No longer a bridesmaid, Georgia claims the limelight in 2013 as the state with the best business climate, according to Site Selection’s annual ranking of states’ attractiveness to corporate facility investors.
The Peach State placed fourth in last year’s ranking, second in 2011 and sixth in 2010. North Carolina, the belle of the ball for several of the publication’s Top Business Climate rankings in recent years — it finished first again last year — places second in 2013, followed by Texas, Ohio and Tennessee in the top five slots.
The Southeast is once again heavily represented in the top 10, but Indiana joins the mix this year, rising from a 12th-place finish in 2012.
In early 2012, Caterpillar announced a site near Athens as the location for a construction equipment plant that will employ 1,400 by 2020. Baxter International broke ground in August 2012 on a $1-billion complex near Covington that will begin producing biomedical treatments in 2018. And Porsche broke ground on its $100-million US headquarters at a former Ford Motor Co. site adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in November 2012.
All of these projects have been covered in these pages, but they bear mention here in the context of this ranking. These companies had plenty of location options, especially in the business-friendly Southeast. They chose Georgia.