Missouri has moved up to number 8 in the ratings of top U.S. states for business compiled by the nation's premier international brokerage and consulting firm, Gov. Jay Nixon announced today. This is the fifth consecutive year Missouri has made the list of the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States, an annual study considered the most comprehensive in the economic development industry.
Pollina Corporate praised the Governor's record on economic development: "Governor Jay Nixon has shown that he understands -- and is capitalizing on -- the process required for job creation and the tax revenue that results from strong economic development. Credit for this success also needs to be given to organizations like the Missouri Partnership and Missouri Economic Development Council, along with other political leaders that understand what it takes to succeed in today's marketplace."
Among other factors, Missouri received "A" grades from Pollina for its corporate tax index, business inventory taxes, property taxes, unemployment insurance, transportation infrastructure and electricity costs. The report also scored the state and the Missouri Department of Economic Development high on the use of economic incentives and in the area of marketing/website/response. "When it comes to economic development effort, the "Show Me State' should be held as an example for other state economic development departments," Pollina said.
"I'm pleased that our efforts to make Missouri a strong and competitive location for businesses to start, locate and expand are being recognized yet again," Gov. Nixon said. "We have a reputation for low taxes, strict fiscal discipline, and a skilled workforce that is second-to-none. By balancing budgets and making strategic investments in our workforce, we will continue to create jobs and move the Show-Me State forward."
The Pollina study giving Missouri high marks follows other recent reports lauding the state's pro-business environment under Gov. Nixon. Last month, Area Development magazine named Missouri as one of only five states to receive a Gold Shovel award, recognizing the Show-Me State as a top state to attract high-value investment projects. Additionally, Cerner Corporation's multi-billion dollar expansion in Kansas City -- and the 16,000 jobs it will bring -- was recognized as Area Development magazine's Economic Development Project of the Year. In addition, for the past two years Missouri has been recognized as the number one state for technology job growth in the nation.
Pollina's Corporate Top Pro Business States is an annual study of job retention and creation efforts by the 50 states. It examines more than 30 factors relative to state efforts to create business-friendly environments, including taxes, human resources, energy costs, infrastructure spending, economic incentive programs and state economic development efforts.
Under Gov. Nixon's leadership, the state of Missouri has maintained its spotless Triple-A credit rating while continuing to invest in critical priorities like job training and education. Since 2009, the Governor has worked to help businesses thrive, including cutting the franchise tax on more than 16,000 Missouri businesses and launching a small-business loan program.
Last year, the Governor signed legislation implementing Missouri Works, a comprehensive strategy to support economic growth and create career opportunities for Missourians. Missouri Works consolidates Missouri's four existing business development incentives into a single, business-friendly program with a uniform set of definitions and a streamlined application process to cut through red tape. Missouri Works also improves on existing programs by enabling more small businesses and businesses in rural areas to participate and providing targeted benefits to existing Missouri businesses.
Missouri Works implements recommendations of the Governor's Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth, an effort that engaged 600 business, education and labor leaders from across Missouri to develop a comprehensive strategy to transform the state's economy. The Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission also recommended improving Missouri's existing economic development incentives by consolidating them into a single, business-friendly program designed to create jobs and encourage capital investment, while maintaining a positive return on investment.