Foreign exchange rates for 20 October 2020

As of today, 20 October 2020, the U.S. Dollar can purchase the following:

Ghana: 5.81 GHS

Nigeria: 383.50 NGN

Sierra Leone: 9925.00 SLL

The Gambia: 51.75 GMD

Angola: 651.38 AOA

Eastern Caribbean: 2.70 XCD

Source: Morningstar

Biden must manage the bond markets …

Blacks have never been monolithic ….There is a difference between the electoral markets i.e. buying votes with promises and I.O.U.s, versus governance. As Joe Biden extends his popular vote lead and contemplates last minute strategies for winning the Electoral College, he has been answering phone calls from bond fund managers at Blackrock, PIMCO, and Vanguard, all of whom have been reminding him that his future Treasury secretary and he will have to determine how much spending will be necessary to keep his social program promises to lower and middle income Black Americans while not eroding the asset values of upper middle income and high income Black Americans (who, contrary to popular belief, have never been in the same boat). The bond markets, as Bill Clinton and James Carville realized, is the standard that matters…

……promises, promises…..

“You mean to tell me that the success of the economic program and my re-election hinges on the Federal Reserve and a bunch of fucking bond traders?” — Bill Clinton

“I used to think that if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or as a .400 baseball hitter. But now I would like to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.” — James Carville

A balanced Section 230 review means creating rules that protect capital and free speech …

News, Analysis, and Opinion

On 15 October 2020, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, released the following statement:

“Members of all three branches of the federal government have expressed serious concerns about
the prevailing interpretation of the immunity set forth in Section 230 of the Communications Act.
There is bipartisan support in Congress to reform the law. The U.S. Department of Commerce
has petitioned the Commission to ‘clarify ambiguities in section 230.’ And earlier this week,
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out that courts have relied upon ‘policy and
purpose arguments to grant sweeping protections to Internet platforms’ that appear to go far
beyond the actual text of the provision.

“As elected officials consider whether to change the law, the question remains: What does
Section 230 currently mean? Many advance an overly broad interpretation that in some cases
shields social media companies from consumer protection laws in a way that has no basis in the
text of Section 230. The Commission’s General Counsel has informed me that the FCC has the
legal authority to interpret Section 230. Consistent with this advice, I intend to move forward
with a rulemaking to clarify its meaning.

“Throughout my tenure at the Federal Communications Commission, I have favored regulatory
parity, transparency, and free expression. Social media companies have a First Amendment right
to free speech. But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to
other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters.”

Twitter has recently been called out for apparently prohibiting its subscribers from sharing or “retweeting” an article in The New York Post that alleges that Robert Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden, attempted to engage in transactions from which his family would benefit including arranging a meeting in 2014 between then Vice-President Biden and an executive with a Ukrainian energy firm. Twitter, after an accumulation of press attention to their policy limiting redistribution of the article, decided to reverse its blocking action regarding tweets based on “hacked information.”

Twitter, and other internet companies that publish content posted by its subscribers have enjoyed protection from civil liability pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 230(c)(1) and (c)(2). The provisions read as follows:

(c)Protection for “Good Samaritan” blocking and screening of offensive material

(1)Treatment of publisher or speaker

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

(2)Civil liabilityNo provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—

(A)any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or

(B)any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).

The intent of Section 230 was to incentivize the development of the internet by encouraging the development of free speech on this advanced communications medium. Young internet companies might have been discouraged to harbor public speech on their platforms if they were to be held liable for untoward speech.

If they were to enjoy the protection from civil liability offered in return for their maintaining the internet as a public forum, they in turn could not, to steal a phrase from Mark Zuckerberg, act as the arbiter of speech. Restricting access to information on their platforms would call for a demonstration that the action was taken to restrict dissemination of information falling in the boxes created in 47 U.S.C. 230(c)(2).

Our general thesis is that where government chooses a capitalist model for management of a political economy, it promotes income growth by encouraging capital flow which it expects to lead to increased tax revenues and returns on and to capital. Government helps facilitate the energy in the political economy that investors draw from. If a Section 230 review reduces Twitter’s ability to attract, manage, and provide returns on capital to investors, then either Twitter’s business model is failing, government policy is failing, or Twitter business judgment combined with government action has led to failure.

If the stock market is any indication, equity investors may be wary of any actions taken against Twitter’s social media model. When the stock market opened on 14 October 2020, Twitter’s share price was $47.49. As news of Twitter’s actions regarding The New York Post article surfaced and spread, the market price fell, closing at $45.97.

