Forbes Magazine ranked Indiana eighth in its annual Best States for Business list, and ranked the state’s regulatory environment as second best in the country. The Pacific Research Institute also placed Indiana No. 1 in the nation for its small-business regulatory climate.
“Today, more Hoosiers are going to work than at any time in our state’s history because Indiana has worked tirelessly to create a business-friendly climate that allows companies to grow and create jobs with confidence,” Gov. Mike Pence said.
Forbes cited Indiana’s triple A bond rating and reduced regulations in the ranking, which looks at business cost, labor, regulatory environment, economic climate, quality of life and growth prospects.
The Pacific Research Institute, a San Francisco-based think tank that “advocates for personal responsibility and individual liberty,” declared Indiana’s regulations were the least burdensome on small businesses of any state in the nation. The think tank based its rankings on matters such as unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.
State Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek, said the state takes care of small businesses, such as with a new law that exempts companies with less than $20,000 worth of business personal property from paying business personal property taxes. Nearly half of all small firms in Indiana no longer have to pay that tax.
State officials say Indiana’s economic progress is gaining momentum, and that nearly 300 companies have promised they would hire nearly 24,000 workers so far this year. The state’s unemployment rate stands at 4.5 percent, which is 0.6 percent lower than the national average, though it remains stubbornly higher than most other midwestern states.