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Missouri Ranks #1 for Economic Development Organizations

“THE NATIONAL EFFORT AT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT is failing. American companies, if they are to survive in a global economy, must be located in the most pro-business locations possible,” says Dr. Ronald R. Pollina, Chairman of the American Economic Development Institute ( and President of Park Ridge, Illinois-based Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc.



“Our political leaders need to understand the truth, difficult as it may be,” he adds. “It is for these reasons we are placing the spotlight on those state economic development organizations that have excelled at their job.”


The Top 10 State Economic Development Organizations for 2014 is based in large part on the AEDI/Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States study, which examines 32 factors relative to state efforts to be probusiness. The study, in its 11th edition for 2014, is the most comprehensive examination of states available. It has also been recognized as the most impartial. The study is limited to factors over which state governments have control and that our corporate clients indicate are most important. We weigh all factors based on the requirements of our corporate clients and our three decades of site selection experience.

The AEDI/Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States selection process is based on a comprehensive two-stage approach. Stage I, Labor, Taxes and Other Factors, is based on 19 factors, including taxes, human resources, Rightto-Work legislation, regulation, energy costs, infrastructure spending, worker compensation legislation, and jobs lost or gained. These 19 factors, all of which are controlled by state government, comprise 67 percent of the total possible score.

States are also subjected to a Stage II, Incentives and State Economic Development Agency Factors evaluation, which examined 13 additional state government-controlled factors. This second stage, which received 33 percent or 160 points of the overall potential points, was based on a state’s economic development organization’s performance, which includes marketing of the state to employers, efforts for attracting new business and assisting existing state employers to grow and prosper and state incentive programs (e.g., job training, tax abatement, grants).

It is Stage II evaluation that is the basis for our Top 10 State Economic Development Organizations ranking. To develop our list of the top ranked state economic development organizations, we felt compelled to dig deeper into the data. As a result, we added additional factors in these evaluations. “Most politicians want to believe they are doing a great job for their states and many actually believe their own propaganda that they are pro-business. In the U.S. today, if you combine state, local, and federal taxes, the tax burden on companies is among the highest in the world. Add labor and regulation costs, and we are one of the highest cost nations to do business in,” Dr. Pollina explains.


“Leaders of economic development organizations throughout the country need to do a far better job of understanding that their primary objective to create new jobs and retain those already located in their state,” he adds.“Last week, Chris Giles of the Financial Times crunched the latest numbers from the International Monetary Fund and announced that China surpassed America with national economic output in ‘real terms’ of goods and services. Columnist Brett Arends of MarketWatch, the website published by Dow Jones & Co., immediately followed up with a comprehensive article fleshing out this stunning development.


“It means that by the end of 2014 the U.S. will no longer have the world’s largest economy for first time since the 1870s, when Ulysses S. Grant was president. Now, more than ever, our economic prosperity and, ultimately, our national security depend on the success of economic development organizations and the political structures that support them so we can effectively compete with other countries in the 21st century,” emphasizes Dr. Pollina.

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