gas and coal producing states are featured below.

#1 Texas

From the Governor

“While Texas will continue to cut taxes and burdensome red tape, it is the people of this state that businesses are continuing to invest in.” —Gov. Greg Abbott

Big State, Big Projects

In a state that prides itself on being big, economic development is also happening on a large scale. Liberty Mutual Insurance cut the ribbon in November 2017 on its Plano campus that will support 5,000 jobs. Gartner also announced 800 new jobs in Austin, and Cognizant’s new technology and service delivery center in Irving will eventually add 1,000 new jobs.

Key Incentives

Texas Enterprise Fund: Offers a performance-based cash grant for projects that spur significant job creation and capital investment in cases where a Texas site is competing with an out-of-state option.

Skills Development Fund: Offers funds to help companies form partnerships with and train employees at local community colleges and technical schools.

Sales and Use Tax Exemption: Offers exemptions for manufacturing machinery and for equipment for natural gas and electricity and data centers that meet the minimum thresholds.

Texas Enterprise Zone Program: Offers a sales and use tax refund based on new and retained jobs associated with the qualified business site.

Big Deals

  • Liberty Mutual Insurance cut the ribbon in November 2017 on a one-million-square-foot campus in Plano that will support nearly 5,000 jobs.
  • Gartner announced in December 2017 it will invest $12 million in its operations in Austin and create 800 new jobs in the next several years.
  • Golden State Foods announced in December 2017 a $70 million manufacturing and distribution facility in Burleson that will create 150 new jobs.
  • Wipro announced in March 2018 it will construct a technology center in Plano that will create 150 new jobs and more in the coming years.
  • JSW Steel announced in March 2018 it will invest $500 million in phases to develop its steel manufacturing infrastructure in Baytown.
  • Cognizant opened in August 2018 a 50,000-square-foot technology and service delivery center in Irving that will create 1,000 new jobs.

Big Companies

54 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state, including:

American Airlines
Tenet Health
Waste Management

C-Suite Testimonials

“Like so many other companies, we’ve found Texas to be an outstanding place for business. Texas is home to many of the Fortune 500 and 1000 clients we serve. We’re particularly excited to be expanding in Irving, given the area’s access to a strong talent pool and an excellent system of colleges and universities with whom we hope to partner on jobs programs and training initiatives.” —James Lennox, Chief People Officer, Cognizant

“Our technology center in Plano is the latest milestone in our growing operations in Texas and is testament to the local talent pool and the robust support offered by the state to the technology center.” —Abidali Z. Neemuchwala, CEO and Executive Director, Wipro Limited

#9 Ohio

From the Governor

“JobsOhio has revolutionized the way we create and retain jobs in Ohio, but creating jobs is not enough we must prepare Ohioans to fill jobs that are in demand and in growing industries.” —Gov. Mike DeWine

Booming in the Buckeye State

The Buckeye State continues to see strong growth in several sectors, including finance, manufacturing and logistics. JPMorgan Chase announced it will further expand its presence in the state with an innovation center in Westerville, and Root Insurance will quintuple its workforce by 2021. Dollar Tree and McLane have also both announced distribution centers here in the past year.

Key Incentives

JobsOhio Economic Development Grant: Offers grants of varying amounts based on job creation, additional payroll, fixed-asset investment commitment, project return and location.

JobsOhio Growth Fund: Offers capital for expansion projects to companies that have limited access to funding from conventional private sources.

Job Creation Tax Credit: Offers a refundable, performance-based tax credit as a percentage of created payroll for companies creating at least 10 jobs with a minimum annual payroll of $660,000.

Research and Development Center Grant: Helps facilitate the creation of corporate R&D centers in the state that support the development and commercialization of emerging technologies and products.

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Gov. John Kasich signed into law in August 2018 new legislation to help establish the state as a leading supporter of blockchain-based businesses. The law recognizes the use of blockchain technology to transmit and store electronic records in several industries, ranging from financial services and supply chain management to healthcare. Several initiatives, including Smart City in Columbus, the BlockLand initiative in Cleveland and the 10XTS venture in Cincinnati, are fostering blockchain development and research across the state.

