Worst state for business is where Target has most stores

Target has done quite well for itself in California, but that doesn’t mean it’s been easy. Ironically, the state with the most extensive network of Target stores also happens to be the one identified as the worst state in which to do business, according to a recent survey.

At the end of the most recent fiscal year, Target operated 252 of its 1,763 stores in California, or a little more than 14% of its entire store base. Despite this extensive footprint, the nation’s most populous state is the one 650 CEOs ranked as the worst state in which to do business, according to a survey conducted by Chief Executive magazine.

CEOs who participated in the survey said California’s poor ranking is the result of its hostility to business, high state taxes and overly stringent regulations, which is driving investment, companies and jobs to other states.

After California, other states who scored poorly were New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan. Conversely, the best state for business was Texas, a distinction it has received for eight consecutive years. Target operates 148 stores in Texas. It was followed by Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana.

“CEOs tell us that California seems to be doing everything possible to drive business from the state. Texas, by contrast, has been welcoming companies and entrepreneurs, particularly in the high-tech arena,” said J.P. Donlon, editor-in-chief of Chief Executive.  “Local economic development corporations, as well as the state Texas Enterprise Fund, are providing attractive incentives. This, along with the relaxed regulatory environment and supportive State Department of Commerce adds up to a favorable climate for business.”

The survey was conducted Jan. 24 through Feb. 26 and complete results, including individual state rankings on multiple criteria and methodology details are available at ChiefExecutive.net.