Prairie State Wire

Prairie State Wire

Monday, October 21, 2019

Business execs deem Illinois too ugly for expansion plans


By Hoang Tran | Oct 2, 2017

Judy Lee

Illinois is one of the least-attractive states for starting a business, according to a recent survey of CEOs and business executives.

Researchers from New York-based Development Counsellors International (DCI) found that Illinois' “corrupt politicians and budgetary issues” were the primary reasons 29 percent of the execs polled in the survey said they were hesitant about expanding operations into Illinois.

“These are the perceptions of 331 respondents who are all corporate executives,” Judy Lee, vice president of DCI, told the Prairie State Wire. “Illinois, based on its business climate, was consistently perceived to be among the least-favorable places.”

The survey posed hundreds of questions to executives responsible for such business-related issues as scouting potential expansion locations across the country.

Overall, Illinois rated ahead of only New York and California in terms of lowest favorability.  

Beyond its reputation as a state reeking of corruption and dysfunction, Illinois was also frowned upon for its unfavorable tax climate and woeful budgetary shortcomings.

“Right or wrong, that’s how the state has come to be perceived,” Lee said. “For the leaders of the state, the job is about communicating to people and raising understanding about all the other good things that might be happening.”

Among the positives DCI researchers uncovered were how Illinois is saluted for its educated workforce and wide and diverse talent pool.

After the state has gone more than two years without a balanced budget, Illinois lawmakers recently enacted a $36.1 billion spending plan some are hopeful will be able to help the state start to put its budget woes behind it.

“Only time will tell if things like that will help change perceptions,” Lee said.

Texas was rated the best in the nation, with executives tipping their hats to the state's “low-tax, business-friendly climate.”

The survey has been conducted every three years since 1996.

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