By 11:00 am 15 October, Twitter’s share price had fallen to $44.53, but had climbed to $46.04 by close of the cash trade. Chairman Pai’s balanced tone in announcing a FCC review may have helped calm fears about Twitter.

Twitter’s actions may have given cannon fodder to the Trump administration’s position that Twitter and other social media companies are biased against conservative speech. Last July, the Administration filed, via the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a petition seeking a rulemaking by the FCC clarifying how Section 230 is to be applied to social media companies like Twitter. The FCC will have to balance America’s “School House Rock” narrative on free speech, a narrative promoted on the premise that such freedoms encourage a more harmonious union among citizens, with the probability of extinguishing or severely a private company that follows an equally important although overlooked narrative that government promotes the generation of income, profit, and taxes by private actors who leverage private investor capital.

Only a balanced set of rules will bring proper reconciliation to the issue.

Telehealth demand is increasing …

Sponsored content

by IIA

OCTOBER 15, 2020

According to FAIR Health’s Monthly Regional Tacker, telehealth claim lines — an individual service or procedure listed on an insurance claim — rose over 3,800% in the U.S. from July 2019 to July 2020.

The data also showed that over this same timeframe, telehealth claims rose in both urban centers and rural areas, though urban centers saw much higher rates of usage. 6.4% of total medical claim lines in urban centers utilized telehealth versus 3.0% in rural areas.Source: FAIR Health

High points from Federal Reserve vice-chair Richard Clarida show how Biden will play economy in 2023 …

News and Analysis

Yesterday, vice-chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Richard Clarida, reiterated the Federal Reserve’s call for continued stimulus spending to reboot an American economy severely slowed down by a government-ordered commercial lockdown resulting from efforts to stem the virality of Covid-19. In describing combined fiscal and monetary efforts to reboot the economy, Mr Clarida shared the following:

“Although spending on many services continues to lag, the rebound in the GDP data has been broad based across indicators of goods consumption, housing, and investment. These components of aggregate demand have benefited from robust fiscal support—including the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded unemployment benefits—as well as low interest rates and efforts by the Federal Reserve to sustain the flow of credit to households and firms. In the labor market, about half of the 22 million jobs that were lost in the spring have been restored, and the unemployment rate has fallen since April by nearly 7 percentage points to 7.9 percent as of September.”

Mr Clarida challenged naysayers who had argued that interest rate cuts, asset purchases, and loan programs would not facilitate growth in gross domestic product by reminding them that the unemployment rate has fallen almost seven percentage points since April and that the labor market has replaced almost half of the 22 million jobs lost last spring. But even at this rate of progress, Mr Clarida made it clear that it may take another year before the American economy gets back to its previous 2019 peak.

The Federal Reserve’s decision to modify its inflation target policy, where inflation may be allowed to run moderately over two percent and federal funds rates remaining relatively unchanged (0 to .25%) over the next three years, is expected to result in an unemployment rate of four percent and inflation returning to two percent.

Assuming the polls hold and Joe Biden is able to take over the Oval Office on 20 January 2021, a first glance expectation is that Mr Biden will pursue spending bills that, in addition to increases in transfer payments, will increase pools of public capital available for access by private firms or private-public partnerships. Mr Biden’s “Build Back Better” initiative appears, in theory, to call for creating these opportunities.

One potential area for increasing pools of public capital is the financing of energy infrastructure projects. According to language from his campaign platform:

“Biden will immediately invest in engines of sustainable job creation – new industries and re-invigorated regional economies spurred by innovation from our national labs and universities; commercialized into new and better products that can be manufactured and built by American workers; and put together using feedstocks, materials, and parts supplied by small businesses, family farms, and job creators all across our country.”

Mr Biden may not have much re-creating the wheel to do. The United States Department of Energy has a number of financing programs in place that can be used to finance these endeavors. For example, the federal government offers what it calls a “Small Business Toolbox” that helps small businesses, no matter their experience level with government contracting, navigate the requirements for financing.

Mr Biden will have to finance these procurement programs so that these programs can turn around and finance the private companies ready to carry out the federal government’s energy infrastructure agenda. If the Federal Reserve remains on its modified inflation glide path, Mr Biden will have three fiscal years of low interest rates to borrow the funds necessary for his energy infrastructure plans and create the collateral employment of labor that may come along with it.

