The FINANCIAL — WASHINGTON, D.C.—Amidst growing budget deficits and a slow economic recovery, governors are finding success in attracting businesses and growing their economies through redesigning government, curbing spending, modernizing the tax system, and eliminating onerous regulations, according to a study released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The second Enterprising States study highlights specific strategies that all 50 states are employing to remain competitive, restore the jobs, and drive economic growth.
“When it comes to job growth, where the rubber meets the road is at the state level,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “Companies, capital, and jobs go where they are welcome. States must focus on expanding the economy by embracing free enterprise principals which will help businesses grow, prosper, and hire.”
Thestudy – commissioned by the National Chamber Foundation and prepared by The Praxis Group – was released today at the U.S. Chamber’s bipartisan summit of governors, state chamber executives, and leading business people. The annual meeting focused on policies that make states attractive for businesses to locate, relocate, and expand in this uncertain economy. The leaders also discussed the unintended consequences of specific state budget cuts and the investments the public and private sectors can make now to improve the economy in the future.
The 2011 Enterprising States study highlights state-driven initiatives to redesign government, including dealing with excessive debt levels that inhibit economic growth and job creation, and implementing forward looking, enterprise-friendly initiatives with a primary goal of creating the conditions for job creation and future prosperity.
According to the study, most states have already taken actions to streamline and downsize government to meet the new economic realities. This has proven to be challenging given the increased demand for state services during the national recession.
“Governors nationwide understand that any true and lasting economic recovery will only be possible through sustained private sector job creation and investment,” said Governor McDonnell, co-chairman of the event. “Our work in Virginia aligns with the results of the Chamber’s study and this common sense approach is how we can ensure that the nation’s economy gets back on track, and our citizens can find the high-paying jobs they deserve, in every city and county in America.”
“There is no more important topic facing the states or the country as a whole than sustained economic recovery in a global environment that is, to say the least, challenging,” said Governor Hickenlooper, co-chairman of the event. “We find ourselves in a situation where the easy choices have already been made and we have to chart a new and more painful course or risk bankrupting this country and crippling future generations. Working together, regardless of political party or industry or personal interest, is key to each state’s future success and the overall prosperity of our nation.”
Participating governors included: John Hickenlooper from Colorado, Jack Markell from Delaware, Rick Scott from Florida, Terry Branstad from Iowa, Bob McDonnell from Virginia, and Scott Walker from Wisconsin.