Georgia Named Top State for Business for Fifth Consecutive Year

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, September 21st, 2018

Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia has been named the No. 1 state for business for the fifth year in a row by Area Development, a leading corporate site selection and facility planning publication. Deal was joined by Area Development publisher and president Dennis J. Shea to make the announcement at the 2018 State of the Ports Address in Savannah.

“I am proud that Georgia has once again been named the top state for business by Area Development, as this coveted distinction reflects the resilience and strength of our pro-business environment,” said Deal. “We are committed to investing in our workforce and transportation infrastructure so that companies looking to relocate or expand will have Georgia on their mind today and in the future. Thanks to our low-tax structure, technology infrastructure and gateways to global commerce, including our expansive ports system, Georgia is the home of leading manufacturers, innovative technology companies, film companies, growing small businesses, international firms and industries of all kinds.

“Behind this ranking are hundreds of thousands of jobs for Georgia families and billions of dollars of meaningful investment in our communities. As we celebrate the successes of this past year and look toward a new year of promise and opportunity, I’m looking forward to the relocations, expansions, improvements and hard work that will keep Georgia No. 1 in every respect. I’m confident that our highly skilled workforce and collaborative economic development initiatives will ensure that Georgia remains the best place for businesses of all industries and sizes to find opportunity in the years to come.”

In addition to being named the top state for business, Georgia ranked first among the states for workforce development programs and cooperative and responsive state government. Among the other nine categories examined in the survey, Georgia ranked in the top five spots in each category.

Area Development’s 2018 Top States for Doing Business rankings reflect the results of a recent survey that asked site consultants who work with nationwide client bases to name their top-state picks in 11 categories that relate to companies’ location and facility planning. States were ranked based on the total of weighted scores from the following categories:

  • Overall cost of doing business

  • Corporate tax environment

  • Business incentives programs

  • Access to capital and project funding

  • Competitive labor environment

  • Leading workforce development programs

  • Shovel-ready sites program

  • Cooperative and responsive state government

  • Favorable general regulatory environment

  • Favorable utility rates

  • Most improved economic development policies.

“Responses from among our proprietary Consultants Database of hundreds of site location, supply chain, 3PL, real estate and corporate business consultants are the basis of our annual Top States for Doing Business survey rankings,” said Shea. “Our database includes active consultants who have assisted hundreds of companies with recent site location projects that generated billions of dollars of investment, created thousands of new jobs and built millions of square feet in new construction.”

Recent economic development highlights include:

  • During FY 18, GDEcD’s Global Commerce Division helped to create more than 27,000 new jobs through a record-breaking 419 expansion or relocation projects. These projects amounted to $5.56 billion of investments in Georgia communities.

  • FY 2018 was a record year for the Georgia Ports Authority, which handled 4.2 million 20-foot equivalent container units for an a year-over-year increase of 8.4 percent.

  • In 2017, total trade between Georgia and the world reached 225 unique countries and territories, exceeding $128.6 billion in economic impact.

  • In the last seven and a half years, Georgia’s exports have grown by 28.8 percent.

  • In August, Deal attended the opening of the Appalachian Regional Port, an inland rail terminal that will take 50,000 truck hauls off of Georgia highways each year and expand the reach of Georgia’s ports system hundreds of miles inland.

“For five years in a row, Georgia has been honored to be named the stop state for doing business by Area Development,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Georgia’s position as a leader in economic development is not by chance, it has everything to do with strong leadership from Gov. Deal. Our partnership approach to economic development is evident in this ranking, and our partners at the state and local level deserve credit for making Georgia the top state once again.”