No. 1 State For Business

Georgia Leads in Workforce Training, Global Access and Infrastructure

 Georgia has recently been ranked in the following categories:

  1. NO. 1 STATE FOR BUSINESS (SITE SELECTION: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013)

“Our Conway Projects Database of new and expanding facilities is the basis of much of this ranking,” said Site Selection Editor-in-Chief Mark Arend. “It tracks private capital projects involving $1 million or more of investment, 20 or more new jobs or 20,000 or more square feet of new construction. Georgia finished in the top five of most of the ranking criteria that are based on those projects, and site selectors ranked Georgia third in the nation in the executive survey component. This makes Georgia the state to beat for the fifth consecutive year, and it signals to our readers and to the broader capital investment community that Georgia competes to win.”

There are many reasons why Georgia consistently ranks as the top state for business. Companies access global markets through seamless air, sea, rail and highway networks – including the Port of Savannah, the fourth-largest and fastest-growing container seaport in North America, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the most traveled, most efficient passenger airport in the world.

Georgia’s workforce of more than 6.3 million is constantly refreshed by the growing number of people who move here along with the 90,000 graduates from 85 colleges, technical colleges and universities across the state, including nationally-ranked Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University and the University of Georgia.

A culture of collaboration fuels the growth of Georgia’s diverse economy. It is reflected in the state’s pro-business framework, cutting-edge research centers and organizations such as the Centers of Innovation and internationally-acclaimed Quick Start, which consistently ranks as the top workforce development program in the nation.

Seventeen Fortune 500 headquarters and more than 450 Fortune 500 companies call Georgia home because of the high quality of life and low cost of doing business. Dynamic landscapes from the mountains to the beaches to vibrant metropolitan areas create an ideal place to grow a family and build a business.

Explore the Georgia lifestyle. Delve into informative Case Studies to experience the expert assistance we provide to companies. Watch examples of Real Success in our interactive video hub. Or Contact Us to become Georgia’s next success story.

Georgia Named NO. 1 for Business 5 Years in a Row

1 Georgia Ranks #1 FIFth Year in a Row (2017)

When Georgia won its second Top Business Climate ranking in 2014, it was just getting warmed up. It won a third in 2015, a fourth in 2016 and, in 2017, a fifth consecutive Site Selection Top Business Climate finish. Governor Nathan Deal is the only governor to have headed a state’s executive branch for five consecutive wins. The ranking is a blend of subjective and objective measures – 50 percent is based on a survey of corporate site selectors who indicate their top states, and 50 percent is based on an index of largely Conway Projects Database measures of where facilities are actually being sited (see the methodology).

To underscore Georgia’s case for being a predictable and business-friendly capital investment destination, Georgia ranked the same or better than it did in all of Site Selection’s 2016 measures of state business climates. In other words, even at number one last year for the fourth consecutive time, there was still room for improvement – and the Peach State did just that, sealing a fifth straight win. Read More>

2 Georgia Ranks #1 Fourth Year in a Row (2016)

Bringing in business is a top priority for every state. New corporate locations and expansions create jobs and expand and diversify the tax base. Even though most would agree we have largely recovered from the Great Recession, the memories of that brutal downturn are still painfully sharp and linger — and still impact decision-making by corporate leadership. Today companies pay more attention to how states held on to and supported business during the Great Recession; in turn, states are more motivated to do all they can to attract, diversify, and support new business and stand out from competing states.

The economic development playing field is more competitive than ever. Standard incentives just don’t cut it anymore — it is a buyer’s market, and companies aren’t shy about telling states what they want, and how they expect to be treated. They are also fully prepared to shop around, even if it lengthens the decision-making process. Read More>

Video Announcement



To download the high resolution images please click here.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia has been named the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business for the fourth consecutive year by Site Selection magazine, a leading economic development trade publication. He was joined in the announcement at the State Capitol on November 2, 2016 by the following individuals.

