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Poll Says South Dakota is Best State for Business

FILE: Mount Rushmore
National Park Service

CNBC has named South Dakota as the number one state for business in America’s Top States for Business 2013. Predictably, state officials are ecstatic by the designation.

In a press release, Governor Dennis Daugaard says the reason for the robust business climate is “… a history of fiscal responsibility. South Dakota is the place to do business. “Businesses plan for the long-term. When considering moving or expanding, they need stability and certainty. They need to know that government won’t get in their way. That’s what we can offer here in South Dakota.”

Previously ranked seventh in last year’s study, South Dakota earned the number one spot by scoring 1,639 out of 2,500 points, the highest score of any state since CNBC launched the study in 2007.

Reasons that the business climate in South Dakota is the best in the nation include one of the lowest tax burdens in the country as well as low wage and utility costs. The regulatory climate is one of the friendliest to business anywhere and low unemployment.

CNBC’s study uses 55 measures of economic competitiveness, which are developed with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers, the Council on Competitiveness and the states themselves.

The 55 metrics are further separated into 10 broad categories: cost of doing business, economy, infrastructure and transportation, workforce, quality of life, technology and innovation, business friendliness, education, cost of living and access to capital.

Among the subcatergories, South Dakota ranked No. 1 in cost of doing business, No. 2 in business friendliness, No. 6 in economy and No. 7 in quality of life. Following South Dakota in the survey is Texas, North Dakota, Nebraska with Utah and Virginia tied for 5th.


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