Not all places are created equal when it comes to supporting entrepreneurs. Which are the best states for business in 2019?
Don’t kid yourself. The United States is one big internecine war-zone, competing for both jobs and businesses. But, in 2019, which are the current best states for business?
The best states for business
Amazon’s new $5 billion second headquarters didn’t end up in Arlington, Virginia by accident. According to CNBC’s new poll, it’s the best state for business in the entire country.
All 50 states were ranked on 60 leading metrics in 10 categories and earned scores accordingly.
This is Virginia’s fourth win in twelve years. Cementing the nod, the state has the best workforce, with the most STEM workers. Primary schools are good. Class sizes are small. And there are lots of higher education opportunities.
Virginia Tech has also announced a new Amazon adjacent campus. So things could get even better.
It should be noted Virginia secured the Amazon headquarters only after New Yorkers turned their noses up at the project and Bezos and Co. were forced to reconsider.
A business-friendly climate starts with politics, and Virginians are all for the growth happening in their state.
The lone star state comes in at number two with a bullet for best states for business.
Texas is, in fact, the most consistent performer on this list with many recent first place finishes including 2018.
It has a strong and diverse economy. Sagging energy prices were really the only thing keeping it from repeating as champ.
The workforce is elite. Access to capital is surging. But there are some down spots. Education, quality of life and cost of doing business are all middling to poor.
Texas needs to rectify these issues to continue being among the best states for business in the future.
3. North Carolina
The Tar Heel state has the top-rated overall economy and attracted $2.6 billion in venture capital in 2018 alone.
Skilled workers are moving to North Carolina in droves to find a healthy housing market, sound state governance and easy access to capital for starting new businesses.
Like Texas though, Carolina got low marks on quality-of-life, cost of doing business and education. So again, some changes are in order to future-proof this promising Carolina boom.
The rest of the best states for business
Utah and Washington round out the top 5 best states for business, both for excelling in technology.
Utah at number four has been known as the “Silicon Slopes” with a booming high-tech manufacturing sector. It’s also just a great place to live. Especially if you like to ski.
At five, Washington state isn’t lacking for powdery mountains or a thriving tech sector either.
With Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, and Expedia all in town, it didn’t matter the state’s rankings for business friendliness, cost of living and infrastructure all rank near the bottom.
High tech makes up for a lot, but if Seattle especially doesn’t moderate its treatment of business owners, other states will surely continue to court them aggressively in this ongoing national competition.