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Perception of Ohio now improving

If perception is everything, then Ohio is looking much better to some of the individuals the state should most want to impress.

According to a report in Chief Executive Magazine’s 2013 Best and Worst States for Business article, a survey given to more than 700 CEOs has Ohio ranked 22nd in the nation.

Being slightly better than middle-of-pack might not sound like a reason to celebrate but the Buckeye State moved up 13 places from last year, the largest improvement of any state. Ohio was ranked 44 in 2010.

A total of 736 CEOs — the highest number of respondents since the annual survey began nine years ago — based their rankings on a number of factors but the three key ones were: taxation and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment.

“A good state is one that understands the private sector pays for the public sector and makes it easy for the private sector to conduct business and grow,” David N. Willis, CEO of CRW Parts, a Baltimore wholesale distribution firm, was quoted as saying in the magazine.

Some praise came specifically from Ohio business leaders.

“States like Texas and Ohio are consistently trying to help us grow our business and are listening to the leaders of companies to help solve problems,” said Terry Neal, CEO of the Toledo-based Impact Products.

Rankings like these don’t always translate to the real world but the bottom line is that business leaders are looking far more favorably at Ohio than they have in recent years. That reflects strongly on the governmental reforms implemented over the past few years and also bodes well for the future.

No one should be satisfied with where Ohio is but certainly should be satisfied with where the state is going.