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Dave Adkisson: Report shows how Kentucky stacks up as business place

By Dave Adkisson

Dave Adkisson is president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Competition is fierce – in sports and many aspects of daily life. But in today’s economy, competition matters most in business – and Kentucky is in a serious contest for economic growth and jobs.

How Kentucky fares in that competition has a lot to do with where it ranks as a place to do business. States with a good business climate have greater opportunities to attract investment, create jobs and build more robust economies than states that rank poorly.

A good business climate that spurs economic growth benefits the state as a whole by generating more revenue from the taxes paid by growing businesses and their employees.

To determine how the commonwealth compares with other states, the Kentucky Chamber has prepared a new report, “Ready for Jobs?,” that reviews the key elements we believe make up the commonwealth’s business climate:

• Economic Climate:  An overview of Kentucky’s economy and the cost of doing business.

• Regulatory and Tax Environment: Rankings of Kentucky tax and regulatory policies that have an impact on business.

• Employment Climate: How Kentucky compares with other states on workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, right-to-work legislation and other indicators.

• Education and Worker Training: Kentucky’s performance on such key rankings as college and career preparation, overall education attainment and others.

• Quality of Life: How health and well-being in Kentucky ranks with other states.

• Infrastructure: The condition of the state’s roads and bridges.

• Government Policy:  State government spending trends and debt levels.

We wanted to provide a look at Kentucky from the point of view of current and potential employers, using indicators to show how well Kentucky is doing in providing a business climate that encourages job growth through business creation, expansion and investment. The report also includes suggestions for improving performance and moving the state – and its economy – forward. The full report can be found at kychamber.com/readyforjobs.

The data and rankings used in the report come primarily from national organizations and government agencies. The results are not always flattering. While Kentucky compares well in some areas, in many others we are falling behind as shown in the following chart that summarizes the key findings.

The report shows we have serious work to do to make Kentucky a more competitive place to do business and achieve economic prosperity.

The Kentucky Chamber stands ready to work in a constructive partnership with policymakers, businesses and organizations to achieve our shared goal of moving the state forward.

Dave Adkisson is president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

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