Mr Biden is likely praying that the “blue wave” narrative, where the Democratic Party sweeps the White House and the Congress, comes to fruition in November. With both chambers of Congress under Democratic control, there may be greater ease at delivering the necessary government financing for his initiatives. If he learned anything from the Obama administration’s first term in office, it is the need to move fast during his first two years to secure the necessary spending bills.

If Mr Biden does not get the “blue wave” then he will have to apply his ‘across the aisle” skills to get Republican senators to buy into his infrastructure plan.

Meanwhile, America is going through a structural employment shift, one that many wage earners will not recover from. Shrinking tax bases due to lower labor force participation and increased tax bills for those who are still working but making less money doth not make a certain second term.

Century Bancorp announces its earnings …

Source: Century Bancorp.

MEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Century Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNBKA) ( (“the Company”) today announced net income of $30,609,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, or $5.50 per Class A share diluted, an increase of 5.7% compared to net income of $28,967,000, or $5.20 per Class A share diluted, for the same period a year ago. Total assets increased 14.6% from $5.49 billion at December 31, 2019 to $6.3 billion at September 30, 2020. For the quarter ended September 30, 2020, net income totaled $10,887,000 or $1.96 per Class A share diluted, an increase of 8.0% compared to net income of $10,084,000, or $1.81 per Class A share diluted, for the same period a year ago.

“Effect of Sequestration on the Alternative Minimum Tax Credit for Corporations”Tweet this

The Company’s Board of Directors voted to increase its regular quarterly dividend from 14.00 cents ($0.14) per share to 16.00 cents ($0.16) per share on the Company’s Class A common stock, and from 7.00 cents ($0.07) per share to 8.00 cents ($0.08) per share on the Company’s Class B common stock. The dividends were declared payable November 16, 2020 to stockholders of record on November 2, 2020.

Net interest income totaled $78.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 compared to $70.5 million for the same period in 2019. The 11.2% increase in net interest income for the period is primarily due to a decrease in interest expense as a result of falling interest rates. Prepayment penalties collected amounted to approximately $946,000 for the first nine months of 2020 compared to $18,000 for the same period last year. The net interest margin decreased from 2.08% on a fully tax-equivalent basis for the first nine months of 2019 to 2.01% for the same period in 2020. This was primarily the result of increased margin pressure during the recent decrease in interest rates across the yield curve. The average balances of earning assets increased for the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period last year, by $609.0 million or 12.3%, combined with an average yield decrease of 0.55%, resulting in a decrease in interest income of $6.2 million. The average balance of interest-bearing liabilities increased for the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period last year, by $486.9 million or 12.1%, combined with an average interest-bearing liabilities interest cost decrease of 0.59%, resulting in a decrease in interest expense of $14.1 million.

The provision for loan losses increased by $2,975,000 from $700,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 to $3,675,000 for the same period in 2020, primarily as a result of the economic uncertainties associated with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID–19) pandemic and increased loan balances.

The Company’s effective tax rate increased from 2.0% for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 to 9.5% for the same period in 2020. This was primarily as a result of an increase in taxable income relative to total income and a reduction in tax accruals, during 2019, related to sequestration of the refundable portion of our alternative minimum tax (AMT) credit carryforward. On January 14, 2019, the IRS updated its announcement “Effect of Sequestration on the Alternative Minimum Tax Credit for Corporations” to clarify that refundable AMT credits under Section 53(e) of the Internal Revenue Code are not subject to sequestration for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. As a result of the CARES Act, the full balance of the AMT credit was refunded in 2020.

At September 30, 2020, total equity was $363.4 million compared to $332.6 million at December 31, 2019. The Company’s equity increased primarily as a result of earnings, offset somewhat by dividends paid.

The Company’s leverage ratio stood at 6.79% at September 30, 2020, compared to 7.25% at December 31, 2019. The decrease in the leverage ratio was due to an increase in quarterly average assets, offset somewhat by an increase in stockholders’ equity. Book value as of September 30, 2020 was $65.27 per share compared to $59.73 at December 31, 2019.

The Company’s allowance for loan losses was $33.4 million or 1.12% of loans outstanding at September 30, 2020 compared to $29.6 million or 1.22% of loans outstanding at December 31, 2019, and $29.1 million or 1.22% of loans outstanding at September 30, 2019. The ratio of the allowance for loan losses to loans outstanding has decreased from December 31, 2019, primarily from approximately $232 million of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans that are guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which require no allowance for loan losses. Nonperforming assets totaled $1.4 million at September 30, 2020, compared to $2.0 million at December 31, 2019, and $1.1 million at September 30, 2019.

