CEO Survey Ranks Texas #1 State for Business, California #50 - 9 of 10 Worst Have Dem Governors

Craig Bannister | May 4, 2023
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“California’s economy is the envy of the world,” Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) boasted Monday, proclaiming May “Small Business Month” in the California – but, a new national survey of CEOs ranks the Golden State the worst state for business in 2023.

In his statement, Gov. Newsom said California has more small businesses of any other state and touted new DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives, but failed to mention that companies are fleeing to other states that are more business-friendly.

According to Chief Executive magazine’s 2023 “Best and Worst States for Business” survey, California ranks dead last:

“The Golden State’s anti-business policies have been chasing enterprises to elsewhere for many years, but California’s fiscal environment has gotten much worse over the last couple of years as Silicon Valley giants have been laying off hundreds of thousands of workers.”

Meanwhile, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s states ranks as the best state for business, followed by Florida under Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Tennessee, led by Republican Gov. Bill Lee:

“Texas once again lands at the top of our poll of U.S. CEOs—as it has every year since Chief Executive began compiling the list in 2001. The state’s combination of business-friendly policies, growing cities, a rising professional class, and a direct appeal to CEOs who aren’t happy with California continues to keep Texas at the head of the class.”

What’s more, while eight of the ten top-rated states have Republican governors, nine of the bottom ten have a Democrat governor.

In California, high taxes are burdensome regulations aren’t the only things driving away companies, as rampant theft and soft-on-crime policies have caused businesses to either leave (some for Texas) or close.

According to the survey, the top 10 and bottom 10 states for business in 2023 are:

  1. Texas: (R) Greg Abbot
  2. Florida: (R) Ron DeSantis
  3. Tennessee: (R) Bill Lee
  4. North Carolina: (D) Roy Cooper
  5. Arizona: (D) Katie Hobbs
  6. Indiana: (R) Eric Holcomb
  7. Georgia: (R) Brian Kemp
  8. South Carolina: (R) Henry McMaster
  9. Nevada: (R) Governor Joe Lombardo
  10. Utah: (R) Gov. Spencer Cox


  1. Alaska: (R) Mike Dunleavy
  2. Connecticut: (D) Ned Lamont
  3. Hawaii: (D) Josh Green
  4. Massachusetts: (D) Maura Tracy Healey
  5. Washington: (D) Jay Inslee
  6. Oregon: (D) Tina Kotek
  7. New Jersey: (D) Phil Murphy
  8. Illinois: (D) JB Pritzker
  9. New York: (D) Kathy Hochul
  10. California: (D) Gavin Newsom


The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.