The trade magazine Area Development has named Georgia as the top state for doing business in its 2014 survey of site consultants. The Peach State leapfrogged over last years winner, Texas, to take the top honors.
Georgia’s success has come from dead reckoning in areas that are crucial to business locators. That includes the state’s welcoming and business-friendly government, to be sure. And employers are enthusiastic about one of the Georgia legislature’s most recent moves: passing significant workers’ compensation reform that cuts costs for business.
The state also enjoys a strong infrastructure, featuring Hart International, one of the world’s most efficient passenger airports; two deepwater ports; and one of the nation’s most extensive surface-transportation networks. (The consultants ranked Georgia No. 2 for its overall infrastructure and global access.)
No wonder that Georgia has been able to announce a continuing string of business expansions and relocations over the last year. One of the biggest was the plan hatched by Kia to expand its auto-making operations in the state as the Korean automaker increases its share of U.S. car sales. Its Georgia workforce has, in fact, helped the brand move to the top of automotive-quality perceptions among American consumers. In fact, Georgia’s Quick Start has ranked as the leading workforce development program among site consultants polled in the Area Development Top States for Doing Business survey in each of the five years it has been conducted.
The honor is the third to be earned by Georgia in 2014. First was being named the number one place to do business by Site Selection Magazine back in May. Some accused the Deal Administration of paying for the honor, however the recognition by CNBC as the number one place to do business confirmed Georgia’s position.
Needless to say, the Governor’s office was quick to crow about the new honor.
“The fact that these site consultants ranked us No. 1 for cooperative state government and for our leading workforce development programs is a testament to the governor’s leadership and the pro-business environment he has created here in Georgia,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr. “These new rankings spotlight our overall economic development package and solidify Georgia’s role as a leader in the global marketplace.”
Georgia’s ranking was based on survey responses in three areas: the business environment, the labor climate and infrastructure / global access.