Forbes: Colorado is 4th-best state for business

Colorado again ranks No. 4 on Forbes's latest annual list of the best states for business, retaining its 2009 ranking.

The rankings are based on business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. Business costs -- including labor, energy and taxes -- are weighted the most heavily.

Colorado ranked No. 6 on Forbes' 2008 list.

Forbes rates Colorado No. 1 among the states this year on labor supply, No. 6 on growth prospects, also No. 6 on economic climate, and No. 9 on quality of life.

The state's only below-the-median ranking among the 50 states is for business costs (33rd). Colorado ranks No. 15 for regulatory environment.

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter applauded Forbes' ranking of the state Thursday.

"Even in this tough economy, Colorado has remained aggressive, disciplined and focused when it comes to supporting businesses and encouraging economic growth," Ritter said in a statement. "Today's ranking by Forbes shows that our strategies and investments in emerging and innovative industries like clean energy, healthcare, aerospace, biosciences and technology are working. We still have many challenges ahead, but we are indeed moving forward."

Utah takes the top spot on the Forbes best-for-business list, pushing Virginia down to No. 2.

The top 10 states on Forbes' best-for-business list:

In last (50th) place: Maine. Rhode Island in No. 49, Mississippi is No. 48, Michigan is No. 47 and Hawaii is No. 46.

Click here for the Forbes report on the best states for business.

In July, CNBC rated Colorado the nation's third-best state for business, following Texas and Virginia.

Reported by:  Denver Business Journal