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CNBC TO REVEAL ITS FIFTH ANNUAL LIST OF AMERICA’S TOP STATES FOR BUSINESS BEGINNING MONDAY, JUNE 27TH

CNBC & CNBC.com Present Coverage with CNBC Senior Correspondent Scott Cohn Revealing America’s Top 5 States for Business Throughout CNBC’s Business Day Programming and Online on Tuesday, June 28th

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., June 20, 2011­– Where are the lowest taxes? Who’s top in tech? Which state has the best access to capital? It’s never been more important for America to get back to work. Find out which states are keeping the U.S. in business…

Starting Monday, June 27th through Thursday, June 30th CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, will broadcast the results of its fifth annual study of America’s Top States for Business. The network will build a four-day special event around this CNBC exclusive study with the complete rankings being revealed, along with the winning state, on Tuesday, June 28th throughout the network’s Business Day programming. The complete rankings for all 50 states will be available on CNBC.com and include an in depth look at each of their respective rankings.

CNBC Senior Correspondent Scott Cohn will broadcast live from the top-ranked state starting Monday, and will count down CNBC’s 2011 list of America’s Top States for Business Tuesday, beginning on “Squawk Box” (6AM-9AM ET) with the top state being revealed on “Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo” (3PM-5PM ET).

CNBC.com will feature the complete America’s Top States for Business rankings (topstates.cnbc.com) and have a wealth of coverage about each state including economic snapshots (employment, budget, tax, housing data). In addition, the site will also have exclusive stories and slideshows drilling down into the various ranking categories, such as “Economy,” “Technology,” “Quality of Life,” “Cost of Living” and more. Throughout the week, users can also vote for the state that they think should be the top, as well as weigh in on what they think are the most important considerations in picking a state to house a business. All of this and more will be available on Tuesday, June 28th, following the announcement of the America’s Top States for Business on CNBC television.

To determine the rankings for America’s Top States for Business, each state was scored – using publicly available data – on 43 different measures of competitiveness. States received points based on their rankings in each metric, which were then separated into ten broad categories.

So what makes a state great for business? The ten broad categories and the maximum possible points for each:

Cost of Doing Business (350 Points) - Cost is a major consideration when a company chooses a state. We looked at the tax burden, including individual income and property taxes, as well as business taxes, particularly as they apply to new investments. Utility costs can add up to a huge expense for business, and they vary widely by state. We also looked at the cost of wages, as well as rental costs for office and industrial space (rental cost information furnished by CoStar Group).

Workforce (350 Points) - Many states point with great pride to the quality and availability of their workers, as well as government-sponsored programs to train them. We rated states based on the education level of their workforce, as well as the numbers of available workers. We also considered union membership. While organized labor contends that a union workforce is a quality workforce, that argument, more often than not, doesn’t resonate with business. We also looked at the relative success of each state’s worker training programs in placing their participants in jobs.

Quality of Life (350 Points) - The best places to do business are also the best places to live. We scored the states on several factors, including local attractions, the crime rate, health care, as well as air and water quality.

Infrastructure & Transportation (325 Points) - Access to transportation in all its modes is key to getting your products to market and your people on the move. We measured the vitality of each state’s transportation system by the value of goods shipped by air, land and water. We looked at the availability of air travel in each state, and the quality of the roads.

Economy (300 Points) - A solid economy is good for business. So is a diverse economy, with access to the biggest players in a variety of industries. We looked at basic indicators of economic health and growth. For the first time in 2011, we measured each state’s fiscal health by looking at projected budget gaps (or surpluses) for the coming fiscal year. We also gave credit to states based on the number of major corporations located there.

Education (225 Points) - Education and business go hand in hand. Not only do companies want to draw from an educated pool of workers, they want to offer their employees a great place to raise a family. Higher education institutions offer companies a source to recruit new talent, as well as a partner in research and development. We looked at traditional measures of K-12 education including test scores, class size and spending. We also considered the number of higher education institutions in each state.

Technology & Innovation (225 Points) - Succeeding in the new economy—or any economy—takes innovation. The top states for business prize innovation, nurture new ideas, and have the infrastructure to support them. We evaluated the states on their support for innovation, the number of patents issued to their residents, and the deployment of broadband services. We also considered federal health and science research grants to the states.

Business Friendliness (200 Points) - Regulation and litigation are the bane of business. Sure, some of each is inevitable. But we graded the states on the perceived “friendliness” of their legal and regulatory frameworks to business.

Access to Capital (100 Points) - Companies go where the money is, and venture capital flows to some states more than others.

Cost of Living (50 Points) - The cost of living helps drive the cost of doing business. From housing to food and energy, wages go further when the cost of living is low.

Categories were selected with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers (www.nam.org) and the Council on Competitiveness (www.compete.org).

A preview of America's Top States for Business is available at CNBC.com now at topstates.cnbc.com.

About CNBC:

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