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Tennessee ranks among best states for doing business again in 2023

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press: Tennessee remains among the best states for doing business, according to a new survey of the nation’s top business leaders released by Chief Executive magazine, which bills itself as “the Voice of America’s CEOs.”


Tennessee once again ranked No. 3 among the 50 states for its business environment, behind Texas and Florida, in rankings by CEOs.


“While Tennessee may be known as the Volunteer State, it’s all about profit and economic growth,” Dale Buss, a contributing editor for Chief Executive magazine, writes in the new issue. “Several hot sectors currently include manufacturing, tech and the electric vehicle industry. German automaker Volkswagen just announced over the summer the start of production of its all-electric ID.4 SUV at its manufacturing facility in Chattanooga. Meanwhile, Ford broke ground in Stanton to build the largest auto production complex constructed in the company’s 119-year history.”


The magazine highlights major deals in 2022, including the $200 million expansion announced by chemical maker Wacker that will add another 200 jobs in Charleston, Tennessee, and the development of a new $24 million iFixit distribution hub with 201 more jobs in Chattanooga.


In a statement to the magazine, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said the state’s “strong business climate, skilled workforce and central location make Tennessee the ideal location for businesses to thrive.”


Georgia’s ranking among CEOs slipped from its No. 2 position last year, now ranking No. 7 as a preferred state for doing business in the new 2023 survey.


Georgia last year landed its biggest investment in state history. Hyundai Motor Group broke ground in October on a $5.5 billion electric vehicle factory near Savannah that will create 8,000 jobs.


Buss said the big question going into the 2023 survey of CEOs was whether Florida’s business image would be hurt by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ running battle with Disney, the second biggest employer in the Sunshine state.


“The answer, it seems, is no,” Buss said in this month’s magazine cover story on the new CEO ranking. “The Sunshine State held on to its No. 2 ranking in the 2023 Chief Executive Best and Worst States for Business survey of chiefs. The state’s low taxes and strong stance against pandemic-motivated business shutdowns boosted Florida’s popularity among business owners, helping kick off a stronger stream of migration to the state from relatively locked-down places including New York.”


The CEO survey found the worst states, in the view of business leaders, are in order, California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey.


The Chief Executive ranking comes on the heel of the annual business climate ranking last fall by Site Selection magazine which ranked Tennessee No. 15 and Georgia No. 2 in their respective business climates.


Best states for doing business:

1. Texas.

2. Florida.

3. Tennessee.

4. North Carolina.

5. Arizona.

6. Indiana.

7. Georgia.

8. South Carolina.

9. Nevada.

10. Utah.