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U.S. Regional Reports

The 2021 Top States for Doing Business Reflect Their Locational Advantages

Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q3 2021)

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. More

2021 Top States Commentary: Pandemic Accelerates Pre-Existing State Trends

Eric Stavriotis, Executive Vice President, Advisory & Transaction Services, CBRE (Q3 2021)

Pro-business tax structures, responsive state governments, workforce training programs, and site-readiness programs are allowing top-ranked states to hold their positions. More

2021 Top States Commentary: Location Strategies Altered by the Pandemic, But Not Results

Les Cranmer, Senior Managing Director, Savills  (Q3 2021)

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. More

2021 Top States Commentary: Commonalities Shared by the Top-Ranked States

Scott Kupperman, Founder, Kupperman Location Solutions (Q3 2021)

Responsive economic developers, clearly defined property solutions, and minimization of risk and cost put states on consultants’ top-10 list. More

2021 Top States Commentary: A Look Behind the Rankings

Benton Blaine, Vice President, Infrastructure & Economic Development, McGuireWoods Consulting (Q3 2021)

While the top states overall remain consistent year-over-year, a deep dive into the data shows some interesting movement in the rankings. More

2021 Top States Commentary: Auto Industry Projects Driving Top-Ranked States

Alexandra Segers, General Manager, Tochi Advisors (Q3 2021)

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. More

2021 Top States Commentary: Top Ranked States Hold Their Positions

Daniel Oney, Managing Director, Newmark (Q3 2021)

Despite increasing competition between states because of rising wages and a lack of ready-to-go sites, the top ranked states have remained consistent year over year. More

2021 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards Recognize State and Local Economic Development Efforts

Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q2 2021)

Although 2020’s global pandemic resulted in some projects being stalled or canceled, the annual Shovel Awards recognize many other new and expanded facilities plans that are on track and expected to created thousands of jobs and billions in investment. More

Regional Report: Southeast Ports Expand Capacity

Tom Gresham (Q1 2021)

Southeastern U.S. ports are pursuing aggressive infrastructure expansion projects to accommodate larger vessels and more cargo. More

Another Look at Rural Economies

Drew Repp, Content Manager, Emsi (Q4 2020)

Some communities are doing well, some are turning things around, some still have an uphill battle ahead of them. And this points to perhaps the biggest problem with our approach to rural economies: we lump all rural places into the singular “rural America” bucket. More

2020 Top States for Doing Business Showcase Their Pro-Business Environments

Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q3 2020)

Despite changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the states across the South seem to have all their ducks in a row when it comes to attracting business. More

2020 Top States Commentary: Best-in-Class Responsiveness

Jacob Everett , Credit & Incentives Practice, McGuire Sponsel (Q3 2020)

Effective collaboration with and responsiveness from state/regional/local economic developers is highly valued by consultants and business leaders alike. More

2020 Top States Commentary: A Premium on Skills and Training

Chris Schastok, Vice President, Economic Incentives Group (EIG), CBRE, Inc. and Eric Stavriotis, Executive Vice President, Advisory & Transaction Services, CBRE (Q3 2020)

States having competitive labor markets also have highly regarded training programs. More

2020 Top States Commentary: Partnering, Innovating, and Listening!

Bradley Migdal, Executive Managing Director, Business Incentives Practice, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. (Q3 2020)

The top ranked states continue to innovate and, importantly, they listen in order to adopt policies that reflect changes in the business world. More

2020 Top States Commentary: Lower Business Costs, Decreasing Regulations

Leslie Wagner, Senior Principal, Ginovus (Q3 2020)

A hyper focus on creating business-friendly environments with less burdensome regulations has helped several states move up in the rankings. More

2020 Top States Commentary: Long-Term Economic Development Policies-Constants in a Changing World

Christopher D. Lloyd, Senior Vice President and Director, Infrastructure and Economic Development, McGuireWoods Consulting (Q3 2020)

Companies making expansion and relocation decisions seek consistent and predictable economic development policies, an attribute responsible for the same states receiving a top rank over many years. More

2020 Top States Commentary: Workforce Training, Utility Partners, and Incentive Programs

Bob Cook, Senior Vice President, Latin America, Site Selection Group, LLC (Q3 2020)

Having strong utility partners, along with outstanding workforce training programs and incentive programs, has led to top rankings for the Southeast States. More

2020 Top States Commentary: Investment in Workforce Training and Site-Readiness

Jason Hamman, President and Founder, The Hamman Consulting Group (Q3 2020)

While workforce training is a paramount concern, investing in site-readiness is also critical to meeting client needs and is an attribute of the top ranked states. More

2020 Top States Commentary: Significant Port Access

Walter Kemmsies, Ph.D., Managing Director, Economist and Chief Strategist, U.S. Ports, Airports and Global Infrastructure Group, JLL (Q3 2020)

Access to fast-growing word trade is important to industry, and three of the top five ranked states claim significant ports. More

2020 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards Recognize State and Local Economic Development Efforts

Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q2 2020)

While the current COVID-19 crisis may put some development on “pause,” our annual Shovel Awards recognize states that garnered large job-creating and investment projects over the course of the previous year. More

