Site Selection magazine names Georgia top state for business in 2014

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Site Selection magazine has named Georgia as the state with the Top Business Climate for 2014. As revealed in its November issue, Georgia remained on top for the second consecutive year based on a survey of corporate real estate executives and an index of criteria based largely on the magazine’s proprietary New Plant Database.

Virginia came in at No. 10, the same ranking it received last year.

Louisiana jumped from sixth place in 2013 to second place in the 2014 ranking; North Carolina, Texas and Ohio round out the top five spots.

Virginia ranked fifth overall in the executive survey portion of the survey.

The corporate site selectors’ top location criteria for 2014 were transportation infrastructure, ease of permitting and regulatory procedures, existing work-force skills, land/building prices and supply, utility infrastructure, state and local tax scheme, flexibility of incentive programs and availability of incentive programs,

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement issued by the magazine that a competitive business climate is one with "a foundation that makes businesses want to come to your state and want to grow in your state." 

The governor told Site Selection that business leaders routinely cite Quick Start, Georgia's decades-old workforce training program; logistics assets, such as the growing Port of Savannah and global connections provided by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as reasons why the state attracts capital investment.

He also cited tax reform, such as elimination of the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing, as a factor that makes the Peach State a competitive business location.

Just as important, added Deal, is matching available work skills with job openings. His High Demand Career Initiative is designed to identify areas where job openings exist and where technical training and resources are being directed to ensure those openings are filled by Georgians.

Site Selection Editor-in-Chief Mark Arend said the magazine’s database of new and expanding facilities tracks private capital projects involving $1 million or more of investment, 50 or more new jobs or 20,000 or more square feet of new construction. “Georgia has the most of those so far in 2014," he said.

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Data Inc., is based in Atlanta.

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