Surprise! It

CNBC has announced its annual list of Top States for Business. In this year’s list, Virginia and Texas flip-flop from the year prior; now Virginia is listed as No. 1 and Texas No. 2. Rounding out top five are North Carolina, Georgia and Colorado, with our home state, Massachusetts, coming in close behind at No. 6.

According to MNBC, information was aggregated from a variety of sources, including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. Each state was then ranked on a 1-50 scale based upon its: (State in parentheses indicates which took home the #1 spot for this category)

  • Cost of business (Iowa)
  • Workforce (Arizona)
  • Quality of Life (Hawaii)
  • Economy (North Dakota)
  • Infrastructure & Transportation (Texas)
  • Technology & Innovation (California)
  • Education (New York)
  • Business Friendliness (Delaware)
  • Access to Capital (California)
  • Cost of Living (Kentucky) 

Interesting, of the top overall 12 states, only two states were ranked #1 in any given category (Iowa and Texas).

That California and Massachusetts are the top two, respectively, in access to capital is no surprise. The sheer volume of startup companies in each of these states (thanks, Silicon Valley and Kendall Square) require hefty investment by venture capitalists and the like. Unfortunately, this capital doesn’t seem to flow quite as easily to inner city MBEs as it does to the startup companies.  

Another thing that wasn’t a surprise: the role infrastructure and transportation plays in a state’s overall business climate ranking. The states that ranked in the top three for this category (Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina) are all in the overall top 5 rankings. If nothing else, this should be a signal to our policymakers that investing in infrastructure is an investment in our future.

And for those living in Hawaii, we understand that it’s expensive to live there, and this is why the state ranked dead last in cost of living and cost of doing business—but hey, just think, you ranked #1 in quality of life!

Was there anything on this year’s list that surprised you, readers? Is there anything that you would vehemently disagree with CNBC about?


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Learn more about these topics at "Urban 2.0" being held Oct. 3-4 in Chicago!

August 25th, 2011


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