Regional Report: Manufacturing Drives Growth in the Southern States

Tom Gresham (Q1 2020)

Big-picture data provides evidence of a regional economy on the rise, with manufacturing as the centerpiece of its growth. More

Regional Report: Technology and Natural Resources Fuel Pacific States’ Economies

Tom Gresham (Q1 2020)

Located at the epicenter of the nation’s tech industry, the Pacific region also benefits from a wealth of agricultural and natural resources as well as its locational advantages. More

Regional Report: The Plains States Leverage Their Synergies

Tom Gresham (Q1 2020)

Growth and collaboration mark the economic development picture in the Plains States, which have joined forces to compete against other more populous regions. More

Regional Report: Healthy Growth Marks Florida’s Economy

Tom Gresham (Q4 2019)

Companies in diverse industries are attracted to Florida’s low taxes and extensive international ties. More

Regional Report: Kentucky Continues to Break Records in 2019

Mark Crawford, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q4 2019)

Low business costs are drawing businesses to Kentucky, as the state also tries to equalize opportunity in its rural areas through Opportunity Zone incentives. More

Regional Report: Positive Signs for the Mississippi Economy

Tom Gresham (Q4 2019)

Businesses in Mississippi benefit from customized training programs and enhanced incentives, as well as the state’s investments in infrastructure. More

Regional Report: Population and GDP Grow in South Carolina

Tom Gresham (Q4 2019)

South Carolina’s business-friendly environment is drawing new businesses that can take advantage of its longstanding workforce training program to fulfill their needs. More

2019 Top States for Doing Business: Georgia Ranks #1 Sixth Year in a Row

Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q3 2019)

The top-ranked states have landed on the radar of today’s site selection consultants because of their low business costs, generous incentive programs, and competitive labor environments, among other probusiness advantages. More

Regional Report: Georgia - An International Business Destination

Mark Crawford, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q3 2019)

Foreign direct investment and global trade have had a huge impact on economic development in the state of Georgia. More

2019 Top States for Doing Business Commentary: Southern States Continue to Lead the Pack; Midwest Gains Ground

Lindsey Cannon, Director, Quest Site Solutions (Q3 2019)

Although strong economic development teams and business-friendly policies have helped to draw companies to the Southern States, all states must continue to adapt to the changing site selection environment. More

Regional Report: Energy and Infrastructure Lead the Way in Louisiana

Mark Crawford, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q3 2019)

Through its infrastructure upgrades and workforce development initiatives, Louisiana is drawing investment from both traditional and advanced technology companies. More

2019 Top States for Doing Business Commentary: Long-Term Perspective Shows Southern States as “Go-To” Places for Business

Les Cranmer, Senior Managing Director, Savills  and Art M. Wegfahrt, Corporate Managing Director, Savills (Q3 2019)

It can be said that shared reasoning garnered through client collaboration, as well as recent experience gained through working on location projects with the various states, validates the results of the most recent Top States survey. More

2019 Top States for Doing Business Commentary: States with Improved Economic Development Policies Rise to the Top

Amy Gerber, Executive Managing Director, Business Incentives Practice, Cushman & Wakefield (Q3 2019)

Once implemented, changes in economic development policies take many years to achieve the desired results, but the survey rankings show that such changes are having the desired effect. More

Regional Report: Arkansas Making Strides in Manufacturing and Technology

Tom Gresham (Q3 2019)

Although its GDP growth has been sluggish, Arkansas boasts a low cost of doing business and of living. More

Regional Report: Building Economic Momentum in Oklahoma

Tom Gresham (Q3 2019)

Oklahoma seeks to capitalize on recent growth by continuing to diversify its economy, upgrading its educational system, and strengthening its brand. More

2019 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Recipients Garnered Large Job-Creating and Investment Projects in Diverse Industries

Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q2 2019)

While e-commerce was creating thousands of jobs across the nation last year, high-profile, diverse projects in the manufacturing, information technology, financial services, energy, and other sectors were also making news. More

2018 Top States for Doing Business: Georgia Ranks #1 Fifth Year in a Row

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine and Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q3 2018)

Competitive labor environments and leading workforce development programs, low taxes and utility costs, favorable regulatory environments, and cooperative state governments are among the top-ranked states’ pro-business attributes. More

2018 Top States for Doing Business Commentary: Can Trailing States Catch the Southern Coastal States Leading the Pack?

Von Hatley, Managing Director, Jones Walker Consulting, LLC (Q3 2018)

Those states not rated highly by the responding consultants have an opportunity to create policy to get on the leader board, but the implementation timeline must be longer than any incumbent political administration in order to achieve meaningful results. More

2018 Top States for Doing Business Commentary: Southern States Continue Their Domination

Tracy King Sharp, Chief Operating Officer, Boyette Strategic Advisors (Q3 2018)

Favorable business tax climates and competitive labor environments — as well as aggressive utility economic development programs — have helped the Southern States to come out on top. More

2018 Top States for Doing Business Commentary: Importance of Addressing the Skill Labor Shortage

Alexander Frei, Senior Vice President, CBRE (Q3 2018)

Elite workforce development programs are helping to offset any skills shortages due to tight labor market conditions. More

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