‘Gold Standard’ Economic Development Report Ranks Utah #2 For Business

SALT LAKE CITY – For the second year in a row, one of the top economic development publications in the nation has identified Utah as a top state for business.

Utah ranks No. 2 in the recently released Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2010. The annual report lauds Utah as part of an elite group of states “that serve as a model for the rest of the country in job retention and creation.”

Last week, Business Facilities magazine ranked Utah in the Top Ten in categories ranging from quality of life to tax structure in its 2010 Rankings Report. Utah was No. 1 in Quality of Life, No. 2 for Best Education Climate and No. 3 for Best Business Climate. “All of these accolades illustrate what I have been saying for the past year: Utah is not simply a place where businesses want to be, it is a place where they need to be,” Governor Gary R. Herbert said.

Nicknamed the “Gold Standard” economic development report by the industry, the annual listing is one of the most comprehensive studies of its type and has seen Utah move from 23rd between 2005 and 2006, to No. 2 for the past two years.

The Pollina ranking was released the same day Governor Herbert announced that Adobe Systems Incorporated – working with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development – will expand operations in Utah. In addition to creating up to 1,000 new jobs in Utah over time, Adobe’s decision to keep its Omniture Business Unit in Utah means that approximately 620 existing jobs will remain in the State.

“Utah’s current economic development successes are not by chance or coincidence,” the Governor said. “Economic development is the top priority for my administration, and our strategy is clear: First, we are committed to empowering Utah’s local businesses and helping them succeed. Second, we are strategically and proactively recruiting companies to Utah. Finally, we are working to produce a well-educated and highly skilled workforce that can compete in today’s marketplace.”

Utah has experienced an economic development “renaissance” in recent years, said Brent Pollina, vice president of Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc. “Utah is a state with political leadership that understands the challenge of global competition and has developed and implemented plans to meet that challenge.”

Pollina’s report highlights Utah’s strong pro-business and tax environment as the state’s main “selling points.” Utah ranked third in Stage 1, Labor, Taxes and Other Factors, and very strong in High School Work Completion, College Attainment, Low Unemployment, Right-to-Work Status, Low Corporate Taxes, Low Individual Taxes, Pro-Business Litigation Environment, Transportation Infrastructure, Low Cost of Electric Power and Good Broadband Penetration.

“This ranking from Pollina is yet another indicator that Utah stands out as a premier business destination,” said Spencer P. Eccles, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Businesses around the world look closely at this report to decide where they want to relocate and expand. And more than ever these businesses, like Adobe, Twitter and eBay, are choosing Utah.”

The report highlights Utah’s location as a key selling point, specifically its proximity to West Coast markets, which positions the state as a distribution leader for industries that rely on being a day’s drive to California and Oregon.

For more information about the report, please visit www.pollina.com.

Economic Development is one of the top priorities for Governor Herbert, who serves as Chairman of the National Governors Association Economic Development and Commerce Committee. For more information about the Governor’s economic development initiatives, please visit www.business.utah.gov.