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North Dakota has a Strong Business Climate 

(Fargo/Bismarck, N.D.) – Today, the Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth, in partnership with the Greater North Dakota Chamber (GNDC), formally released the results of a business climate survey that was conducted over the summer of 2022.

More than 200 businesses completed the North Dakota Business Conditions and Climate Survey conducted by the Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth at North Dakota State University. The survey assessed the state’s regulatory and business environment to gain insights into policies that could enable improved economic performance.

“North Dakota is constantly being ranked and measured by current conditions of economic outputs. These results have positioned our state as #1, #23, #7, and so on, but these findings don’t drill deeper to examine barriers to growth or catalysts of success,” stated Arik Spencer, GNDC CEO and President. “We partnered on this survey to discover an accurate assessment of current business conditions from those choosing to do business in North Dakota.”

The survey revealed that most North Dakota businesses believe the state has a good business climate, but they continue to be held back by an inability to attract workers, high healthcare costs, and lack of access to affordable, high-quality childcare.

Spencer continued, “We appreciate the Challey Institute for their assessment and work. GNDC anticipates that these results will aid policymakers in crafting legislation to further benefit the growth of our state.”

Key Results 

Businesses overwhelmingly agree (95 percent) North Dakota has a good business climate. A majority of businesses said North Dakota policymakers have created a supportive business environment (87 percent), and North Dakota has adequate infrastructure for business success (83 percent). Nearly three-quarters of firms operating in multiple states said North Dakota has a better regulatory environment and business climate than other states where they operate.

Businesses highlighted a number of factors positively affecting their performance in North Dakota. The top three factors are being a right-to-work state (53 percent), low taxes (43 percent), and high-quality education (38 percent).

The number one factor holding businesses back is difficulty attracting and retaining qualified workers (62 percent). Other factors negatively affecting business performance include high healthcare costs (37 percent) and a lack of access to affordable and high-quality childcare (30 percent). Overall, concerns about workforce, healthcare costs, and childcare emerged throughout the survey.

North Dakota businesses are optimistic about the year ahead. Nearly two-thirds of participants believe their business performance will improve in the upcoming year. Half of respondents plan to invest in facilities and equipment in North Dakota within the next year, with a majority planning to expand operations.

“These results can serve as a first step in identifying the barriers that are preventing the state from reaching its economic potential,” writes John Bitzan, author of the report and Menard Family Director of the Challey Institute. He added, “They show that the state has a great business climate, but also that we have important challenges to address to enable businesses to continue to be successful in the future.”

The perspectives of North Dakota businesses on current business conditions, expectations, and future plans were captured in this survey with an exclusive release to the business community at the Greater North Dakota Chamber 2022 Policy Summit.

Information about survey participants, questions, and methodology is available at https://www.ndsu.edu/challeyinstitute/research/publications/nd_business_climate/

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