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Economic Development

Oct. 10 - U.S. Corporate Executives Rank Best States for Business: Georgia Ranks #3

Category: Economic Development

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

October 10, 2017 - Georgia ranks third among the 50 states for having the best business climate, according to a new survey of U.S. corporate executives released at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference in Toronto. Texas ranked first, followed by Florida at the second spot. South Carolina and North Carolina ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

Conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) every three years, the “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing” survey has tracked trends in economic development since its inception in 1996. For the first time, the survey also includes findings about how the current political climate affects business perceptions.  A majority of the executives surveyed, 57 percent, reported that the Trump presidency hasn’t impacted their investment plans and 33 percent were more likely to explore domestic expansion. 

 “The Winning Strategies survey provides insights into the minds of key decision makers—from their perceptions on locations around the world to how they get the information that shapes those perceptions,” said DCI President Andrew T. Levine. “As the competition for business expansions and talent intensifies, this information can be crucial to communities looking to set themselves apart from other locations.”

Georgia ranked No. 3 with 20 percent naming it the best state for business. Respondents who named Georgia as having a favorable business climate noted its responsive and coordinated economic development program and incentives. The state also ranked No. 1 as the best state-level economic development organization.

Key findings from the 2017 “A View from Corporate America” survey, which is based on the aggregate responses of 331 corporate executives with site selection responsibilities, include:

  • Texas has consistently held the No. 1 ranking since 1999, was again a favorite among survey respondents, with 42 percent naming the state as having one of the most favorable business climates. Rounding out the top 5 states for business are Florida at No. 2 with 22 percent, South Carolina at No. 4 with 16 percent and North Carolina at No. 5 with 15 percent. 

  • When asked which international countries they were most likely to explore for investment, 31 percent of U.S. executives named China as their top choice, followed by the United Kingdom (22 percent) and Canada (21 percent). Germany and Mexico ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.  

  • 50.3 percent of executives report that their company will make a location decision (move, expansion or consolidation) in the next 24 months. This is a 6 percent increase from 2014 results.
  • 54 percent of the survey audience report that they plan to outsource a portion of the site selection process during their next site selection search, a significant increase from 2014 (40 percent).


Best States for Business:

  1. Texas                     42%
  2. Florida                    22%
  3. Georgia                   20%
  4. South Carolina          16%
  5. North Carolina          15%

Best Countries for International Investment Opportunities:

  1. China                      31%
  2. United Kingdom        22%
  3. Canada                   21%
  4. Germany                 16%
  5. Mexico          15%

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