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2016 Top States for Doing Business Commentary: Power Companies’ Support Helps Top States to Score High

The majority of the Top States for Doing Business have one severely underrated asset in common: the strong support of well-organized and well-funded power companies.

Q3 2016
The latest results of Area Development’s Top States for Doing Business survey strongly support the conventional wisdom that the Southeast is the most competitive region of the country for business investment. Furthermore, Site Selection Group’s recent project experience, especially for production and distribution-oriented projects, further validates this theme.

One major reason for these states’ successes is their comprehensive economic development programming. With few exceptions, the states scoring best in this survey tend to have the most robust and capable state-level economic development platforms. Although these state-level efforts demonstrate each of these states’ commitment to long-term economic development, I firmly believe that the vast majority of the Top States for Doing Business have one severely underrated (at least to the casual industry follower) asset in common: the strong support of well-organized and well-funded power companies.

Whether it be Duke Energy, the different divisions of the Southern Company, Tennessee Valley Authority, or Santee Cooper and the Power Team, these competitive states are supported by utility companies that often have more marketing and project management resources than the state economic development agencies themselves. In addition, these utilities can play a positive role shaping a state’s business environment.

At the edge of the top-10, two other states stand out. It is undeniable that the perception of Indiana’s business climate has been elevated by recent policy changes the state’s leadership has advocated, the least of which is passing right-to-work legislation. I believe Kentucky, Ohio, and Missouri would greatly benefit from following suit.

With the assets North Carolina has at its disposal, I anticipate it rising up the rankings in the years to come. The state’s efforts to stabilize and improve its economic incentives offerings along with passing comprehensive tax reform should continue to contribute to its growth. If policymakers can keep sensitive political issues from negatively influencing the state’s external image, North Carolina will be as competitive as any state in the country.

TOP STATES FOR DOING BUSINESS 2016

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

Individual Categories

Overall Cost of Doing Business

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.South Carolina
  3. 3.Tennessee
  4. 4.Florida
  5. 5.Georgia
  6. 6.Alabama
  7. 6.tNorth Carolina
  8. 8.Mississippi
  9. 9.Oklahoma
  10. 10.Indiana

Corporate Tax Environment

  1. 1.Florida
  2. 2.Texas
  3. 2.tNevada
  4. 4.South Dakota
  5. 5.Wyoming
  6. 6.Georgia
  7. 6.tAlabama
  8. 6.tIndiana
  9. 9.Tennessee
  10. 10.South Carolina
  11. 10.tMississippi
  12. 10.tUtah

Business Incentives Programs

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

Access to Capital & Project Funding

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.California
  3. 3.New York
  4. 4.Georgia
  5. 5.Florida
  6. 6.Tennessee
  7. 7.North Carolina
  8. 8.Colorado
  9. 8.tMassachusetts
  10. 10.Ohio
  11. 10.tIllinois

Competitive Labor Environment

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.North Carolina
  4. 4.South Carolina
  5. 5.Alabama
  6. 6.Tennessee
  7. 7.Florida
  8. 7.tMississippi
  9. 9.Idaho
  10. 9.tUtah

Leading Work Force Development Programs

  1. 1.Georgia
  2. 2.Louisiana
  3. 3.South Carolina
  4. 4.Tennessee
  5. 5.Alabama
  6. 6.Florida
  7. 7.North Carolina
  8. 8.Indiana
  9. 8.tMichigan
  10. 8.tCalifornia

Cooperative & ResponsiveState Government

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

Favorable Regulatory Environment

  1. 1.Texas
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.South Carolina
  4. 4.Tennessee
  5. 5.Louisiana
  6. 6.Alabama
  7. 7.Florida
  8. 8.Indiana
  9. 9.Arizona
  10. 10.Mississippi

Speed of Permitting

  1. 1.South Carolina
  2. 2.Georgia
  3. 3.Alabama
  4. 4.Tennessee
  5. 5.Texas
  6. 6.Indiana
  7. 7.Louisiana
  8. 8.Mississippi
  9. 9.Florida
  10. 10.Kentucky

Most Improved Economic Development Policies

  1. 1.Indiana
  2. 1.tOhio
  3. 3.South Carolina
  4. 4.Georgia
  5. 5.Michigan
  6. 6.Alabama
  7. 7.Tennessee
  8. 8.New Mexico
  9. 9.North Carolina
  10. 9.tArizona
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