Big Deals

  • McLane opened in December 2017 a $119 million distribution center in Findlay that will create up to 425 jobs.
  • JPMorgan Chase announced in September 2018 it will establish an innovation center at The Point in Westerville and create 100 jobs.
  • Cleveland-Cliffs broke ground in April 2018 on a $700 million hot briquetted iron (HBI) production plant. The project is expected to create 130 jobs.
  • Dollar Tree announced in May 2018 it will build a $125 million distribution center in Bennington Township and create 400 jobs.
  • Root Insurance announced in June 2018 an expansion of its office in Columbus and a quintupling of its workforce from 88 to 463 by the end of 2021.
  • RhinoSystems announced in July 2018 a 65,000-square-foot expansion of its facilities and 117 new jobs in Brooklyn Heights.

Big Companies

27 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state, including:

Cardinal Health
Procter & Gamble
Fifth Third Bancorp
Goodyear Tire & Rubber

C-Suite Testimonials

“Ohio has a sufficient number of higher education institutions that, from community colleges upward, are effectively training their students to meet the growing demand for skilled workers required by technology companies like MCPc. —Peter Anagnostos, Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Community Outreach, MCPc

“Root’s growth since we were founded in 2015 is due in no small part to the strong talent we continue to find in Columbus…. While this expansion will allow us to continue to grow Root’s offering nationally, it will also deepen our roots in Columbus with the resources and space to grow the business with the momentum it deserves.” —Alex Timm, Co-founder and CEO, Root Insurance

#12  Colorado

From the Governor

“We will give shut-down factories and mines a new mission and create jobs by bringing local governments and business together to bring new industries to rural Colorado.” —Gov. Jared Polis

Aerospace Propelling Economy to New Heights

The Centennial State is literally propelling its economy to new heights. Colorado is growing as an aerospace hub, with more than 180 aerospace companies and 500 companies and suppliers offering space-related products and services. Space professionals gathered at the annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs in April determined that the aerospace industry now generates a $15.4 billion economic impact in the state. The Denver airport is also growing as a domestic and international hub and recently reached a new milestone as one of four U.S. airports with more than 200 nonstop connections.

Key Incentives

Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit:Offers a state income tax credit for businesses that create at least 20 jobs with annual wages of at least 100% of the county average where they are located.

Colorado First Customized Job Training Program: Offers up to $1,200 per employee in training by either one of the state’s community colleges, a provider of the company’s choosing or an in-house trainer.

Enterprise Zone Tax Credits:Offers a variety of investment and workforce tax credits for companies operating in economically distressed areas.

Strategic Fund: Offers incentives of up to $5,000 for each job created with an annual salary of at least 140% the average county wage.

Highlighted Program or Initiative

The Blueprint 2.0 program continues to address economic development goals in rural parts of the state. New initiatives announced in 2018 include helping communities address everything from co-working and branding to entrepreneurship.

Big Deals

  • GPS tracking app producer Strava announced in January 2018 that it will open a new office in Denver and add 89 net new jobs over the next eight years.
  • Maxar Technologies moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Westminster in April 2018.
  • Defense solution provider Polaris Alpha announced a major expansion of its Colorado offices and the addition of 450 jobs in Denver and Colorado Springs in April 2018.
  • Lending platform Funding Circle announced in April 2018 an expansion of its U.S. operations with a second office in Denver and more than 290 new jobs in the next two years.
  • Personal genomics company Helix announced in June 2018 a new office in Denver and the acquisition of Denver-based HumanCode.
  • Apparel company VF Corp., owner of The North Face and Jansport, announced in August 2018 that it will move its headquarters to Denver, bringing 800 jobs.

Big Companies

10 Fortune 500 Companies are headquartered in the state:

Western Union
DISH Network
Arrow Electronics
Molson Coors Brewery
Ball Corp.
Qurate Retail
DCP Midstream
Liberty Media
Newmont Mining

C-Suite Testimonials

“Colorado is an area with an unrivaled heritage and culture of outdoor and activity-based lifestyles, as well as a thriving business environment…. It is a great strategic fit for our business, and we are excited to be relocating our headquarters and several brands to the metro Denver area next year.” —Steve Rendle, Chairman, President and CEO, VF

“We are grateful for the continued support of the Colorado Economic Development Commission, Gov. Hickenlooper and the state of Colorado for job growthbased incentives, as well as for the significant support offered by the cty of Westminster and Adams County.” —Howard L. Lance, President and CEO, Maxar Technologies

