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.