America's corporate chieftains still consider Texas the best place to do business, but Florida is close on its heels.
The Sunshine State rose a notch, overtaking North Carolina, to rank as second most attractive business market in the country, according to Chief Executive magazine's annual Best & Worst States Survey.
For the report released Wednesday, 650 CEOs from across the country evaluated the states on a broad range of issues, including regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, educational resources, quality of living and infrastructure.
They praised top-ranked Texas for its efforts to welcome companies and entrepreneurs, particularly in the high-tech arena.
The magazine attributed Florida's rise in the ranks to CEO excitement generated by "new tax relief — and boosterish Gov. Scott." Rick Scott, who became governor in January, has often cited Texas Gov. Rick Perry as a tax-cutting role model and joked about outdueling Perry as a pro-business state leader.
California was again ranked the worst state in the eyes of business execs, followed by New York and Illinois.
For a complete list of rankings, go to chiefexecutive.net/best-worst-states-for-business-2012.