  • Mark Arend, Editor-in-Chief of Site Selection
  • Rose Burden, Executive Director and the Southeast Leader for the Business Tax Credit and Incentives Practice at Ernst & Young LLP
  • Chris Carr, Attorney General of Georgia
  • Shay Foley, GM, Atlanta Manufacturing of Alcon

“For a remarkable fourth time in a row, Georgia has once again been named the top state in nation in which to do business, highlighting the vitality of our state economy and the business-friendly environment that continues to help companies grow,” said Governor Deal. “The collaborative framework on both state and local levels has led to the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs for Georgia families, enhanced community outreach by investing millions in local areas and improved the overall quality of life for all citizens. In the last four years, many small businesses have expanded in Georgia and numerous international companies have established operations here, reflecting the foundation offered to job creators. Georgia leads the way in providing companies with a low tax burden and a business-friendly climate. In return, there have been more than 575,000 private sector jobs created since 2011. This recognition for our statewide economic development is a testament to the unwavering commitment displayed by our industry leaders, community partners and the people of Georgia.”

3 Georgia Ranked No.1 Business Climate In the Nation (2015)

Number 1 State for Business

Governor Deal and Commissioner Chris Carr stand with Mark Arend, editor of Site Selection magazine, General Counsel Marco G De Santo of Mercedes Benz North America and Managing Director Andreas Lehnhofer of Häring. They joined together at Georgia’s State Capitol to announce the state’s #1 Business Climate ranking for the third year in a row.

Number_One_State_for_BusinessFor the third consecutive year, Site Selection magazine has named Georgia as the state with the Top Business Climate. As revealed in the November 2015 issue of the magazine, research based in part on a survey of corporate real estate executives and in part on an index of criteria based largely on the Conway Projects Database, has led to Georgia repeating its first-place finish in the 2014 and 2013 rankings of state business climates. North Carolina ranks second, up from third place in 2014; Kentucky, Louisiana and Texas round out the top five spots.

Ranking Methodology

Fifty percent of the overall Business Climate Ranking is based on a survey of corporate site selectors who are asked to rank the states based on their recent experience of locating facilities in them. The other 50 percent is based on an index of seven criteria: performance in Site Selection’s annual Competitiveness ranking; total New Plant Database compliant facilities in 2014; total new facilities in 2014 per capita; total 2015 new projects year to date; total 2015 projects year to date per capita; state tax burdens on mature firms and on new firms according to the Tax Foundation and KPMG Location Matters analysis.

“Capital investors tell us the ideas we put in place are actually working,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “Our tax reform in the manufacturing arena, for example, to remove the sales tax from energy use was a huge boost to our manufacturing sector.”

The governor also points to “removing as many regulatory impediments as possible and providing a well-educated and trained workforce” as deliverables of particular interest to companies looking at Georgia locations. Corporate executives routinely cite Quick Start, Georgia’s workforce training program; logistics assets, such as the Port of Savannah and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; and tax reform as the factors that brought them to Georgia.

Read the 2015 Site Selection article >>

4 Georgia Ranked No. 1 Business Climate in the Nation (2014) 

Mark Arend, Editor-in-Chief of Site Selection magazine joins Governor Nathan Deal on the side of the stage to unveil the new magazine cover.

Mark Arend, Editor-in-Chief of Site Selection magazine, joins Governor Nathan Deal on the side of the stage to unveil the new magazine cover.

Georgia, for the second consecutive year, has been ranked the No. 1 state in the nation for business by Site Selection magazine, one of the nation’s top economic development trade publications. The magazine releases its annual rankings each November. Fifty percent of the annual business climate rankings are determined by a survey of corporate site selectors. The other 50 percent is based on an index of seven criteria: performance in Site Selection’s annual Competitiveness ranking; total New Plant Database compliant facilities in 2013; total new facilities in 2013 per capita; total 2014 new projects year to date; total 2014 projects year to date per capita; state tax burdens on mature firms and on new firms according to the Tax Foundation and KPMG Location Matters analysis.

Read the Site Selection article here>>

5 Georgia Ranked No. 1 Business Climate in the Nation (2013)

Governor Nathan Deal along with senior executives from Gulfstream, Home Depot and UPS gathered at the State Capitol to announce that Georgia is the “#1 Business Climate in the Nation” according to Site Selection magazine.


Contact GDEcD

To get help expanding or relocating a business in Georgia, contact the Georgia Department of Economic Development or call 404.962.4000.

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