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CEOs Slam Oregon, Oregon Ranks 42nd In Business

By Bryan Navarro

MEDFORD, Ore. — Local companies call Oregon paradise, but CEO’s across the country rank Oregon as one of the worst states to do business in. Oregon dropped 9 spots in one year, falling to 42nd overall. A survey of 650 CEO’s across the country found the state undesirable.

For Jeff Dahl at Loop Rope, it’s all about quality of life.

“I like the fact that it only takes 5 minutes to get to work and not stuck in traffic,” Dahl says. And once there, working casual. “I wear flip-flops, yup. Don’t have to tell anyone to tell me how to dress.”

Loop Rope is a successful two-year-old start-up in Medford.

“We just finished a sale that exceeds our sales numbers from last year and we’re expecting to hit $1 million this year,” says Dahl. “As far as personal and property taxes, its just the price you pay to live in paradise to me.”

Brad Hicks, from the Medford/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, disagrees.

“We have, for too long, gotten away on our good looks and charm and that’s not enough,” Hicks says.

The survey from chief-executive.net asked CEO’s to rank the states in which they do business. In one year, Oregon dropped nine spots to number 42 overall.

“The way they tax businesses the way they over-fee, and over-license and over-regulate; and OR is a champ in that regard,” says Hicks.

Brad Hicks also says Oregon’s problem is that some companies grow in the state, but hardly any want to move in. Dahl admits even in paradise, it’s not all sunshine.

“So the cost of shipping stuff is a hurdle,” Dahl explains. “Flying out of here, going to trade shows is…you got to build it in and plan for it.” But unlike some, he says he can’t imagine doing business anywhere else.

Jeff Dahl also says that Oregon’s state agencies are much more helpful than California’s; the survey backs that up. The Golden State ranks dead last. The number one state to do business in is Texas.