Work horse Deal gets boost with state’s top competitive ranking
by Don McKee
May 09, 2014 04:00 AM | 1488 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
Gov. Nathan Deal might want to borrow the slogan used so effectively in a governor’s campaign by the late George D. Busbee, who dubbed himself, “a work horse, not a show horse” to win the 1974 Democratic primary, then the election and ultimately a second four-year term, first ever for a governor of this state.

Deal’s not flashy, but like the Energizer bunny, he just keeps on going regardless of the recent bad economic times and the nagging ethics issues he dismisses as political or non-existent. He regularly announces plans by one company after another to move to Georgia or expand operations here.

Now Georgia has won recognition that is good news for the state and gives Deal bragging rights in his re-election campaign. Site Selection magazine has awarded Georgia first place among the “Top 10 Competitive States” based on the state’s gains in new business, investments, jobs and other key measure of economic growth.

Georgia beat out Texas, which topped the list last year but fell to third this year, while Tennessee came in third in the South-dominated rankings. Louisiana was fourth and North Carolina fifth, followed by Michigan, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia.

The criteria used in scoring the competitive rankings include total new and expanded facilities; total capital investment in new and expanded facilities; total new jobs created during the year, the state tax climate as ranked by the Tax Foundation; and the number of National Career Readiness Certificates per 1,000 residents ages 18 to 64.

A total of 299 qualified Georgia projects were reported by the magazine for calendar year 2013, the sixth highest nationally, up from 296 in 2012. Comparing apples to oranges, the state’s count for fiscal 2013 was 389 expansions or location announcements for fiscal 2013 that generated 31,656 jobs and $6 billion in investment.

The new recognition comes on top of last November’s designation of Georgia as the state with the best business climate by Site Selection. In this week’s magazine article, Deal talks about what matters to companies looking to relocate or expand — something he’s evidently very intimately familiar with.

“They mainly consider the efficiency of a state’s logistics network, the quality of the workforce and the cost of doing business in the region,” he said. He also talked about the key role of “our partnerships with the communities in Georgia and internationally.” Many companies have said “one of the reasons they chose Georgia was because of the support from state and local-level economic developers.”

Site Selection said, “Georgia’s transportation and logistics infrastructure is a clear competitive advantage and is often mentioned by capital investors as a chief reason the state made their short lists — and frequently topped those lists.”

The magazine is published by Conway Data, an international publishing, consulting and association management company that owns and manages businesses in London, Berlin and New York. Care to guess where Conway is headquartered? Why in Atlanta, Georgia — the best place for business in these United States.
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