The Jersey "comeback" may be underway, but a new survey ranks Jersey as the 5th worst state in the country when it comes to business friendliness - however that's an improvement from last year, when the Garden state was ranked 3rd worst!

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J.P. Donlon, the Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executive Magazine, says "New Jersey historically has been bottom 5 for the past several years…and while it has improved slightly, now, CEO's believe there is a great deal more that it needs to do to remove punitive regulation and high personal taxes…if New Jersey is going to improve its ranking it needs to remove punitive and sometimes silly permitting and regulatory structure that acts as friction, in terms of allowing business to operate."

He says CEO's look at what's happening in Jersey with great favor, but "what they're looking for is for government- and perhaps the Governor - to actually start delivering in the promise…the state seems to be moving in the right direction, and I would imagine that this time next year - if the Governor follows through - and that may be a big if- I don't know- we might see a big improvement for New Jersey."

Donlon adds the problem is that things have been very bad in Jersey for a long time, so the state " has a lot to dig out from, and so these are all promising starts but it's too early to tell whether it's actually making a dent as yet…business are hopeful, but they're saying great- now let's see if you can deliver."

He also points out cutting regulations and offering up corporate tax breaks to help attract businesses is an absolute necessity, and "the degree to which New Jersey is competing against other states - like Virginia, Texas, North Carolina…all these things matter in terms of where businesses plan to expand or start new operations…these days people have the flexibility to put their operations anywhere - in fact they don't have to stay in the U.S. - they can go to Asia or Honduras…right now New Jersey ranks at the bottom still- but unlike its neighbors- Connecticut, New York…it has shown promise that the others have not."

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