“With the abundance of talent in Denver, we know it’s a perfect fit for our mission and team…. Colorado is a magnet for tech companies and active people because of its progressive approach to city planning and the outdoors.”—James Quarles, CEO, Strava

#14 Wyoming

From the Governor

“As an entrepreneur, I feel very strongly that Wyoming’s future is based on small businesses having the best chances they can.” —Gov. Mark Gordon

Winning in Wyoming

Wyoming is slowly recovering after losing nearly 20,000 jobs in 2015 and 2016, largely due to a decline in the mineral extraction industries. The state is now develop- ing a 20-year strategy that pieces together economic development, workforce and education to fuel tech growth. The Wyoming Department of Education announced in April the creation of Boot Up Wyoming 2022, an initiative to facilitate the extension of computer science into the K-12 curriculum.

Key Incentives

Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program: Offers awards of up to $3 million with a 10% to 30% match to finance publicly owned infrastructure upgrades to assist the startup, retention or expansion of a business in the state.

Wyoming Partnership Bridge Loan: Offers loans of up to 35% of the project (maximum of $1 million) in a shared collateral position with a local lender at an interest rate of 5% for the first five years.

Economic Development Large Project: Offers funds for the purchase, construction and installation of buildings or equipment. Minimum loan of $5 million with applicant contributing at least 25% of total cost.

#18 Oklahoma

From the Governor

“With companies moving jobs back to the U.S. and repatriating dollars, Oklahoma is prime to attract this opportunity and diversify our economy with the right kind of leadership.” —Gov. Kevin Stitt

Steady Development in the Sooner State

The Sooner State’s economy is slowly rebounding with new investments in several sectors and a state initiative to better align resources, education and training with workforce needs. Amazon announced it will open a new fulfillment center in Tulsa, Google will soon expand its data center in Pryor, and an Italian manufacturer recently broke ground on a $360 million plan that will support 300 jobs.

Key Incentives

Quality Jobs Program: Offers a quarterly cash payment of up to 5% of new taxable payroll to qualifying manufacturers and certain service industries that have new payroll investments of at least $2.5 million.

21st Century Quality Jobs: Offers qualifying businesses cash back of up to 10% of payroll for up to 10 years for the creation of 10 jobs with wages of at least $94,000 per year.

Investment/New Jobs Tax Credit Package: Offers a significant tax credit based on either an investment in depreciable property or the addition of full-time equivalent employees in manufacturing, processing or aircraft maintenance.

Business Expansion Incentive: Offers cash payments for expansion for manufacturers who invest at least $5 million in an expansion.

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Oklahoma Works creates new initiatives annually to continually align resources, education, training and job opportunities. The long-term goal is to better meet the workforce needs by 2025 in the state’s five wealth-generating sectors of aerospace, agriculture, energy, financial services and transportation.

Big Deals

  • Google announced in February 2018 a $600 million expansion of its data center in Pryor, which is now the company’s second-largest data center in the world.
  • Commercial Metals opened its new milling operation in Durant in April 2018.
  • Italian tissue paper manufacturer Sofidel Group broke ground in April 2018 on a $360 million facility that will support 300 new jobs.
  • Amazon announced in July 2018 it will open a second fulfillment center in Tulsa and will create 1,500 jobs.

Big Companies

Five Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state:

NGL Energy Partners

C-Suite Testimonials

“Oklahoma has proven to be an important home for Google since opening our data center operations here in 2011…. We’ve been able to accelerate our growth here in part due to the incredible support from our Mayes County partners and the state of Oklahoma. We look forward to continuing our success in Oklahoma.” —Andrew Silvestri, Head of External Affairs in Oklahoma, Google

“We’re thrilled to bring this work into our McAlester site…. The collaboration we experienced with local, regional and national UAW leadership was critical to allowing that to happen.” —Bill Brown, Vice President of Oklahoma Operations, Spirit Aerosystems

“We are excited to bring a second fulfillment center to Oklahoma and work alongside the state’s incredible workforce…. Support from local leaders has been instrumental in our ability to come to Oklahoma, and we are grateful for their collaboration to bring thousands of new jobs with benefits starting on day one.” —Mark Stewart, Vice President of North America Customer Fulfillment, Amazon

#28 North Dakota

From the Governor

“We’re committed to creating an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation and helping communities reach their fullest potential to make our state an even more vibrant, healthy place to live.” —Gov. Doug Burgum

Unmanned Development

The Peace Garden State is hitting new heights in manned and unmanned aviation. Northrop Grumman recently announced an expansion of its facilities at Grand Sky to support the Global Hawk UAS. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is also expanding the size of its Flight Test and Training Center to support sensor testing, training and other development activities.

