State Business Regulations

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices partnered with The Pew Charitable Trusts to support states in exploring ways to improve business regulatory processes to promote economic development by removing barriers for businesses to launch, grow, and succeed.

During a period of economic recovery, Governors have been focused on supporting business establishment and growth, particularly business ownership that includes underserved and disadvantaged populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent research by the Pew Charitable Trusts indicates one way that states and territories can strengthen their economies is by improving and streamlining their regulatory processes for businesses, including small and new businesses.

Examples from around the country show state governments reducing compliance costs and boosting economic opportunity for businesses by administering regulations more efficiently and providing greater predictability and clarity in their processes, all while continuing to safeguard public health and safety.


“My administration is actively identifying regulations that are barriers to doing business in Alaska. To date, we have identified over 100 regulations to be revised or rolled back. One of my priorities as governor is to grow the economy and attract new jobs and industries to our great state. I will continue to push to make Alaska open for business with a vision for new investment, a diversified economy, and a regulatory environment that ensures safe and responsible development to Alaska’s fullest potential.”

Governor Mike Dunleavy


"One of our top priorities is ensuring we have an economy that works for all. Colorado leads the nation in cannabis innovation, outdoor recreation, and in building a clean energy economy. While these burgeoning industries have benefited from our unmatched natural beauty and our communities’ innovative and forward-looking mentality, we understand the link between Colorado’s bipartisan policies and related regulations and our long-term success."

Governor Jared Polis


Reviewing and Streamlining State Regulations and Portals for Businesses, May 4, 2022

The NGA Center for Best Practices in partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts hosted a virtual convening on improving procedures for state business regulations. The event featured state examples in two areas:

  • One-stop portals for business registration and resource access by small businesses
  • State regulatory reviews and inventories for cataloging state regulations

It highlighted model practices that help businesses save time and money, thus contributing to state economic recovery and business growth.


  • James Broughel, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
  • Sara Chambers, Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
  • Dustin Chambers, Perdue School of Business, Salisbury University
  • Ellen Harpel, Smart Incentives
  • Ronne Hines, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
  • EJ Kalafarski, New Jersey State Office of Innovation
  • Chaaron Pearson, Fiscal & Economic Policy, State Fiscal Health, Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Wisty Pender, BERO, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development
  • Sally Rood, Workforce Development & Economic Policy, NGA Center for Best Practices
  • Rachael Stephens, Workforce Development & Economic Policy, NGA Center for Best Practices
  • Liz Tanner, Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation

(Presentation Slides)

Streamlining State Business Regulatory Processes to Support Economic Recovery, August 5, 2021

The NGA Center for Best Practices and The Pew Charitable Trusts hosted a webinar focused on how states used changes to regulatory compliance and administrative processes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — and the lessons that these and similar streamlining efforts hold for how states approach business regulatory processes moving forward. Several states, highlighted in an NGA Center report, shared examples of work they are doing in this area.


  • Max Gigle, Connecticut Department of Administrative Services
  • Ashley Colvin, Virginia Department of Planning and Budget
  • Mike Preston, Arkansas Economic Development Commission
  • Rob Dixon, Missouri Department of Economic Development
  • Moderator: Madelyn Rahn, NGA Center for Best Practices

(Presentation Slides)

State EDOs Supporting Business PPE Needs During COVID-19, July 30, 2020

This webinar provided a high-level overview of the key role state Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) can play in supporting businesses’ Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs in response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic — from providing resources and coordination to connecting small businesses to critically needed PPE to helping manufacturers pivot toward PPE production.  This conversation with national and state experts highlighted strategies for sharing information, coordinating direct support, and engaging stakeholders in long-term strategic planning.


  • Mark Troppe, Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
  • Jason Kelley, IBM Blockchain Services
  • Commissioner Heather Johnson, Maine Department of Economic & Community Development
  • Mark Robyn, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Moderator: Michael Bartlett, NGA Center for Best Practices