CEOs across the country have ranked Illinois near last of states in which to do business.
Every year, Chief Executive Magazine asks hundreds of CEOs across the country to rank the states in order of favorability to do business. Like years past, Illinois is ranked 48th, better than only New York and California when ranked by tax burden, workforce quality and living environment.
Alyssa Rapp, CEO of Illinois-based Bottlenotes Inc., said that Illinois is making major pro-business improvements but state government needs to be more responsive.
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“Government agencies are not necessarily use to working at the same speed as private business,” Rapp said. “In my case working with (the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity) it was a very opaque process that took 18 months to get to a decision of ‘yea’ or ‘nay.’ Most decisions to invest in early-stage companies take somewhere in between 18 days or 18 weeks.”
Zeke Flores is CEO of Flying Retail, a concession business serving O’Hare and Midway airports. He said he refuses to accept that Illinois is not business-friendly but rather thinks the state’s biggest problem is its budget impasse.
“We do have a special place here,” he said. “There is a lot of opportunity, but right now people feel like they’re being left behind.”
Illinois’ neighbors did well. Indiana ranked fifth in the poll, followed by Wisconsin at tenth, Iowa at 17th, and Missouri at 29th.
Nearly all of the top states allow workers the choice to join a union or not as a condition of employment. The bottom ten states, including Illinois, are not “right-to-work” states.