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2017 Top States Commentary: Leading States Show a Bi-Partisan Focus on Economic Development

The Top States rankings reflect the practicality of working real projects in these states because their economic development organizations work hard to win and locate projects.

Q3 2017
The Top States rankings reflect the practicality of working real projects in these states. This is apparent when you compare rankings from ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) or the Tax Foundation with Area Development’s survey results. New Jersey, New York, and California consistently rank at the bottom of these other surveys, however, for our profession these states rank #26, #13 and #22, respectively. The difference lies in actually getting projects done. The economic development organizations in these states, despite sometimes large cost differentials, work tremendously hard to win and locate projects.

The top-10 states are remarkably resilient and stable. These states have consistently ranked in the top 10 because there has been a bi-partisan focus on economic development. The party residing in the governor’s mansion may change, but the importance of economic development has remained paramount.

Eight of the top-10 states are located in the southern part of the country and, more impressively, they’ve ranked in the top 10 for at least two out of the past three years. The same observation holds for Indiana and Ohio, which are the only two Midwestern states that have cracked the top 10 in the past three years.

The biggest risk to the states in the top 10 is Competitive Labor Environment. To ensure their continued competitiveness, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina will need to turn their attention to retaining and attracting more younger workers to their states. Otherwise, they run the risk of being victims of their own success.

TOP STATES FOR DOING BUSINESS 2017

  1. 1.Georgia
  2. 2.South Carolina
  3. 3.Texas
  4. 4.Tennessee
  5. 5.Louisiana
  6. 6.Alabama
  7. 7.Indiana
  8. 8.North Carolina
  9. 9.Mississippi
  10. 10.Ohio
  11. 11.Virginia
  12. 12.Florida
  13. 13.New York
  14. 14.Oklahoma
  15. 15.Michigan
  16. 16.Arkansas
  17. 17.Kentucky
  18. 18.Utah
  19. 19.Idaho
  20. 20.Wisconsin

Individual Categories

Overall Cost of Doing Business

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.South Carolina
  3. 3.Georgia
  4. 4.Mississippi
  5. 5.North Carolina
  6. 6.Indiana
  7. 7.Tennessee
  8. 7.tAlabama
  9. 9.Louisiana
  10. 10.Utah

Corporate Tax Environment

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.Florida
  3. 3.Georgia
  4. 4.Nevada
  5. 5.South Dakota
  6. 6.North Carolina
  7. 7.Tennessee
  8. 8.South Carolina
  9. 8.tIndiana
  10. 8.tNorth Dakota

Business Incentives Programs

  1. 1.South Carolina
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.Mississippi
  4. 4.Louisiana
  5. 5.Texas
  6. 6.Indiana
  7. 6.tOhio
  8. 8.Arkansas
  9. 8.tNew Jersey
  10. 10.Alabama
  11. 10.tNew York

Access to Capital & Project Funding

  1. 1.New York
  2. 1.tCalifornia
  3. 3.Texas
  4. 4.Georgia
  5. 5.Tennessee
  6. 6.North Carolina
  7. 6.tMichigan
  8. 6.tIllinois
  9. 9.New Jersey
  10. 10.Massachusetts

Cooperative & Responsive State Government

  1. 1.Georgia
  2. 2.South Carolina
  3. 3.Tennessee
  4. 4.Louisiana
  5. 5.Virginia
  6. 6.Texas
  7. 7.Alabama
  8. 7.tIndiana
  9. 9.Mississippi
  10. 10.Ohio
  11. 10.tOklahoma

Favorable Regulatory Environment

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.South Carolina
  3. 3.Georgia
  4. 4.Louisiana
  5. 5.Mississippi
  6. 6.Alabama
  7. 6.tIndiana
  8. 8.Tennessee
  9. 9.Virginia
  10. 9.tOklahoma

Speed of Permitting

  1. 1.Louisiana
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.South Carolina
  4. 4.Texas
  5. 5.Alabama
  6. 6.Mississippi
  7. 6.tIndiana
  8. 8.Tennessee
  9. 9.Virginia
  10. 10.North Carolina

Shovel-Ready Sites Program

  1. 1.Tennessee
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.South Carolina
  4. 3.tAlabama
  5. 3.tIndiana
  6. 6.North Carolina
  7. 7.Louisiana
  8. 8.Texas
  9. 9.Kentucky
  10. 10.Mississippi
  11. 11.Ohio
  12. 11.tWisconsin
  13. 13.Iowa

Favorable Utility Rates

  1. 1.
  2. 2.Tennessee
  3. 3.Georgia
  4. 4.South Carolina
  5. 5.Oregon
  6. 6.Louisiana
  7. 7.Alabama
  8. 7.tNorth Carolina
  9. 7.tIdaho
  10. 10.Texas
  11. 10.tKentucky

Competitive Labor Environment

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.South Carolina
  4. 4.North Carolina
  5. 5.Indiana
  6. 6.Tennessee
  7. 6.tMississippi
  8. 8.Virginia
  9. 8.tOhio
  10. 8.tAlabama

Leading Workforce Development Programs

  1. 1.Georgia
  2. 2.Louisiana
  3. 3.Alabama
  4. 4.South Carolina
  5. 5.Tennessee
  6. 6.North Carolina
  7. 7.Virginia
  8. 8.Texas
  9. 8.tIndiana
  10. 8.tOhio

Most Improved Economic Development Policies

  1. 1.Ohio
  2. 2.Michigan
  3. 3.Alabama
  4. 3.tNorth Carolina
  5. 5.Indiana
  6. 6.Wisconsin
  7. 6.tArkansas
  8. 8.Georgia
  9. 8.tKentucky
  10. 10.Tennessee
  11. 10.tArizona
  12. 10.tMissouri
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