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Area Development ranks S.C. No. 3 for doing business

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Staff Report
colanews@scbiznews.com
Published Sept. 10, 2015

Area Development magazine ranked South Carolina as the No. 3 state for doing business, based on a survey of site selection consultants.

The Palmetto State received more than 200 mentions from consultants who were asked to rank the top 5 states for business environment, labor climate, and infrastructure and global access, the magazine said.

Gov. Nikki Haley, along with state and local officials, breaks ground with Giti Tire executives on a manufacturing plant in Lancaster County. (Photo/Provided)Gov. Nikki Haley, along with state and local officials, breaks ground with Giti Tire executives on a manufacturing plant in Lancaster County. (Photo/Provided)

Based on the consultants’ choices, the top states for overall business environment are Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee; for overall labor climate, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, North Carolina and Alabama; and for overall infrastructure and global access, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Indiana and Illinois.

Overall, Georgia ranks as the top state for doing business, followed by Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida, which tied for No. 5. The rest of the top 10 are Indiana, North Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

“Offering state-run workforce development programs that collaborate with universities and colleges to customize workforces for their new or expanded facilities is something business looks for in picking a site,” the magazine said.

One example the magazine cited was readySC, which recruits and screens potential employees and offers training to fit a firm’s needs.

Being solid right-to-work states also makes the Southeast a strong draw for manufacturers, the magazine said, noting that South Carolina’s unionization rate for the private sector is 1.9%, one of the lowest in the country.

However, being a right-to-work state “does not have to be a determining factor in site selection,” the magazine said.

For example, in Kentucky, which does not have a right-to-work law, union membership has never exceeded the national average and, in fact, decreased by 3% in 2014. The majority of existing unionized Kentucky facilities are the result of national contracts, the magazine said.

“Companies want a quick, seamless startup,” the magazine said. “With an ever-widening global market, they need a well-integrated, modern transportation infrastructure to be competitive in these markets. Also, top-performing states know how to deal with tough times, something many CEOs still have in the back of their minds.”

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