How the Cowboy State lassoes business
In Wyoming, we make a concerted, constant effort to foster a climate where private enterprise can thrive. We realize that a good business climate is necessary to support the private sector, boost job creation and promote economic growth.
As governor, I want more, not fewer, opportunities and options for the people of this state. I want existing businesses to stay and expand, and businesses from other places to expand or relocate here. I want innovators and entrepreneurs to feel welcome and encouraged.
In Wyoming, we start from a strong base. We have no corporate or individual income tax. The tax base is stable and not likely to change after businesses have located here. This provides certainty and allows businesses to invest in their people and in new innovations.
By law, we balance the budget. By nature and inclination, we budget conservatively and carefully. This allows us to invest in the future by supporting communities, education and infrastructure. It allows us to promote our top three industries—energy, tourism and agriculture—and work for further economic development and diversification.
For example, Wyoming has a growing reputation as a great place for technology-related businesses, and we are making the most of it. Our cool climate for most of the year, abundant, reliable and affordable electricity, and available space and infrastructure all are big draws for businesses that benefit from these features.
In Wyoming, part of our strong foundation comes from our western heritage and lifestyle. There is a reason we advertise our state as "Forever West"—it's because that's what we are. We have 11,000 farms and ranches, which give our state its distinctive character with open spaces, livestock, wildlife, and working cowboys and cowgirls.
(Read More: Infographics: Mapping the Top States for Business)
We have vibrant small towns, where most everyone knows each other and there is a strong sense of community. We enjoy the outdoors, in any weather and any season, for all sorts of pursuits from world-class hunting and fishing to top-tier rodeos, skiing, climbing, arts events and county fairs.
And still there is more—scenery and hospitality come to mind. Technicolor sunsets and the sights and sounds of our nightlife—and by that I mean nature—are among the special things to behold here on a daily basis.
Visitors at the state capitol often remark about the friendliness they have encountered around our state. Men and women who lead and work in businesses around Wyoming—of all ages and from every walk of life—talk about how much they enjoy the freedoms of our state.
For leisure time, there is so much to see and do in Wyoming that it takes a website, wyomingtourism.org, and numerous magazines to chronicle the possibilities. Without going far from home or the office, employers and employees can find many ways to relax, recharge their batteries and create lasting memories. Put another way, Wyoming is among the best places for business because it is one of the best places in which to live and enjoy life.
(Slideshow: America's Top States for Quality of Life)
Wyoming is home to over a dozen mountain ranges and like those granite peaks we provide rock-solid stability for companies. Wyoming believes in letting the market function and we believe this requires regulatory certainty. This means job creators will know the playing field, and it will not continually shift under them.
Our agencies communicate and coordinate. We try not to duplicate procedures. We are streamlining government (e.g., merging agencies, consolidating functions, reducing rules) to be more efficient and effective. Bigger is not necessarily better and less is usually more when it comes to the size and scope of the government.
While natural wonders like Yellowstone, Devils Tower and the Grand Tetons are well-known, it is less well-known that Wyoming is the leading energy exporter in the nation. We produce the most coal and uranium and are near the top in natural gas and oil production. We also have world-class wind energy potential.
One benefit of these resources is that the cost of power for businesses in Wyoming is extremely low. In 2012 Wyoming was recognized for having the lowest electrical rates in America. Wyoming also has low fuel prices and our cost of living is affordable.
While the costs of doing business must be a factor and accolades like business friendly or "Best Run State" are wonderful, the people and the quality of life are the principal reasons Wyoming is one of the best states for business.
(Read More: The Most Improved States in 2013)
Wyoming has great schools and opportunities to get outside to hunt, fish or hike. The folks that live here have an amazing work ethic and sense of what is important.
This unique combination of things is hard to find in this day and age, and the best way to experience them is to come for a visit and see for yourself. More than one business in Wyoming started because of a vacation which resulted in a decision to move to our place in the West. You and your business could be next … we hope so.
—By Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead
Read more blogs from U.S. governors here.