Contact: Mark Arend, Editor in Chief

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Press Release

Virginia Claims Top State Business Climate for 2022
Site Selection also publishes U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone and Ohio River Corridor rankings.


Atlanta, November 1, 2022 : Site Selection magazine has named Virginia as the state with the Top Business Climate in the U.S. The state, a frequent Top 10 finisher in past editions of this annual ranking, heads the list of top 25 state business climates published in the November 2022 issue of the magazine, followed by perennial top-shelf competitors Georgia, Texas, North Carolina and Arizona, in that order. The findings are based on an index that includes a survey of corporate real estate executives and site selectors; criteria derived from corporate facility investment data in the Conway Projects Database; and a number of external sources touching on such business climate factors as taxation, infrastructure, tech employment and startup ecosystem. Ohio, Florida, Indiana, California and Illinois round out the top 10.

The executive survey portion of this year’s rankings has Tennessee No. 1, followed by North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Alabama.

“Virginia consistently ranks high on our list of top business climates, but this is the first time it’s reached the top,” says Mark Arend, Editor in Chief of Site Selection. “But it claims first place by itself this year with the blend of location ingredients required by capital investors in key industry sectors. We congratulate the state level and local economic developers throughout Virginia for working to cultivate a business climate that is the best in the U.S.”

In a survey published with the rankings, workforce skills repeated this year as the most important criterion to site selectors for the seventh year in a row, with state and local tax scheme and workforce development tied for No. 2 ahead of transportation infrastructure and ease of permitting and regulatory procedures.

The overall Business Climate Ranking is based on the following updated list of criteria (new factors this year in italics): a survey of corporate site selectors who are asked to rank the states based on their recent experience of locating facilities in them; total qualifying projects in 2021 cumulative and per capita, Conway Data Projects Database; total projects 2022 YTD cumulative and per capita; 2022 Tax Foundation state business tax climate data; Inc. 5000 firms cumulative and per capita; performance in the Rankings that Matter in Site Selection’s State of the States report, Jan. 2022; CNBC America’s Top States for Business 2022; Cyberstates 2022 tech employment and % of overall employment; bipartisan infrastructure bill projects/funding as of Sept. 2022 (GSA).

Top FTZs, Top Ohio River Corridor Metros

The November 2022 issue also ranks the top U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones and top states for FTZ economic impact using an index derived from figures in the U.S. FTZ Board’s annual report to Congress released in August. In the individual zone category, the Port of Houston Authority’s FTZ 84 in Harris County, Texas, ranks No. 1, followed by San Jose’s FTZ 18 in California at No. 2 and the Port of South Louisiana’s FTZ 124 in Gramercy at No. 3. Again this year, with four of the top 20 FTZs, Texas leads the list of Top 10 States by FTZ Impact, followed by Louisiana, California, South Carolina and Tennessee. The feature also includes a look at international free zone trends and practices from James Forster of the Adrianople Group.

The November 2022 issue also includes our annual look at top Ohio River Corridor metros for project wins over the preceding 18 months, evaluating their capex and job creation numbers on a cumulative and per-capita basis. The multistate regions of Greater Louisville and Greater Cincinnati tied for first this year thanks to their own robust business climates.

Site Selection magazine, the leading publication covering global corporate real estate strategy and economic development, is in its 69th year of publication, and goes to a qualified circulation of more than 40,000* corporate end users in print, in addition to publishing all of its material at Global corporate expansion experts Conway Data Inc., publisher of Site Selection, state economic development guides under its Custom Content Publishing Division, and the Site Selection Investor Watch newsletter, has been a trusted source of business intelligence to corporations, government economic development and investment promotion agencies around the world since 1954. Conway Data also manages the Atlanta-based Industrial Asset Management Council, a professional association of 600-plus corporate real estate executives, economic developers and commercial real estate service providers celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

*June 2022; all circulation information is publisher’s own data unless otherwise specified.

(2021 rank in parentheses)
1. Virginia (T10)
2. Georgia (2)
3. Texas (3)
4. North Carolina (1)
5. Arizona (T8)
6. Ohio (4)
7. Florida (T12)
T8. Indiana (5)
T8. California (NA)
10. Illinois (T18)

(2021 rank in parentheses)
1. Tennessee (6)
2. North Carolina (T2)
3. Georgia (T2)
T4. Texas (1)
T4. Alabama (7)
6. South Carolina (5)
T7. Ohio (T10)
T7. Indiana (9)
T9. Arizona (NA)
T9. Florida (T2)

(2021 rank in parentheses)
1. Workforce skills (1)
T2. State and local tax scheme (T7)
T2. Workforce development (T3)
4. Transportation Infrastructure (2)
5. Ease of permitting and regulatory procedures (T3)
T6. Land/building prices and supply (T9)
T6. Utilities (cost, reliability) (5)
T8. Incentives (NA)
T8. Higher education resources (T7)
T8. Quality of Life (NA)

Source: Site Selection survey of corporate site selectors, October 2022

Top States by Total FTZ Economic Impact
(2021 rank in parentheses)
1. Texas (1)
2. Louisiana (3)
3. California (2)
4. South Carolina (4)
5. Tennessee (5)
6. Indiana (6)
7. Florida (8)
8. Puerto Rico (7)
9. Arizona (NA)
10. Illinois (10)