St. Louis Record

Thursday, February 27, 2020

NFIB director: CNBC business report 'inconsistent' in ranking Missouri

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By Hollie Ferguson | Aug 12, 2019

Brad Jones

JEFFERSON CITY – CNBC has ranked Missouri at 23 in its 2019 ranking of the best and worst states for business. 

The ranking takes into consideration factors such as employment, workforce, infrastructure and quality of life and grades these factors from A to F. It also reports the unemployment rate and tax rates for income, gas and corporations. 

The top grades in the state were awarded to cost of living, cost of business and infrastructure. However, despite those high grades, the report gave quality of life an F.

Brad Jones, Missouri state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), challenges some of the report's findings. 

"There are so many inconsistencies to this report," Jones said. "We are a fairly low tax state, and yet they give us a C for business friendliness. We've got a low cost of living – an A-plus cost of living – and yet they give us an F on quality of life."

Though the report gives infrastructure a high grade, Jones said half of the roads and bridges are in poor condition. Notably, workforce was graded at a D-minus, which Jones said could be due to the fact that business owners in the state are finding it difficult to hire. 

"Right now, with the economy being the way it is, small businesses are really having a hard time filling job needs," Jones said. "That consequently puts a damper on the economy, overall. If you want to expand your business, you've got to have the people to do it."

CNBC gave education a B, the economy a B-minus, and the cost of living an A-plus. How the combination of high grades in these areas results in an F grade for quality of life, Jones said he's unsure. 

"I don't agree with the assessment at all, it looks like a completely arbitrary and inconsistent report," Jones said. "We've cut corporate taxes, we've cut individual taxes for small business owners. So that should go to either the economy or business friendliness. I would think that the steps we've taken in the past few years on those issues would mean that those rankings should be higher. There are so many inconsistencies to this thing, I really question the validity." 

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National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

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