Key Incentives

Workforce Recruitment Credit:Offers a credit of 5% of the compensation paid during the first 12 months to an employee placed in a “hard-to-fill” position where the salary is at least 125% of the state average wage.

New/Expanding Business Income Tax Exemption: Offers an income tax exemption for up to five years for a primary sector or tourism business that adds value to products or processes in the state.

Property Tax Exemption: Offers an exemption on property tax for up to five years for new or expanding businesses, agriculture or projects on property leased from a government entity.

Renaissance Zone Program: Offers state and local tax incentives for up to five years for businesses that purchase, rehabilitate or develop properties in designated areas.

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Grand Sky, the first and only commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) research and development park in the U.S., recently announced federal approval for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight operations for large UAS. State officials and those in the industry say it’s already attracting interest from manufacturers that will further position the state as a leader in the UAS industry.

Big Deals

  • Northrop Grumman announced in July 2017 a $3.2 million investment and 30 new jobs at an expansion of its operations in Grand Forks.
  • Dakota Specialty Milling announced in June 2018 a $15 million expansion at its mill and the creation of 30 new jobs.
  • BioMass Solution LLC broke ground in August 2018 on an 80,000-square-foot refinery in Grand Forks.
  • Körber Medipak Systems moved its headquarters from Florida to Fargo in April 2018.
  • General Atomics announced in August 2018 it will expand its Flight Test and Training Center at the Grand Sky Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) aviation and business park.

Big Companies

John Deere
ComDel Innovation
MBI Energy Services

C-Suite Testimonials

“The positive business climate and strong state support, including the programs within the North Dakota Department of Commerce, played a significant role in our decision to expand in Fargo.” —Peter Matthaei, CEO, Dakota Specialty Milling

“BioMass Solution chose Grand Forks for a number of reasons. It’s a great central hub with a lot of ag processing and great infrastructure that makes it ideal for transportation and logistics. There is a strong university and workforce reputation.” —Keshav Rajpal, Principal, BioMass Solution

#30 Louisiana

From the Governor

“With Louisiana’s highly skilled workforce, low-cost business environment and top-tier quality of life, it comes as no surprise that our state remains a leader in attracting significant economic development projects.” —Gov. John Bel Edwards

Chemical Manufacturing and Tech

Louisiana has steadily improved is business climate over the years. While the Pelican State remains a hub for petrochemical and chemical manufacturing, it’s also continuing to break new ground in tech. CGI announced in May an expansion at its IT Center of Excellence in Lafayette, and Accruent announced in June it will establish a technology center in New Orleans with 350 new jobs.

Key Incentives

Angel Investor Tax Credit: Offers up to a 25% tax credit for individual investors in early-stage, wealth-creating businesses that seek startup and expansion capital.

Enterprise Zone: Offers a $1,000 or $3,500 tax credit for each certified new job created and either a sales/use tax rebate on capital expenses or a 1.5% investment tax credit for qualifying expenses.

Industrial Tax Exemption: Offers a property tax abatement for up to eight years on a manufacturer’s new investment and annual capitalized additions.

Quality Jobs: Offers up to a 6% rebate on annual payroll expenses for up to 10 years, and either a state sales/use tax rebate on capital expenses or a 1.5% project facility expense rebate.

Research and Development Tax Credit: Offers tax credit up to 30% to existing businesses that operate in the state and establish or continue R&D.

Highlighted Program or Initiative

LED FastStart has been recognized as a top workforce training program for nearly a decade. It works with new and expanding companies in targeted industries to develop recruiting, screening and state-of-the-art training solutions. Through collaboration with industry, FastStart has helped develop training centers and certification programs across the state.