As of September 30, 2020, the Company has COVID-19 modifications of 33 loans aggregating $37,987,000, primarily consisting of short-term payment deferrals. Of these modifications, $37,987,000, or 100%, were performing in accordance with their modified terms.

The CARES Act also allows companies to delay Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-13, Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (CECL), including the current expected credit losses methodology for estimating allowances for credit losses. The Company has elected to delay FASB ASU 2016-13. This ASU will be delayed until the earlier of the date on which the national emergency concerning the COVID–19 outbreak declared by the President on March 15, 2020 terminates or December 31, 2020, with an effective retrospective implementation date of January 1, 2020.

The Company, through its subsidiary bank, Century Bank and Trust Company, a state chartered full service commercial bank, operating twenty-seven full-service branches in the Greater Boston area, offers a full range of Business, Personal and Institutional Services.

Century Bank and Trust Company is a member of the FDIC and is an Equal Housing Lender.

This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements” with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business of the Company. Actual results may differ from those contemplated by these statements. The Company wishes to caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether in response to new information, future events or otherwise.

Century Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Comparative Statements of Condition (unaudited)
(in thousands)
September 30,December 31,
Cash and Due From Banks$101,679$44,420
Federal Funds Sold and Interest-bearing Deposits In Other Banks 310,901 214,273
Securities Available-for-Sale (AFS) 293,277 262,190
Securities Held-to-Maturity 2,407,176 2,351,120
Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston stock, at cost 13,361 19,471
Commercial & Industrial 1,315,407 812,417
Municipal 130,047 120,455
Construction & Land Development 9,116 8,992
Commercial Real Estate 784,895 786,102
Residential Real Estate 443,703 371,897
Consumer and Other 19,866 21,893
Home Equity 287,099 304,363
Total Loans 2,990,133 2,426,119
Less: Allowance for Loan Losses 33,394 29,585
Net Loans 2,956,739 2,396,534
Bank Premises and Equipment, net 37,340 33,952
Accrued Interest Receivable 13,223 13,110
Goodwill 2,714 2,714
Other Assets 159,016 154,640
Total Assets$6,295,426$5,492,424
Demand Deposits$991,590$712,842
Interest Bearing Deposits:
Savings and NOW Deposits 1,932,339 1,678,250
Money Market Accounts 1,906,676 1,453,572
Time Deposits 581,866 555,447
Total Interest Bearing Deposits 4,420,881 3,687,269
Total Deposits 5,412,471 4,400,111
Borrowed Funds:
Securities Sold Under Agreements to Repurchase 231,030 266,045
Other Borrowed Funds 152,248 370,955
Total Borrowed Funds 383,278 637,000
Other Liabilities 100,160 86,649
Subordinated Debentures 36,083 36,083
Total Liabilities 5,931,992 5,159,843
Total Stockholders’ Equity 363,434 332,581
Total Liabilities & Stockholders’ Equity$6,295,426$5,492,424
Century Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Comparative Statements of Income (unaudited)
For the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019
(in thousands)
Quarter ended September 30,Nine months ended September 30,
Interest Income:
Securities Held-to-Maturity 14,186 14,623 44,701 43,006
Securities Available-for-Sale 818 2,184 3,493 7,305
Federal Funds Sold and Interest-bearing Deposits In Other Banks 69 928 747 3,204
Total Interest Income 36,504 39,852 112,419 118,621
Interest Expense:
Savings and NOW Deposits 1,726 5,445 7,569 16,788
Money Market Accounts 3,056 5,050 12,090 15,805
Time Deposits 2,858 3,038 9,141 8,724
Securities Sold Under Agreements to Repurchase 241 697 1,176 1,572
Other Borrowed Funds and Subordinated Debentures 1,292 1,852 4,093 5,274
Total Interest Expense 9,173 16,082 34,069 48,163
Net Interest Income 27,331 23,770 78,350 70,458
Provision For Loan Losses 900 75 3,675 700
Net Interest Income After
Provision for Loan Losses 26,431 23,695 74,675 69,758
Other Operating Income:
Service Charges on Deposit Accounts 2,239 2,310 6,558 6,801
Lockbox Fees 996 937 2,850 3,018
Net Gain on Sales of Loans    154
Other Income 934 1,039 3,112 3,737
Total Other Operating Income 4,169 4,286 12,520 13,710
Operating Expenses:
Salaries and Employee Benefits 11,362 10,670 33,020 32,621
Occupancy 1,477 1,463 4,448 4,686
Equipment 809 862 2,608 2,440
