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Site Selection picks its top 10: Mississippi absent

Mississippi remained conspicuously missing from Site Selection magazine’s annual listing of the top 10 business climate states.

For 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. North Carolina ranks second, up from third place in 2014; Kentucky, Louisiana and Texas round out the top five spots.

Mississippi, in some past measures, has ranked in the top 10 in single digits, but our state wasn’t in any of the top 10 lists made by Site Selection this year. Our state’s experts need to pinpoint why we didn’t make it and correct deficiencies. The reason isn’t only about making the high-profile list, but about what we might be missing in not making that high grade.

“Our Conway Projects Database of new and expanding facilities 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, and Georgia has the second highest number of those so far in 2015,” said Site Selection Editor in Chief Mark Arend. “Site selectors gave Georgia very high marks in the survey component of the ranking – only Texas scored higher. This ranking, therefore, reflects actual projects announced, which result in new jobs, and the input of those deciding where projects should be located. Georgia’s first-place finish would not be possible without strong performances in both those areas.”

The rankings were out of the state’s hands: Fifty percent of the overall business climate ranking is based on a survey of corporate site selectors 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 Conway Projects 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.

Conway, Inc., founded in 1954, is an international publishing, consulting, association management and events company headquartered in Atlanta.

The big asset in gaining the top 10 standing is virtually priceless exposure.

— Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

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