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Site Selection Names Top State Business Climates, Alaska Missing from List

Atlanta, November 1, 2012: Site Selection magazine has named North Carolina as the state with the Top Business Climate for 2012. As revealed in the November 2012 issue of the magazine, research based in part on a survey of corporate real estate executives has identified the Tar Heel State's overall climate for capital investment to be tops in the United States, replacing Texas, which held the top slot last year. Ohio placed second this year, followed by Texas, Georgia and Virginia.

Governor Bev Perdue says her state’s quality work force and vast work-force training resources are key drivers of the business climate. “Early on, businesses talk about the quality of the work force and the training they find at the community colleges,” she told Site Selection in mid-October. "We have a good brand and a robust incentive package – not as strong as in some other states, but when you package together the local communities and the state and our ability to train workers, it adds up."

The annual business climate rankings are determined 50 percent by an index of tax burden criteria according to the Tax Foundation and KPMG’s Location Matters analysis and the states' performance in Conway Data's New Plant Database, which tracks new and expanded business facility activity, and 50 percent by a survey of corporate site selectors. The survey asked, "Based upon your experience, what are the top 10 state business climates, taking into consideration such factors as lack of red tape, financial assistance and government officials' cooperation?" By this measure Texas ranked first, followed by North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina.

"North Carolina is a regular top finisher in our annual analysis of state business climates, with 10 first-place rankings in the last 12 years," says Site Selection Editor in Chief Mark Arend. “Executives at companies investing there consistently point to its pro-business environment, proactive economic developers on the state and local levels, plentiful higher education resources, favorable climate and advantageous location on the East Coast.”

Site Selection Publications, a division of Conway Data Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 194,000 executives of fast-growing firms according to a June 2012 BPA Brand Report. The senior publication in the development field, Site Selection is also available via Site Selection Online. SiteNet Dispatch, a weekly e-mail newsletter, goes to more than 48,000 industry professionals, as do three monthly online newsletters - The Site Selection Energy Report, The Site Selection Life Sciences Report and Site Selection International.

Conway Data is an international publishing, consulting and event management company headquartered in Atlanta. The firm manages the Industrial Asset Management Council and Red Lot Locations, a London-based events producer and organizer of the World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment. The company's Pont Group subsidiary, based in New York and Mexico City, is a leading provider of marketing and communications services for investment promotion agencies.

TOP TEN STATE BUSINESS CLIMATES 2012

 1. North Carolina
 2. Ohio
 3. Texas
 4. Georgia
 5. Virginia
 6. Alabama
 7. Louisiana
 8. Tennessee
 9. South Carolina
10. Florida

EXECUTIVE SURVEY BUSINESS CLIMATE RANKINGS 2012

1. Texas
2. North Carolina
3. Virginia
4. Tennessee
5. South Carolina
T6. Georgia
T6. Florida
8. Alabama
9. Ohio
10. Indiana

SITE SELECTORS' TOP LOCATION CRITERIA FOR 2012

1. State and local tax scheme
2. Transportation infrastructure
3. Utility infrastructure
4. Land/building priced and supply
5. Ease of permitting and regulatory procedures
6. Existing work-force skills
7. Local economic development strategy
8. Legal climate (tort reform)
9. Availability of incentives
10. State economic development strategy

Source: Site Selection survey of corporate site selectors, October 2012

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