California’s Score for Business Attractiveness Deteriorates

Joseph Vranich of the Irvine-based Principal of Spectrum Location Solutions commented about California’s "business attractiveness" ranking in a recent article on In a survey of site consultants published recently by Area Development Online, California lost its tenth place ranking. The new survey was interesting in that Georgia took over the top spot, with Texas moving to second place. States in the South and mid-South dominate the list because of their continuing momentum in business development. Also, some states in the Midwest are gaining positions as major players in the U.S. economic-development arena.

Vranich commented, "This finding should unnerve California business leaders because site selectors surveyed over the years by the publication have been kind to California – especially when compared with other surveys that usually portray findings that are less kind. I would be remiss if I failed to remind business owners and corporate leaders that this year Chief Executive magazine found California for ten years in a row to be the 'worst state for business.' CEO’s comments include: 'California could hardly do more to discourage business if that was the goal.' 'The state regulates and taxes companies unreasonably.' 'California is getting worse, if that is even possible.'"

Moreover, CNBC’s 2013 "Top States for Business" scored states on 51 measures of competitiveness, weighted states based on other criteria, and found California ranked low at 47, and 24/7 Wall St. ranked California 50th in its evaluation – for the third year in a row.

Vranich added, "Incidentally, after reading the Area Development story, the next item to pop up on my news screen was headlined, 'California Rocket Company Moving to Texas.' Turns out Firefly Space Systems of Hawthorne will move its headquarters to Cedar Park, near Austin, where it will hire up to 200 workers, mostly highly paid engineers. It will develop its rocket engines in collaboration with the University of Texas."

Vranich's summation: "Twenty-five years ago California was among the best states for business. Sadly, it’s lost that distinction. I expect little improvement in California’s business climate. When I consider the strength of business-hostile interest groups, the attitudes of elitist voters along the coast, and Gov. Jerry Brown surrounding himself with business-clueless advisors, I see more regulations and higher taxes for California businesses."