Other 4,519 4,467 13,306 14,170
Total Operating Expenses 18,167 17,462 53,382 53,917
Income Before Income Taxes 12,433 10,519 33,813 29,551
Income Tax Expense 1,546 435 3,204 584
Net Income$10,887$10,084$30,609$28,967
Century Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Year-to-Date Average Comparative Statements of Condition (unaudited)
(in thousands)
September 30,September 30,
Cash and Due From Banks$80,686 $74,413 
Federal Funds Sold and Interest-Bearing Deposits in Other Banks 238,525  184,035 
Securities Available-For-Sale (AFS) 293,301  325,036 
Securities Held-to-Maturity (HTM) 2,346,502  2,128,082 
Total Loans 2,693,000  2,325,136 
Less: Allowance for Loan Losses 31,359  28,936 
Net Loans 2,661,641  2,296,200 
Unrealized (Loss)Gain on Securities AFS and HTM Transfers (2,861) (3,352)
Bank Premises and Equipment 36,253  26,273 
Accrued Interest Receivable 12,630  13,942 
Goodwill 2,714  2,714 
Other Assets 164,804  133,754 
Total Assets$5,834,195 $5,181,097 
Demand Deposits$889,237 $764,852 
Interest Bearing Deposits:
Savings and NOW Deposits 1,881,897  1,818,017 
Money Market Accounts 1,603,367  1,249,531 
Time Deposits 597,589  512,228 
Total Interest Bearing Deposits 4,082,853  3,579,776 
Total Deposits 4,972,090  4,344,628 
Borrowed Funds:
Securities Sold Under Agreements to Repurchase 220,796  205,185 
Other Borrowed Funds 169,972  201,804 
Total Borrowed Funds 390,768  406,989 
Other Liabilities 88,028  79,327 
Subordinated Debentures 36,083  36,083 
Total Liabilities 5,486,969  4,867,027 
Total Stockholders’ Equity 347,226  314,070 
Total Liabilities & Stockholders’ Equity$5,834,195 $5,181,097 
Total Average Earning Assets – QTD$5,881,860 $4,971,831 
Total Average Earning Assets – YTD$5,571,328 $4,962,289 
Century Bancorp, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Selected Key Financial Information (unaudited)
(in thousands, except share data)September 30,September 30,
Performance Measures:
Earnings per average Class A share, diluted, quarter$1.96 $1.81 
Earnings per average Class A share, diluted, year-to-date$5.50 $5.20 
Return on average assets, year-to-date 0.70% 0.75%
Return on average stockholders’ equity, year-to-date 11.78% 12.33%
Net interest margin (taxable equivalent), quarter 1.96% 2.08%
Net interest margin (taxable equivalent), year-to-date 2.01% 2.08%
Efficiency ratio, Non-GAAP (1) 55.4% 59.1%
Book value per share$65.27 $59.08 
Tangible book value per share – Non-GAAP (1)$64.79 $58.59 
Capital / assets 5.77% 6.21%
Tangible capital / tangible assets – Non-GAAP (1) 5.73% 6.16%
Common Share Data:
Average Class A shares outstanding, diluted, quarter and year-to-date 5,567,909  5,567,909 
Shares outstanding Class A 3,655,469  3,650,449 
Shares outstanding Class B 1,912,440  1,917,460 
Total shares outstanding at period end 5,567,909  5,567,909 
Asset Quality and Other Data:
Allowance for loan losses / loans 1.12% 1.22%
Nonaccrual loans$1,419 $1,066 
Nonperforming assets$1,419 $1,066 
Loans 90 days past due and still accruing$49 $ 
Accruing troubled debt restructures$2,240 $2,404 
Net charge-offs (recoveries), year-to-date$(134)$146 
Leverage ratio 6.79% 7.25%
Common equity tier 1 risk weighted capital ratio 11.36% 11.90%
Tier 1 risk weighted capital ratio 12.40% 13.12%
Total risk weighted capital ratio 13.39% 14.13%
Total risk weighted assets$3,370,541 $2,867,422 
(1) Non-GAAP Financial Measures are reconciled in the following tables:
Calculation of Efficiency ratio:
Total operating expenses(numerator)$53,382 $53,917 
Less: other real estate owned expenses   (139)
Total adjusted operating expenses(numerator)$53,382 $53,778 
Net interest income$78,350 $70,458 
Total other operating income 12,520  13,710 
Tax equivalent adjustment 5,558  6,875 
Total income(denominator)$96,428 $91,043 
Efficiency ratio – Non-GAAP 55.4% 59.1%
Calculation of tangible book value per share:
Total stockholders’ equity$363,434 $328,960 
Less: goodwill 2,714  2,714 
Tangible stockholders’ equity(numerator)$360,720 $326,246 
Total shares outstanding at period end(denominator) 5,567,909  5,567,909 
Tangible book value per share – Non-GAAP$64.79 $58.59 
Book value per share – GAAP$65.27 $59.08 
Calculation of tangible capital / tangible assets:
Total stockholders’ equity$363,434 $328,960 
Less: goodwill 2,714  2,714 
Tangible stockholders’ equity(numerator)$360,720 $326,246 
Total assets$6,295,426 $5,299,181 
Less: goodwill 2,714  2,714 
Tangible assets(denominator)$6,292,712 $5,296,467 
Tangible capital / tangible assets – Non-GAAP 5.73% 6.16%
Capital / assets – GAAP 5.77% 6.21%


