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Mark Arend

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mark.arend@siteselection.com

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Press Release

Site Selection Names Georgia the Top State Business Climate for 2014

Atlanta, November 3, 2014: Site Selection magazine has named Georgia as the state with the Top Business Climate for 2014. As revealed in the November 2014 issue of the magazine, research based in part on a survey of corporate real estate executives and in part on an index of criteria based largely on Site Selection’s proprietary New Plant Database, has led to Georgia repeating its first-place finish in the 2013 ranking of state business climates. Louisiana jumps from sixth place in 2013 to second place in the 2014 ranking; North Carolina, Texas and Ohio round out the top five spots.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal says a competitive business climate is one with "a foundation that makes businesses want to come to your state and want to grow in your state."  The governor told Site Selection that business leaders routinely cite Quick Start, Georgia's decades-old workforce training program; logistics assets, such as the growing Port of Savannah and the global connectivity afforded by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; and tax reform, such as elimination of the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing, as factors that put the Peach State atop their lists of potential locations for capital investment. Just as important, noted Gov. Deal, is matching available work skills with job openings today and in the future. His High Demand Career Initiative is designed to identify those areas where job openings exist and where technical training and resources are being directed to ensure those openings are filled by Georgians. "If you've got jobs out there, and you don't have people trained to do them, then start with that," said Gov. Deal. "And tha's what we're doing."

"Our New Plant Database of new and expanding facilities tracks private capital projects involving $1 million or more of investment, 50 or more new jobs or 20,000 or more square feet of new construction, and Georgia has the most of those so far in 2014," said Site Selection Editor in Chief Mark Arend. "Additionally, Georgia ranked first in our State Competitiveness ranking earlier this year, and it came in second in the site selector survey portion of this Business Climate Ranking, behind Texas. This ranking reflects actual projects announced, which result in new jobs, and the input of those deciding where projects should be located. Georgia's first-place finish would not be possible without strong performances in both those areas."

Ranking Methodology

Fifty percent of the overall Business Climate Ranking is based on a survey of corporate site selectors who are asked to rank the states based on their recent experience of locating facilities in them. The other 50 percent is based on an index of seven criteria: performance in Site Selection's annual Competitiveness ranking; total New Plant Database compliant facilities in 2013; total new facilities in 2013 per capita; total 2014 new projects year to date; total 2014 projects year to date per capita; state tax burdens on mature firms and on new firms according to the Tax Foundation and KPMG Location Matters analysis.

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Data Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 48,000 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.

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 owns and manages London-based Conway Events/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 FDI Association, launched in November 2013.


TOP TEN STATE BUSINESS CLIMATES 2014
1. Georgia
2. Louisiana
3. North Carolina
4. Texas
5. Ohio
6. South Carolina
7. Tennessee
8. Kentucky
9. Alabama
10. Virginia


EXECUTIVE SURVEY BUSINESS CLIMATE RANKINGS 2014
1. Texas
2. Georgia
3. South Carolina
4. North Carolina
5. Virginia
6. Louisiana
7. Tennessee
8. Florida
9. Ohio
10. Alabama

SITE SELECTORS' TOP LOCATION CRITERIA FOR 2014
1. Transportation infrastructure
2. Ease of permitting and regulatory procedures
3. Existing work-force skills
4. Land/building prices and supply
5. Utility infrastructure
6 State and local tax scheme
7. Flexibility of incentive programs
8. Availability of incentives
9. Access to higher education resources
10. Legal climate (tort reform)

Source: Site Selection survey of corporate site selectors, October 2014