The Gold Standard: NC #2 in Business Climate Ranking
It’s hard enough to maintain a first-place finish in Site Selection’s annual ranking of state business climates three years in a row. Georgia did that last year. This year, it extends that winning streak with a fourth consecutive top billing. This ranking combines an equal share of subjective and objective criteria.
Fifty percent of the ranking is based on a survey of site selectors – corporate facility investors and site consultants — who indicate simply which states they deem to be the most business friendly. Texas and South Carolina were first and second by that measure, followed by Georgia. At 50 percent of the total, a third-place finish earned Georgia significant points. That’s the subjective part. The other 50 percent — the objective side — is a combination of factors primarily based on announced project data resident in the Conway Projects Database (see the methodology on page 96), which credits areas with corporate facility projects of at least $1 million in capital investment, 20 or more new jobs or new construction of at least 20,000 sq. ft.
This year’s ranking, like those of previous years, illustrates the enduring strength of the US South as a destination for corporate expansion. Ohio (third) and Indiana (10th) made the top 10, but all others in that group can be found south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
North Carolina finishes in second place overall, as it did last year, despite calls to avoid investing there due to a bathroom-access law that passed earlier in 2016. It also ranks in the top tier in the competitiveness component of the business climate ranking, meaning plenty of companies still want a Tar Heel business facility in their portfolio, whether or not some sporting events move their contests elsewhere or a handful of companies cancel their North Carolina expansions. It still has the workforce, climate and infrastructure (transportation, regulatory and otherwise) deemed necessary by capital investors.