William P. Hornby, CPA
Phone: 781-393-4630
Fax: 781-393-4071

Covid-19 and the need for talent driving executive decisions on work location …

NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A new survey of U.S. business executives concludes corporate decision makers find large urban areas less attractive business locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Released today at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference, which is being held virtually from Dallas, the study shows that nearly 50% of the executives surveyed reported that large urban areas – cities with a population of more than 1 million – are less attractive as business locations due to COVID-19. Respondents also reported that their perception of some state’s business climates has deteriorated due to the way some states have handled the pandemic.

Conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) every three years, the “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing” survey has tracked trends in economic development since its inception in 1996. In light of COVID-19, this year’s survey also includes findings about how the pandemic affects corporate location decisions and perceptions of U.S. cities and states.

“Now in its ninth iteration, the Winning Strategies survey reveals the changing perceptions of location decision makers, as well as the tools and tactics that help shape those perceptions,” said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “The confluence of a global pandemic, a presidential election and intense scrutiny of equity policies is putting a renewed interest on how location decisions are made, so the results from this year’s survey are especially interesting for communities and site selectors alike.”

Key findings from the 2020 survey, which is based on the aggregate responses of 316 corporate executives with site selection responsibilities, include:

  • States with the Best Business Climates: Texas ranks No. 1 with 48% of respondents citing the state as having a favorable business climate, followed by Georgia at No. 2 with 25%, North Carolina at No. 3 with 22%, Florida at No. 4 with 18% and Tennessee at No. 5 with 13%.
  • States with the Worst Business Climates: California has held the distinction of being the least-favorable state for the past seven editions of the survey, with the percentage rising from 57% in 2017 to 63% this year. New York, Illinois and New Jersey have also been ranked in the top five for the last three editions of the report.
  • Corporate executives are closely watching the presidential election and expecting to pivot if needed. A majority of respondents (55%) reported that should President Trump be re-elected, they—or their clients—will be more likely to explore locations in the United States.
  • Talent continues to rule the decision-making process. Even as the country has seen unemployment rates skyrocket since the start of the pandemic, skills gaps continue to exist and access to skilled talent remains the top location factor in site selection searches.
  • Even amidst the pandemic, companies are moving forward with location decisions. 55% of respondents reported that their company will make a location decision (such as move, expand or consolidate) during the next 24 months—5 percentage points up from 2017.

Best States for Business:

  1. Texas                                 48%
  2. Georgia                              25%
  3. North Carolina                    22%
  4. Florida                                18%
  5. Tennessee                         13%

Worst States for Business:

  1. California                           63%
  2. New York                           33%
  3. Illinois                                 32%
  4. New Jersey                        14%
  5. Florida                                12%

For a free copy of the full “Winning Strategies” survey report or an executive summary, visit

About DCI
Development Counsellors International (DCI) is the leader in travel and economic development marketing — increasing visitors and business inquiries for places across the globe. Since 1960, DCI has worked with more than 500 cities, regions, states and countries, helping them attract both investors and visitors. DCI has offices in New York, Denver, Toronto and Los Angeles. For more information, visit or follow @aboutDCI on Twitter.

SOURCE Development Counsellors International

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