Big Deals

  • Formosa Petrochemical company announced in April it will construct a $9.4 billion chemical manufacturing complex on a 2,400-acre site in St. James Parish and create 1,200 jobs.
  • Twistlock announced in April it will establish a software engineering office in Baton Rouge with 42 new jobs.
  • CGI announced in May it will expand its Lafayette IT Center of Excellence and create 400 jobs with a total payroll that will exceed $480 million in the coming years.
  • Accurent announced in June 2018 it will establish a technology center of excellence in New Orleans with 350 new jobs.
  • Shintech Louisiana LLC announced in July 2018 a $1.49 billion chlor alkali and vinyl chloride monomer production facility in Plaquemine.

Big Companies

Dow Chemical
Acme Truck Line
Turner Industries Group

Two Fortune 500 companies are headquartered
in the state:


C-Suite Testimonials

“Given the vibrant corporate community, tremendous growth opportunities and Accruent’s existing base of 50 Louisiana customers, New Orleans became the clear choice for our next wave of expansion.” —John Borgerding, CEO, Accruent

“CGI is proud to make this renewed commitment to job creation in Lafayette, where a skilled and highly motivated workforce continues to exceed expectations on behalf of our clients undertaking critical digital transformation projects in Acadiana and across the country.” —Dave Henderson, President of U.S. Commercial and State Government Operations, CGI

“We selected Baton Rouge and Louisiana for our engineering center because of the state’s growing cybersecurity industry base, the business-friendly climate and the opportunity to develop a talent pipeline with a major research university in LSU.” —Ben Bernstein, CEO and Co-founder, Twistlock

#31 New Mexico

From the Governor

“Increasing access to a quality education will not only ensure that working professionals have every opportunity to succeed in today’s changing economy but also ensure that businesses have access to the workforce they need to grow the economy and create jobs.” — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

The Attraction of Albuquerque

While there’s much work to be done to improve the Land of Enchantment’s economy, its capital city continues to be a bright spot for tech and STEM careers. Vitality Works, 2NDGEAR, Corrugated Synergies and Indica Labs have all announced expansions or new developments here in the past year. Facebook has also announced more expansions at its data center in Las Lunas.

Key Incentives

Angel Investment Credit: Offers a state income tax credit of 25% (up to $62,500) for an investment made in up to five state companies that are engaged in research or manufacturing.

Financial Management Tax Credit:Offers a state income tax credit for receipts from fees received for performing management or investment advisory services for a related fund.

High Wage Jobs Tax Credit: Offers a tax credit of up to 10% of the wages and benefits paid for each new job that pays at least $40,000, or $60,000 in a community with more than 60,000 residents.

Special Credit for Manufacturers:Offers a consumables gross receipts tax deduction and investment tax credit for manufacturers. Also offers special incentives in aerospace and aviation, including R&D and spaceport-related activities.

Highlighted Program or Initiative

The Innovation Voucher Program offers new rounds every year with small competitive grants that enable early-stage science or technology companies to overcome discrete barriers to reaching market potential. Up to $4,000 is awarded each month and can offset costs for services offered by approved programs.

Big Deals

  • Facebook announced in November 2017 another expansion of its data center in Las Lunas, bringing the company’s total investment to more than $1 billion.
    Vitality Works announced in March 2018 it would expand its operations in Albuquerque and create 80 new manufacturing jobs.
  • 2NDGEAR announced in April 2018 it will create 100 new tech jobs in Albuquerque.
  • Corrugated Synergies International opened a $31 million renovated facility in Santa Teresa in June 2018 and added 120 new jobs.
  • Southwest Cheese announced in July 2018 a $140 million expansion of its operations in Clovis. The project is expected to create up to 50 new manufacturing jobs.
  • Indica Labs announced in September 2018 it will invest $3 million and create 58 jobs at a new headquarters location in Albuquerque.

