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Gov. Nathan Deal Sept. 20 announced that Georgia has been named the No. 1 state for business for the fifth year in a row by Area Development, a leading corporate site selection and facility planning publication. Deal was joined by Area Development Publisher Dennis J. Shea to make the announcement at the 2018 State of the Ports Address in Savannah.Open in full size
“I am proud that Georgia has once again been named the top state for business by Area Development, as this coveted distinction reflects the strength and resilience of our pro-business environment,” said Deal. “We are committed to investingin our workforce and transportation infrastructure so that companies looking to relocate or expand will have Georgia on their minds today and in the future. Thanks to our low-tax structure, technology infrastructure and gateways to global commerce, including our expansive ports system, Georgia is the home of leading manufacturers, innovative technology companies, growing small businesses, film productions and studios, international firms and industries of all types.

 


“Behind this ranking are hundreds of thousands of jobs for Georgia families and billions of dollars of meaningful investment in our communities. As we celebrate the successes of this past year and look toward a new year of promise and opportunity, I’m looking forward to the relocations, expansions, improvements and hard work that will keep Georgia No. 1 in every respect. I’m confident that our highly skilled workforce and collaborative economic development initiatives will ensure that Georgia remains the best place for businesses of all industries and sizes to find opportunity in the years to come.”

In addition to being named the top state for business, Georgia ranked first among the states for workforce development programs and cooperative and responsive state government. Georgia also ranked in the top five spots in each of the other nine categories examined in the survey.

Area Development’s 2018 Top States for Doing Business rankings reflect the results of a recent survey that asked site consultants who work with nationwide client bases to name their top-state picks in 11 categories that relate to location and facility planning. States were ranked based on the total of weighted scores from the following categories:

  • Overall cost of doing business
  • Corporate tax environment
  • Business incentives programs
  • Access to capital and project funding
  • Competitive labor environment
  • Leading workforce development programs
  • Shovel-ready sites program
  • Cooperative and responsive state government
  • Favorable general regulatory environment
  • Favorable utility rates
  • Most improved economic development policies.


“Responses from among our proprietary Consultants Database of hundreds of site location, supply chain, 3PL, real estate and corporate business consultants are the basis of our annual Top States for Doing Business survey rankings,” said Shea. “Our database includes active consultants who have assisted hundreds of companies with recent site location projects that generated billions of dollars of investment, created thousands of new jobs and built millions of square feet in new construction.”

Recent economic development highlights include:

  • During FY 18, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD)’s Global Commerce Division helped to create more than 27,000 new jobs through a record-breaking 419 expansion or relocation projects. These projects amounted to $5.56 billion of investments in Georgia communities.
  • Since Deal took office, more than 40 new corporate headquarters or relocations have come to Georgia with a total investment value of over $357 million.
  • Last November, Georgia was named the No. 1 state for business for the fifth consecutive year by Site Selection, another leading economic development publication.
  • In 2017, total trade between Georgia and the world reached 225 unique countries and territories, exceeding $128.6 billion in economic impact. 
  • FY 18 was a record year for the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), which handled 4.2 million 20-foot equivalent container units for a year-over-year increase of 8.4 percent.
  • GPA finished FY 18 with 20 consecutive months of positive year-over-year growth.
  • In August, Deal attended the opening of the Appalachian Regional Port, an inland rail terminal that will take 50,000 truck hauls off of Georgia highways each year and expand the reach of Georgia’s ports system hundreds of miles inland.
  • The economic impact of film and television production has grown from $2.4 billion in FY 11 to $9.5 billion in FY 18, an increase of 296 percent over seven years.
  • The economic impact of tourism in Georgia totaled $63.1 billion in 2017.

“For five years in a row, Georgia has been honored to be named the top state for doing business by Area Development,” said GDEcD Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Georgia’s position as a leader in economic development is not by chance, it has everything to do with strong leadership from Gov. Deal. Our partnership approach to economic development is evident in this ranking, and our partners at the state and local level deserve credit for making Georgia the top state once again.” 

Area Development’s full report on the 2018 Top States for Doing Business is available here.