Contact: Mark Arend, Editor in Chief
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Press Release

Site Selection Finds Georgia Has the Top State Business Climate for 2019

Atlanta, November 6, 2019: For the seventh consecutive year, Site Selection magazine has named Georgia as the state with the Top Business Climate. As revealed in the November 2019 issue of the magazine, research based in part on a survey of corporate real estate executives and in part on an index of criteria derived from data in the Conway Projects Database has led to Georgia repeating its first-place finish once again. North Carolina ranks second, as it did the previous four years; Ohio, Texas, Virginia and South Carolina (tied for fifth) round out the top states.

“I am incredibly proud that Georgia has received the No. 1 ranking from Site Selection for the seventh year in a row,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “From day one of my administration, we have been laser-focused on creating opportunities for hardworking Georgians in every corner of the state. Our efforts to cut burdensome regulations, continue developing a world-class workforce, and market all regions of the Peach State through the formation of a Rural Strike Team have not gone unnoticed, and this announcement affirms that.”

The executive survey portion of this year’s rankings has Texas in first place followed by South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee (see full Top 10 below).

“Our readers are keenly interested in our annual state business climate ranking, because they seek locations with the greatest prospects for success,” said Site Selection Editor in Chief Mark Arend. “Georgia’s seventh consecutive Top State Business Climate win reminds them that a Georgia location will contribute to their productivity and profitability long term.”

In a survey published with the rankings, workforce skills were the most important criteria to site selectors for the fourth year in a row, with transportation infrastructure repeating at No. 2. State and local taxes, ease of permitting and regulatory procedures and workforce development complete the top five.

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% is based on an index of seven criteria: performance in Site Selection’s annual Prosperity Cup ranking; total Conway Projects Database-compliant facilities in 2018; total new facilities in 2018 per capita; total 2019 new projects year-to-date; total 2019 projects year-to-date per capita; state tax burdens on mature firms and on new firms according to the most recent Tax Foundation and KPMG Location Matters analysis.

The November 2019 issue also awards the third annual Great River Cup to the top region in per-capita corporate facility investment along the Ohio River Corridor — Paducah, Kentucky. Other features include global free trade zone rankings; reports on capital investment in India and Germany; Opportunity Zone and incentives analysis from respected national thought leaders; and a host of industry reports and regional spotlights.

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 48,000 executives of fast-growing firms. The senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development field, Site Selection and its affiliated e-newsletters are also available at Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Conway since 1954 has been a trusted advisor to corporations, governments and economic development and investment promotion agencies around the world, and in 2017 was named the Top International Company of the Year (Small Business) by the Georgia International Awards. Conway owns and manages Conway Events; Conway Custom Publishing; Conway Advisory; and New York-based Conway PR & Marketing. Conway also manages the Industrial Asset Management Council. Conway employs over 80 people in 10 offices in seven countries.


(2018 rank in parentheses)

1. Georgia (1)
2. North Carolina (2)
3. Ohio (4)
4. Texas (3)
T5. South Carolina (T5)
T5. Virginia (7)
7. Tennessee (T5)
8. Indiana (T8)
9. Alabama (T8)
10. Louisiana (T10)


(2018 rank in parentheses)

1. Texas (4)
2. South Carolina (3)
3. North Carolina (2)
4. Georgia (1)
5. Tennessee (5)
6. Ohio (outside Top 10)
7. Utah (8)
8. Arizona (outside Top 10)
9. Colorado (outside Top 10)
10. Virginia (10)


(2018 rank in parentheses)

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

Source: Site Selection survey of corporate site selectors, October 2019