Top States for Doing Business 2013 Consultant Commentary: State Leadership Does Matter
The states ranking in the top-10 for doing business understand the need to have “business-friendly” policies in place as well as low overall structural costs.
Robert Hess, Executive Managing Director, Consulting, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (Q3 / Summer 2013)
Consistency and confidence are two major intangible business location drivers for our corporate clients these days.
The results of the 2013 Top States for Doing Business survey demonstrate that the southeastern region of the U.S.
really gets it. Risk management and certainty around investment decision-making is rising as a critical location factor,
and Texas, Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi continue to maintain their business climate
“edge” through focused advancement of their “business-friendly” policies as well as overall low structural costs.
Recent entrant Louisiana into this mix of pro-business climate states is exciting and refreshing — not because I am
biased – rather a demonstration that leadership does matter. Louisiana has aligned its public and private sectors
across a number of target industries, tackled tough systemic issues like work force/skill development with positive
results, invested in a world-class training capability, and structured aggressive targeted incentive programs that have
resulted in marked improvement to the state’s survey ranking.
I think many of my colleagues in the site selection business struggle with surveys, especially at the state level,
because many of our clients look at clusters, eco-systems, or other spatial contexts like edge cities or urban core strategies.
In addition, it does depend on the industry, the asset type, and tactical issues like supply-chain infrastructure,
venture capital, site availability/readiness, and quality of life. You can take these geographic constructs and specific
business condition needs and overlay them on the survey results and see why places like California, Michigan, Arizona,
and Florida emerge throughout the survey as leading states for business development. Our business at Newmark
Grubb Knight Frank in the last two years has taken a intentional turn toward deep labor analytics and talent attraction/
retention due diligence, and this trend will bode well for many of the states not on the list to compete for small and
medium enterprise expansions and relocations that are less sensitive to business climate dynamics.
Lastly, I am convinced that last-minute capital spending for many business sectors and complex corporate decisionmaking
processes for public companies will continue to showcase states like Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia,
Mississippi, and Tennessee. Why? Because these states understand that the speed of business through streamlined
permitting and reasonable regulatory policy supports meaningful and sustainable job creation and investment.
Top States For Doing Business 2013
Full Rankings and Results
Top State's Analysis
- 2.tSouth Carolina
- 5.North Carolina