ND Ranks Fifth in Business Study | VideoJennifer Joas | 7/11/2012
North Dakota jumped eight places in just one year as one of the top states to do business, according to a CNBC study.
"To be ranked among the top states for doing business in the US, it`s a very good honor and it adds confidence that were doing the right things within the state as far as providing a business friendly environment," said ND Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson.
"The town is growing, the state is growing, Fargo, every town. It`s just awesome. If you`re not happy now in North Dakota you`re never going to be happy," said Zimmerman`s Furniture owner Gene Zimmerman.
The jump was attributed to a strong economy, business friendliness, quality of life, workforce, and infrastructure and transportation. But there`s still room for improvement in cost of living and access to capital.
"Some would look at the energy industry kind of like agriculture as somewhat cyclical. And so they`ll want to put some investment in but they`ll want to diversify their investments too. So it may be a little bit of a challenge until people truly believe that our industry is here for the long term," Anderson said.
Business owners agree that business is booming. But some are left wondering how long it will last.
"We`re very busy with work. The challenge is do you expand, or do you hang on? Is this a little blimp or is it going to continue to grow? And do you expand or not? And so I`m guardedly optimistic which way to take that," said Knowles Jewelry owner Brian Peterson.
Another challenge that business owners face is a lack of personnel.
North Dakota is ranked behind Texas, Utah, Virginia and North Carolina.