Arkansas Economic Development Commission


Chief Executive magazine ranks Arkansas among “Best States for Business”

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (May 11, 2016) – Chief Executive magazine released its annual Best & Worst States for Business survey, and Arkansas jumped 10 spots to No. 23 this year. Arkansas was also ranked No. 1 in “Best Communication of Business Incentives.”

The Best & Worst States for Business survey captures the sentiments of chief executive officers on a range of important issues. The rankings are crucial, as CEO sentiment drives investments in offices, factories, and other facilities that bring jobs to a state or region.

“We are thrilled that CEOs around the country view Arkansas as a great place to do business,” said Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “But there is more to the story. Arkansas moved up 10 spots between 2015 and 2016, and we were second only to Ohio in biggest gains. What this tells us is that we are building momentum, we are capitalizing on our strengths, and we are working to improve our critical areas.”

Criteria used in the rankings were taxation and regulations, workforce quality, and living environment. In addition to overall rankings, five states were honored in individual categories: best communication of business incentives, best state for quality of life, best state for workforce quality, state with lowest taxation, and state that advanced the most since 2015.

This has been a particularly volatile year,” said Marshall Cooper, CEO of Chief Executive magazine and “Business leaders are challenged with everything from the growing talent shortage and skills gap to digital transformation to discerning how the presidential election will impact their business.” This year’s rankings, Cooper said, “show that CEOs support states that understand and offer solutions to those challenges.”

About Chief Executive

Chief Executive Group produces Chief Executive magazine (published since 1977),, and conferences and roundtables that enable top corporate officers to discuss key subjects and share their experiences within a community of peers. The Group also facilitates the annual “Chief Executive of the Year,” a prestigious honor bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of peers.  

Download the 2016 Arkansas Economic Overview