Big Companies

General Mills
Honeywell Defense and Space Electronic Systems
Union Pacific
Thomas & Betts
Unity BPO

C-Suite Testimonials

“Southwest Cheese is proud to be expanding operations in Clovis as we seek to capture further domestic and international cheese and whey market share.” —George Chappell, President, Southwest Cheese

“Thanks to New Mexico’s great workforce and improved business environment, we’re in a position to continue our growth and create more jobs.” —Mitch Coven, CEO, Vitality Works

“We are excited about expanding into Albuquerque…. 2NDGEAR aims to double its business in the next five years, and New Mexico offers a strong workforce and opportunity for growth.” —Richard Heard, President, 2NDGEAR

#33 Pennsylvania

From the Governor

“I have worked hard to ensure that when the state is investing in our local communities, we are directing our resources toward projects that transform our cities, municipalities and counties into stronger communities where residents want to work and live.” —Gov. Tom Wolf

Manufacturing a Bright Future in the Keystone State

Manufacturing is gaining ground as a critical contributor to the Keystone State’s economy. Spartan Motors is expanding operations and adding 200 new jobs in Harrisburg, Freshpet is expanding its processing operations in Hanover, and Air Liquide Advanced Materials is investing in a new facility in Upper Mount Bethel Township. Officials are driving the Manufacturing PA Initiative to ensure the state will have the talent it needs to support growth.

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Gov. Tom Wolf launched the Manufacturing PA Initiative in October 2017. It aims to enhance growth and competitiveness of manufacturing in Pennsylvania through grants, industrial resource centers and an innovation program.

Big Deals

  • Assurant announced in January 2018 it will expand its two facilities in Manchester Township and create 307 new jobs.
  • Spartan Motors announced in May 2018 it will expand its manufacturing facility in Harrisburg and create 200 new jobs.
  • AmerisourceBergen announced in June 2018 it will expand its national headquarters in Harrisburg and create 550 new jobs in the next five years.
  • Air Liquide Advanced Materials announced in July 2018 a $45 million facility in Upper Mount Bethel Township that will support 188 jobs and 80 more jobs over the next three years.
  • Freshpet announced in August 2018 an expansion of its pet food production operations in Hanover Township and the creation of 100 new jobs in the next three years.
  • Reliance Standard Life Insurance announced in September 2018 it will expand its headquarters in Philadelphia and create 127 new jobs in the next three years.
  • Bell & Evans announced in April 2018 a $260 million expansion of its poultry processing operations in Bethel Township. The project will create more than 1,000 new jobs.

Big Companies

21 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state, including:

Kraft Heinz
PNC Financial Services Group
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Toll Brothers
United States Steel

Toll Brothers
United States Steel

C-Suite Testimonials

“We are pleased that our community ties and strong partnership with the Governor’s Action team have helped make this investment possible. We look forward to expanding our operations in Northampton County and are proud to contribute to the growing economic vitality in the area and strengthening the manufacturing industry in the state.” —Paul Burlingame, President and CEO, Air Liquide Advanced Materials

“We’re committed to this location, our workforce and to better serving our customers by having a larger presence on the Eastern seaboard…. Programs like the Pennsylvania First program and the corresponding tax credits offered by Gov. Wolf and the PA Department of Community and Economic Development made that expansion easier.” —Daryl Adams, President and CEO, Spartan Motors

“Reliance Standard has flourished since locating our headquarters in Philadelphia in 1982…. This is a city of champions—and by this I mean our employees…. I couldn’t be happier to continue our legacy as a Philadelphia success story and build our future here.” —Chris Fazzini, CEO, Group Benefits, Reliance Standard

#39 West Virginia

From the Governor

“Our message that West Virginia is a good place to do business is reaching around the world. West Virginia has a prime location close to business hubs in the East, a pro-growth business climate and world-quality workers.” —Gov. Jim Justice

Moving Forward

The Mountain State is slowly moving forward in its economic recovery with new initiatives to boost diversification beyond coal. The West Virginia Forward initiative aims to drive economic change in the state through collaborative partnerships between government, academia and private enterprise. Hino Motors, Armacell, Tema and Sparksoft have recently announced expansions in the state.

Key Incentives

Corporate Headquarters Credit:Offers a credit of up to 100% of the business and occupation tax, corporate net income tax and personal income tax on certain pass-through income. Credit is good for up to 13 years for companies that relocate headquarters to the state and create 15 new jobs in the first year.

High-Tech Manufacturing Credit:Offers a tax credit of up to 100% on B&O, net income tax and personal income tax for 20 years for high-tech manufacturers that create 20 new jobs in the first year.

