According to Chief Executive, both Texas and Florida are at the top of the annual rankings for best states for business in 2021. This is a huge win for the state because during 2020, “sun, fun--and open” Florida had winning optics in a dismal year. Despite the global pandemic, near-economic collapse, civic unrest, a crazy election cycle and everything in between, when it comes to the places CEOs like to do business, the more things change, the more they stay the same. For the 17th year in a row, Florida has ranked No. 2 on this same list and in looking at the three criteria (tax policy, regulatory climate, and talent availability) that CEOs say they value the most in site selection, Florida outclasses all comers.
When it comes to keeping the economy going, Florida certainly got the memo. From high-profile headhunting for high-net worth Wall Streeters to the open beaches and open businesses-throughout the pandemic, the Sunshine State is the clear winner in the last year’s economic perception. What makes Florida different from the rest of the states that were ranked? Well, the state’s response to the pandemic has been a tremendous factor when CEOs decide to expand there. As Kathy Mussio, partner with Atlas Insight Development Consultants in Washington, D.C states, “Sunshine, low taxes, Covid openness: What talent wouldn’t want to move there?”
When considering COVID-19 response, a few states that prioritized remaining open during the pandemic were able to realize a significant bump in this year’s ranking. Florida was able stay ranked at No. 2 in both 2020 and 2021. Even though there was quite a panic for businesses to stay open, Florida, particularly, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, was able to keep most of their local businesses open and successful during this past year. Now that the pandemic may be finally easing, it is important to note that these areas remained successful and are even opening new businesses today.
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