March 1, 2011
Texas Wins Site Selection Magazine's Governor's Cup Award for 2010
Top Metros and Top Micropolitans for Corporate Facility Location Also Named
Atlanta, March 1, 2011: Texas has won the 2010 Site Selection Governor's Cup, which the 57-year-old Atlanta-based magazine has awarded annually since 1978 to the U.S. state with the most new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by Conway Data Inc.'s New Plant Database. Conway Data publishes Site Selection, the oldest publication in the corporate real estate and economic development field, and the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC, at www.iamc.org). Site Selection's yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as "the industry scoreboard." The magazine's circulation base consists of 44,000 executives involved in corporate site selection decisions, most at the CEO/President/COO level.
Texas claims the 2010 Governor's Cup with 424 projects, a 50-project increase over its second-place finish in last year's contest and a wide enough margin to dethrone Ohio, which won the four previous Governor's Cups. Ohio placed second this year with 376 projects, followed by Louisiana (347), Pennsylvania (337) and Georgia (251). Texas Gov. Rick Perry welcomes the competition from other states that Site Selection's annual facilities race represents.
"It's a clear challenge to improve the business climate in their states to put pressure on Texas to be more competitive," Governor Perry tells Site Selection. "As well as Texas has done in the past and in 2010, we're not going to be what we can be, or as strong as we can be, unless we have competition from other states."
Like most states, Texas faces a budget deficit that has legislators scrutinizing state programs and incentives, including the Texas Enterprise Fund, the Texas Emerging Technology Fund and a program designed to bring film production to the state. These deal-closing funds are behind many Texas projects in recent years, and the governor is working to keep them in place so his state is not at a competitive disadvantage going forward. "There is no program that shouldn't be looked at in terms of the benefits versus the cost," he says. "I would argue that those programs have been efficiently run, and their return on investment has been substantial."
The governor also plans to work hard during the current legislative session to keep in place a small-business tax cut enacted in the last session and to expand Texas' tort reform program to include a loser-pays provision to discourage frivolous lawsuits.
"Gov. Perry has worked diligently in recent years to make his state pro-business, which is why Texas ranks as high as it does on matters of interest to site selectors," says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection. "The Governor's Cup is a clear example of this – and a critical one to the governors, because it objectively measures actual project activity."
The magazine's New Plant Database focuses on new corporate location projects with significant impact. It does not track retail and government projects, or schools and hospitals. New facilities and expansions included in the analyses must meet at least one of three criteria: (a) involve a capital investment of at least US$1 million, (b) create at least 50 new jobs or (c) add at least 20,000 sq. ft. (1,858 sq. m.) of new floor area.
More New Plant Tallies
In the second tier of metros, comprising those with populations between 200,000 and 1 million, the top performers, in order, were Baton Rouge, La.; Dayton, Ohio and Spartanburg, S.C. (tied for second); Shreveport-Bossier City, La.; Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, La.; Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa.; Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pa., and Greensboro-High Point, N.C. (tied for seventh); Augusta-Richmond Co., Ga./S.C.; and Charleston-North Charleston, S.C.
Tier Three, comprising metros with populations between 50,000 and 200,000, was led by Lake Charles, La.; Altoona, Pa., Bowling Green, Ky.; Monroe, La.; Springfield, Ohio; Alexandria, La., and Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, Mich. (tied for sixth); Anderson, Ind., and Jackson, Mich. (tied for eighth); and Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford and Winchester, Va. (tied for 10th).
In the magazine's ranking of Top Micropolitans — cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county — Thomasville-Lexington, N.C., claimed the top prize among the nation's 576 micropolitan areas, followed by Statesville-Mooresville, N.C.; Seneca, S.C.; and Wooster, Ohio, and Lancaster, S.C., (tied for fourth).
All of the above stories are posted at the magazine's award-winning Web site, www.siteselection.com.
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