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Mark Arend

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mark.arend@siteselection.com

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Press Release

Site Selection Names Top State Business Climates

Atlanta, November 4, 2013: Site Selection magazine has named Georgia as the state with the Top Business Climate for 2013. As revealed in the November 2013 issue of the magazine, research based in part on a survey of corporate real estate executives has identified Georgia's overall climate for capital investment to be tops in the United States, replacing North Carolina, which held the top slot last year. The Tar Heel State placed second this year, followed by Texas, Ohio and Tennessee.

Governor Nathan Deal says his Competitiveness Initiative of 2011 helped educate his office and the state economic development community about the issues of most importance to businesses already in the state. The initiative resulted in 2012 in removal of Georgia's sales tax on energy used in manufacturing, among other benefits. New issues emerge in the business community all the time, notes the governor, and state government must be prepared to address them so that businesses can thrive. "If you're stuck in a mold in which there isn't a willingness to address new issues or an inability to address new issues, you'll get left behind," Gov. Deal told Site Selection. "We have put in place a very fluid but also very competent system of reviewing proposals for economic growth, and it has served us well."

The annual business climate rankings are determined 50 percent by an index of tax burden criteria according to the Tax Foundation and KPMG's Location Matters analysis and the states' performance in Conway Data's New Plant Database, which tracks new and expanded business facility activity; and 50 percent by a survey of corporate site selectors. The survey asked, "Based upon your experience, what are the top 10 state business climates, taking into consideration such factors as lack of red tape, financial assistance and government officials' cooperation?" By this measure alone Texas ranked first, followed by South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

"Georgia is a regular top finisher in our annual analysis of state business climates, with five Top Ten placements in the last five years," says Site Selection Editor in Chief Mark Arend. "Executives at companies investing there regularly point to its many logistics advantages, cutting edge work-force training programs, particularly Quick Start, and proactive economic developers on the state and local levels who understand the business requirements of today's capital investors."

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Data Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 49,000 executives of fast-growing firms. The senior publication in the development field, Site Selection is also available via Site Selection Online (www.siteselection.com). The publication also publishes or co-publishes e-newsletters, including The Site Selection Dispatch, Life Sciences Report, Aerospace Report and Energy Report; Site Selection International; The FDI Report; Trust Belt.com and the OnSITE Travel blog. The magazine's redesign, content and online presence last month received multiple awards from the Magazine Association of the Southeast.

Conway Data is an international publishing, consulting and association management company headquartered in Atlanta. It is also a fast-growing firm, having more than doubled in size over the past two years.

Conway also owns and manages London-based Red Hot Locations, organizer of world-wide FDI events; Berlin-based FDI advisory firm Terrain Consulting; New York-based The PONT Group, a leading PR and lead-generation firm; economic development education and research organization the Janus Institute; and manages the Industrial Asset Management Council and the forthcoming FDI Association, launching in November 2013.


TOP TEN STATE BUSINESS CLIMATES 2013
1. Georgia
2. North Carolina
3. Texas
4. Ohio
5. Tennessee
6. Louisiana
7. South Carolina
8. Virginia
9. Kentucky
10. Indiana


EXECUTIVE SURVEY BUSINESS CLIMATE RANKINGS 2013
1. Texas
2. South Carolina
3. North Carolina
4. Georgia
5. Florida
6. Tennessee
7. Indiana
8. Alabama
9. Virginia
10. Ohio

SITE SELECTORS' TOP LOCATION CRITERIA FOR 2013
1. Existing work-force skills
2. Transportation infrastructure
3. State and local tax scheme
4. Utility infrastructure
5. Land/building prices and supply
6. Ease of permitting and regulatory procedures
7. Flexibility of incentive programs
8. Availability of incentives
9. Union activity
10. Access to higher education resources

Source: Site Selection survey of corporate site selectors, October 2013