Site Selection’s annual 2010 Top State Business Climate Ranking has a decidedly warm-weather feel. Sun Belt states dominate the magazine’s annual list, which uses a four-part index of criteria linked to the magazine’s proprietary database of new and expanded facilities and a survey of corporate site selectors on their preference for state business climates. The top five states in the ranking are in the Southeast or Southwest, as are nine of the top 11. The top 10 states on the 2010 list:
What’s special about North Carolina? In addition to some huge investments from the likes of Siemens and Caterpillar, Site Selection notes the work of state government leaders to promote to site selectors the quality of the work force around the state, work-force training programs, and the quality of the public schools with emphasis on meeting global standards of excellence in science and technology. “In today’s economny, the definition of a strong business climate could easily include giving site selectors the confidence that their businesses will thrive in the state because certain steps are being taken to help them ride out the broader economic storm,” the magazine notes.
Site selectors in the survey noted work force skills, state and local structures,transportation infrastructure, utility infrastructure and flexibility and availability of incentives were the factors in a state that were most important to them in making an evaluation.
So, did Site Selection get it right? Are these the states with the best environment for attracting new investment and expansions or do some others deserve higher rankings?