Consultants Highlight States Locational Advantages
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Thursday, September 9th, 2021
Consultants Highlight States Locational Advantages

The Top States for Doing Business, according to Area Development’s 12th annual survey of leading location consultants, are Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, in that order.

We asked a select group of consultants who are responsible for their clients’ location decisions each year to name their top state choices in 13 categories that impact companies’ location and facility plans. The states were ranked based on their number of mentions in each category, and total mentions were calculated to rank the top 20 states overall. Pro-business tax structures, responsive state governments, workforce training programs, and site-readiness programs are allowing top-ranked states to hold their positions.

For the eighth year in a row, Georgia ranks first among the states, ranking #1 for its overall cost of doing business, cooperative and responsive state government, competitive labor environment, workforce development programs, and available real estate. Texas, which landed in the #2 spot overall, ranks first for its corporate tax environment and logistics and infrastructure, and is tied with Georgia in the #1 spot for competitive labor market and available real estate.

Tennessee, which ranks #3 overall, ranks first for its site-readiness programs and energy availability and costs; South Carolina, in the #4 spot, ranks first for its favorable regulatory environment and business incentive programs. Alabama ranks first for its speed of permitting; California ranks #1 for access to capital and project funding.

As we move forward out of the pandemic, responsive state and local economic development teams, clearly defined property solutions, and minimization of risk and cost will only become more important.

Despite the economic uncertainty of the last year, plenty of companies continue to grow, and with growth comes the need to expand and explore new locations. The “Top States” in which to locate represent the general views of our expert panel of site consultants, with Georgia ranking #1 for the eighth year in a row. Read More.

Virginia was recently ranked the Best State for Business for the second year in a row by CNBC. With lower costs of doing business and a more affordable quality of life for talent to locate, mid-size markets like Richmond, Virginia, are gaining ground.

2021 Top States Commentary
Alexandra Segers, General Manager, Tochi Advisors
Their pro-business environments — with skilled labor, top workforce training programs, competitive utility rates, fast permitting processes, and more — have propelled states across the South to be ranked highly for auto-related and other projects. Read More.
Benton Blaine, Vice President, Infrastructure & Economic Development, McGuireWoods Consulting
While the top states overall remain consistent year-over-year, a deep dive into the data shows some interesting movement in the rankings. Read More.
Scott Kupperman, Founder, Kupperman Location Solutions
Responsive economic developers, clearly defined property solutions, and minimization of risk and cost put states on consultants’ top-10 list. Read More.
Les Cranmer, Senior Managing Director, Savills
Although both the location advisors and economic developers have had limited project experiences during this past year, the 2021 results align with what we have seen in past years. Read More.
Eric Stavriotis, Executive Vice President, Advisory & Transaction Services, CBRE
Pro-business tax structures, responsive state governments, workforce training programs, and site-readiness programs are allowing top-ranked states to hold their positions. Read More.
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