Development official counters CNBC story

To the Editor,

Like most West Virginians, if not all West Virginians, who had their day interrupted this week by having someone wave the following article in their face:(http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/11/west-virginia-americas-worst-state-for-business-in-2017.html)

You probably had a reaction or an opinion. Well, I had both.

For what it’s worth, CNBC’s data sets and methodology are dated, tired, and not what industry site location consultants are using to find sites for their clients to locate. CNBC should spend as much time keeping their approach and analysis fresh as they do sensationalizing their story, which it is, a story. A report or study, it is not.

Their methodology does not mirror data sets used by industry site location consultants. The methodology used for making decisions to locate business are, generally:

1. Distance to your customers and suppliers

2. Characteristics of your land

3. Access to transportation networks

4. Labor availability

5. Synergies

6. Cost of doing business

7. State and local laws and regulations

When you weigh these characteristics, I guarantee you that West Virginia would rank in the top 10 and not the bottom 10. Ask industry leaders like Bidell, Pietro Fiorentini, Hino Motors, Macy’s, Proctor & Gamble, and Gestamp, just to name the most recent national and international companies to choose West Virginia. I have the data, and experience, to support my observations, if they want my opinion.

I also find it troubling that CNBC profiles, and needlessly, piles on one southern West Virginia community and generalizes their opinion of this one community over the entire state.

This “team” who prepared this report needs to spend less time in their posh West Coast office, laughing at the expense of a few people’s misfortunes, and spend more time in states that actually provide the muscle for our national and global economy. If this “team” of data analysts manufactured something, they might see what other companies and countries see in West Virginia; that they are clearly missing. West Virginia is clearly one of the best places in the United States to do business.

Anyway, that’s my reaction and opinion.

Patrick Ford

BDC executive director

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