Nevada's third-place finish in Chief Executive magazine's ranking of the "2020 Best & Worst States For Business" is an improvement over last year's sixth-place showing.
Nevada was in 12th place in 2018 before leapfrogging several states last year and then making the top three in 2020. Nevada also posted the biggest improvement among the best-performing states, according to Chief Executive magazine.
The rankings factor in metrics such as taxation, regulation, workforce and quality of life.
Steady economic growth was cited as one of the top reasons for Nevada's high placement. Nevada regained its title as the fastest-growing state in the nation in recent years after being hit hard by the collapse of the real estate bubble during the Great Recession. Since then, the state has seen high-profile companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Tesla expand operations in the state.
Nevada also regularly sees a lot of corporate headquarters moving in from next-door neighbor California, which placed last in the CEO survey once again.
Other factors that make Nevada attractive to CEOs include several abatements for business tax, sales and use tax, and property tax, according to Chief Executive magazine.
Last year, California Governor Gavin Newsom rapped Chief Executive by name because the state once again finished last in the magazine's annual survey of CEOs. No word from him so far on how he feels about his state finishing No. 50 in this year's survey, too.
The problem is, owners of businesses in California aren't staying. Many are still running away as fast as they can, especially those who make things. As long as California can count on spectacular growth from tech companies in Silicon Valley and movie studios in Hollywood, don't expect the state to reverse any of its attitudes and policies that chase many companies away.
Because the food industry largely gained during the Covid-19 crisis, many of those companies remain on the hunt for sites. By contrast, office-construction plans have pulled back severely as all players consider the future of telecommuting.
Clearly, states will be hungrier to chase whatever projects go forward. But with declining tax revenues, states have fewer resources to offer dollars up front that can help companies offset project costs.
Meantime, more places are pursuing tech jobs by trying to make their communities an environment that will attract talent.