Mark Arend, Editor in Chief

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Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 • USA

Press Release

Site Selection Names Georgia the Top State Business Climate for 2016

Atlanta, November 2, 2016: For the fourth consecutive year, Site Selection magazine has named Georgia as the state with the Top Business Climate. As revealed in the November 2016 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 the Conway Projects Database, has led to Georgia repeating its first-place finish in the 2015, 2014 and 2013 rankings of state business climates. North Carolina ranks second, as it did in 2015; Ohio, Texas and Tennessee round out the top five spots.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal tells Site Selection the state’s capital investment success in recent years is not limited to activity in the metro Atlanta region. “More and more local economic developers are very active on their own and in conjunction with the state,” said the governor. “That is a change that has happened in the last 10 years, and it’s a good thing. Companies that come here aren’t just going to the proverbial place to be. The place to be now is almost anywhere in Georgia.”

Corporate executives routinely cite Georgia Quick Start, the state's workforce training program; logistics assets, such as the Port of Savannah and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; and tax and education reform as the factors that brought them to Georgia.

"Our Conway Projects Database of new and expanding facilities tracks private capital projects involving $1 million or more of investment, 20 or more new jobs or 20,000 or more square feet of new construction," said Site Selection Editor in Chief Mark Arend. "Site selectors gave Georgia very high marks in the executive survey component of the ranking — only Texas and South Carolina scored higher. This ranking, therefore, 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 of 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 Prosperity Cup ranking; total Conway Projects Database-compliant facilities in 2015; total new facilities in 2015 per capita; total 2016 new projects year-to-date; total 2016 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 Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 45,000 executives of fast-growing firms. The senior publication in the development field, Site Selection and its affiliated e-newsletters are also available via Site Selection Online. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Conway since 1954 has been a trusted advisor to corporations, government economic development and investment promotion agencies around the world. Conway owns and manages Conway Events; Berlin-based FDI Conway Advisory; and New York-based Conway PR & Marketing. Conway also manages the Industrial Asset Management Council. Conway in 2013 launched a Custom Publishing Division, and employs over 80 people in 10 offices in seven countries.


1. Georgia
2. North Carolina
3. Ohio
T4. Texas
T4. Tennessee
6. Virginia
T7. Louisiana
T7. South Carolina
9. Alabama
10. Indiana


1. Texas
2. South Carolina
3. Georgia
4. Tennessee
5. North Carolina
T6. Virginia
76. Indiana
8. Alabama
9. Florida
10. Utah


1. Workforce skills
2. Incentives
3. State and local tax scheme
4. Transportation infrastructure
5. Land/building prices and supply
6. Workforce development
7. Utilities (cost, reliability)
8. Higher education resources  
9. Ease of permitting and regulatory procedures
10. Quality of life

Source: Site Selection survey of corporate site selectors, October 2016