Economic Opportunity Credit:Offsets up to 80% of corporate net income tax and personal income tax for businesses that create at least 20 new jobs. Credit is expanded to 100% for jobs that pay a median wage higher that the state non-farm average payroll wage.

Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act: Offers incumbent worker training and work-based training reimbursement rates of up to 75%.

#40 Alaska

From the Governor

“Our location on the globe is a distinct advantage. The third-busiest cargo hub in the world is also an advantage to doing business here in Alaska. Our proximity to Asia and Europe is an advantage. Our quality of life is a distinct advantage as well.” — Governor Mike Dunleavy

State Profile

Alaska’s economy remains mired in recession, with the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. First-term Governor Mike Dunleavy in the midst of restructuring the state’s spending, trying to make up for a $1.6 billion shortfall. One thing he does not want to do is raise taxes. “My concern is that the cost of living in Alaska is so high now that any additional burden on taking money out of the pockets of people,” he told the Anchorage Daily News in February. “We’re just going have more and more those folks think about going somewhere else where it’s cheaper to live and where there are more economic opportunities.” He’s pushing an agenda that would limit new taxes without a public vote, cut state spending, and enshrine the Permanent Fund Dividend—funded by oil revenues—in the state constitution. And he’s actively recruiting business to come to the state.

Key Industries

Aerospace; Air Transportation; Commercial Fishing; Drones; Tourism

Key Companies

Alaska Communications Systems
ASRC Energy Services
General Communication
Providence Health & Services

#50 California

From the Governor

“California is a rocket-fueled engine of human industry and innovation, the nation’s greatest job creator and the fifth-largest economy in the world.” —Gov. Gavin Newsom

GDP Growth in the Golden State

The Golden State may not always place highly in business- friendly and tax rankings, but officials say the perception doesn’t correlate with reality. Nearly 50 Fortune 500 companies are located in California, and there’s no shortage of companies willing to expand here. From the Bay Area to San Diego, tech and manufacturing remain strong drivers. The Gap, Chipotle, Amazon, DuPont and Facebook have made notable investments here in the past year.

Key Incentives

California Competes Tax Credit:Offers a flexible income tax credit for businesses that come, stay and grow in the state.

California Research Credit: Offers a tax credit of up to 15% for taxpayers engaged in qualified research activities that are undertaken to discover new technology, develop a new business component or pursue a “process of experimentation.”

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Manufacturing: Offers a partial exemption of sales and use tax on certain manufacturing and R&D equipment purchases and leases.

Advanced Transportation and Manufacturing Sales and Use Tax Exemption: The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority offers a full sales and use tax exclusion for manufacturers that promote alternative energy and advanced transportation.

Highlighted Program or Initiative

The California Made program encourages consumer product awareness and promotes the purchase of goods manufactured in the state. The CA Made label is offered to manufacturers, along with networking, technical advising and additional marketing through the Made in California partnership.

Big Deals

  • Gap announced in March 2018 it will open an e-commerce center in Fresno and create 515 jobs over the next two years.
  • Samsung Electronics opened a design innovation center in San Francisco in April 2018.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill announced in May 2018 it will relocate its headquarters from Denver to Newport Beach.
  • Katerra announced in July 2018 it will invest nearly $56 million in a manufacturing facility in San Joaquin County and create more than 648 jobs.
  • Amazon opened a new tech hub office in San Diego and a second distribution center in Stockton.
  • DuPont opened its Silicon Valley Technology Innovation Center in September 2018.
  • Facebook continued to expand in Freemont, Sunnyvale and Menlo Park with three new work hubs for a nearly 4 million-square-foot expansion.

Big Companies

49 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state, including:

Wells Fargo
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Cisco Systems

C-Suite Testimonials

“We’ve had phenomenal growth for the past several years and in order to keep the momentum, we chose to add a location in Roseville…. With teams in the Bay Area and Southern California, the Sacramento area was the natural next step and the region presents a great opportunity for talent and customer acquisition.” —Chris Burnley, Founder and CEO, Corefact

“We’ll always be proud of our Denver roots where we opened our first restaurant 25 years ago. The consolidation of offices and the move to California will help us drive sustainable growth while continuing to position us well in the competition for top talent.” —Brian Niccol, CEO, Chipotle


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