Wyoming ranked No. 2 for business

CHEYENNE – According to a study released Tuesday, Wyoming is the No. 2 most business-friendly state in the nation behind only Utah.

The state ranked No. 5 in last year’s study by the independent economic research firm Pollina Corporate Real Estate, and the No. 2 ranking is the highest Wyoming has ever achieved. California, a state maligned for its government management and poor stances on businesses, occupied the 50th spot on the study, a slot the study organizers mentioned the state has filled for 10 out of 11 years the study has been conducted.

Pollina is an Illinois-based firm that says it can carry projects “from strategic planning through location analysis, site selection, build-to-suit, financing, state and local incentives, brokerage and lease management,” making the data it gathers on business friendliness valuable to its clients.

Gov. Matt Mead, who often quotes Wyoming’s rankings in studies like this, jumped on the news yesterday, saying Wyoming puts a premium “on having a climate that is conducive to starting and sustaining a business.” He went on to say that the ranking and Wyoming’s climb up Pollina’s ladder represents an approach that’s working and leading to an expanding and diversifying economy.

“More jobs and more businesses mean more opportunities and better salaries for the people of Wyoming,” Mead said. “Those things are happening now.”

The American Economic Development Institute, a nonpartisan public policy and economics research group, co-published the study. Wyoming’s ranking is based on 32 factors including workforce, taxes and others, including crime rate and education.

“There is little question from a tax burden perspective, Wyoming is an excellent choice for doing business,” said Brent Pollina, vice president of Pollina Corporate Real Estate and co-author of the study, adding that corporate tax burdens in other western states like California, Washington and Oregon are far higher.

In breaking down the ranking, the state has gotten overall “A” grades for at least the last five years, but not without some shortcomings. State economic development agency factors bore the state’s worst letter grades for 2014 with an “F” for incentives and a “D” for marketing, website and response to new and existing employers. The state also scored “D” grades on unemployment insurance, property tax and college completion. Every other category scored a “B” or better.

Courtesy of Wyoming Business Report