Study ranks Hawaii worst state in country to run a business

Study ranks Hawaii worst state in country to run a business

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's no debating Hawaii's beauty. The state has some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.  But when it comes to doing business our reputation isn't so good.  According a CNBC study that ranks America's Top States for Business Hawaii comes in dead last.

Hawaii is an expensive place to live.  It's also an expensive place to operate a business but that's not the only reason the state is at the bottom

of the list.

Dale Evans is the President of Charley's Taxi.  The Honolulu based company has been around for 77-years.  Over the past couple decades she says turning a profit has become a lot more challenging.  Evans says a lot of that has to do with the traffic.

"The cost of operation is expensive because it takes longer to do a job so the loss of productivity effects the prices to consumers," said Evans.

The study took into account the island's infrastructure calling it the second worst in the nation largely in part to its poorly maintained roads. 

The state's regulatory climate doesn't have a good reputation either.
"There are so many archaic laws that are irrelevant to business today.  So a lot of that should go. And another thing they should be looking how they tax.  There should be less taxes," said Evans.

The study agreed calling Hawaii's tax code complex.

Hawaii News Now reached out to the Chamber of Commerce to get their take on the ranking.
Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Lori Abe, sent us this statement:
"As an island state, Hawaii certainly has its challenges related to the areas of infrastructure and the cost of living and doing business in Hawaii,
in particular. The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii has continued to work to address these areas, particularly in the legislative arena. This past session we successfully fought against increases in Workers' Compensation and bills related to increases in income taxes for business and consumers. Increases in regulations and costs for food distribution were also successfully stopped.

On the flip side, we're  pleased to see an improvement in rankings in the area of workforce. Our state does have a skilled workforce with over
40% of our population having a two- or four-year college degree. And, another 29.5% of Hawaii's population, ages 25 and over, has a bachelor's degree or higher, which is above the national average.

Hawaii also remains one of the top tourist destinations in the world with over 8 million visitors to our state in 2013. Our manufacturing and innovation industries also continue to grow. And as the gateway to economies in the Asia-Pacific Region, Hawaii's location does present some advantages, for example, attracting global conferences such as APEC, ASEAN, LANPAC and the next IUCN World Conservation Congress. The Chamber, working with the business community, will continue to seek ways to leverage this position and improve our business climate."
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