Gov. Nathan Deal has announced that Georgia’s business climate has been ranked No. 1 in the nation for the sixth consecutive year by Site Selection, a leading economic development trade publication. According to Site Selection, Georgia is the first state to hold this ranking for six consecutive years under leadership by the same governor.

“For six years now, Georgia’s business climate has been ranked No. 1 in the nation, as people from all over the country have come to our communities to find opportunity, jobs, hope and prosperity,” said Deal. “Earning this distinction six consecutive times speaks to the immense strength of our business-friendly environment and the value of the strategic investments we’ve made across our state. Today’s announcement is the result of exceptional collaboration between public and private sector partners who create economic opportunities in Georgia’s communities, as well as conservative policies that attract more and more business to our state each year. I appreciate Site Selection once again recognizing Georgia with this honor and we are proud of the foundation that we have built and maintained for over half a decade.

“Here in Georgia, we have truly cultivated an economic environment that rewards hard work and innovation, generates investments in local communities and improves the overall quality of life for families. We have not been content to rest on our laurels, as we’ve cut taxes and made even deeper investments in our workforce since first earning this distinction. We are proud to be the No. 1 state for business and as we look to the future, Georgia will continue to take the steps necessary to attract industry leaders from around the world and help homegrown small businesses succeed. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve Georgia as governor as we’ve led the nation in economic development and I look forward to Georgia retaining its position as an exceptional place to do business, work, learn, and call home for many years to come.”

Each November, Site Selection releases rankings for the top states in which to do business. Site Selection’s business climate rankings are based on a survey of corporate real estate executives and site consultants and an index consisting of tax burden criteria from the Tax Foundation and KPMG’s Location Matters analysis and qualifying projects resident in the Conway Projects Database, which tracks new and expanded business facility activity worldwide. Georgia has been ranked among the top 10 states throughout the last decade and has held the top spot for the last five years.

“A six-year top business climate winning streak is highly unusual,” said Mark Arend, editor-in-chief of Site Selection. “But it stands to reason, given Governor Deal’s commitment to making Georgia a competitive location for business early in his administration and every year since. Capital investors tell us the state delivers the fiscal soundness, logistics infrastructure, competitive business costs and workers they require today and in the future.”

Deal was joined at the news conference by Arend, Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Pat Wilson, and former GDEcD Commissioners Attorney General Chris Carr and Chris Cummiskey.

“Being recognized by Site Selection magazine for having the best business climate in the nation for the last six years is a testament to the leadership of Governor Deal and the General Assembly, and will certainly be among the many accomplishments remembered by Georgians of this administration,” said Wilson. “The last eight years have been unprecedented for our state in terms of economic development from job creation to located projects and investment. We celebrate this accolade with all of our economic development partners across the state who have played an important role in helping Georgia earn and maintain this ranking.”

Economic development highlights:

  • In the past eight years, Georgia has seen the creation of roughly 750,000 new, private sector jobs.
  • At 3.7 percent, Georgia’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest point since 2001.
  • In October 2018 alone, Deal and GDEcD announced the creation of more than 2,500 jobs and over $215 million of private sector investment in Cobb, Emanuel, Fulton, Hall and Troup counties.
  • Since 2011, GDEcD has worked on more than 2,900 economic development locations and helped to bring roughly 214,000 jobs and $39.6 billion in investment to Georgia communities.
  • GDEcD’s Global Commerce Division helped to bring in $5.56 billion in new investments for Georgia during the last fiscal year.
  • Since 2010, overall exports from Georgia have increased by 28.8 percent.
  • Since 2012, 74 percent of GDEcD location projects were outside of the metro Atlanta area.
  • When state tax cuts passed earlier this year are fully implemented, Georgia’s corporate and individual income tax rates will be reduced from 6 percent to 5.5 percent. State tax reforms will also double the standard deduction for hardworking individuals and families from $3,000 to $6,000.
  • As a result of federal and state tax reforms, Georgians could save up to $5 billion over the next five years. These reforms are together estimated to lead to a $4,200 increase in wage and salary income for the average household.
  • The percent of Georgia’s population living below the poverty line has decreased by 2.1 percent since January 2017 and is at its lowest point since 2006.
  • Monthly initial claims for unemployment insurance in Georgia recently fell to their lowest level since 1974.
  • Georgia has maintained a AAA bond rating for 21 consecutive years.
  • The state’s Rainy Day Fund, which was once almost empty, has now topped $2.5 billion, ranking it the highest in the Southeast and one of the top ten highest in the nation.
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