As the world’s greatest golfers tee off at the Masters Tournament in Augusta to compete for the prized Green Jacket, Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that the State of Georgia has shattered its own record by being named No. 1 for business climate for the eighth consecutive year by Site Selection magazine.
In 2019, Georgia became the only state to earn this distinction seven consecutive times in the history of Site Selection’s rankings, and it is now the only state to receive the honor eight times in a row. The announcement presentation followed a tour of Bridgestone Golf’s headquarters and research and development facility in Covington, Georgia, where the Governor was also presented with golf balls stamped with the “No. 1 State” artwork to commemorate the occasion.
“I’m so proud that Georgia has earned this top business distinction for a record-setting eight years, and it is an honor to accept this award from Site Selection magazine,” said Governor Kemp. “Our top-notch workforce development programs and pro-business environment, along with our strong logistics infrastructure, have further solidified the Peach State as the best place in the nation to live, work, raise a family, and start or grow a business. I thank our partners in both the public and private sectors, our world-class economic development team, and the hardworking Georgians throughout the state who helped us beat our own record with this unprecedented achievement.”
Site Selection magazine is an internationally circulated business publication covering corporate real estate and economic development. The publication’s rankings are 50% based on an index of seven criteria and 50% on the input received from a survey of independent site location experts who are asked to rank states based on their recent project experiences. This year, Georgia shares this top ranking with North Carolina.
“Our readers are keenly interested in our annual state business climate ranking, because they seek locations with the greatest prospects for success,” said Site Selection Editor in Chief Mark Arend. “Georgia’s eighth consecutive Top State Business Climate win reminds them that a Georgia location will contribute to their productivity and profitability long term.”
In a survey published with the rankings, workforce skills were the most important criteria to site selectors for the fifth consecutive year, with workforce development programs coming in second place. Transportation infrastructure, ease of permitting and regulatory procedures, along with state and local taxes completed the top five issues of importance to the process.
President and CEO of Bridgestone Golf Dan Murphy hosted Governor Kemp, alongside First Lady Marty Kemp, and members from both the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and Site Selection magazine, as they safely celebrated these accolades. The event also highlighted Bridgestone Golf’s continued success in the state as they celebrate their 30th anniversary in Covington. The Georgia Made™ company employs nearly 160 Georgians and has continued to make new investments in research and development. Earlier this week, Bridgestone re-signed Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau to long-term contract extensions, which includes DeChambeau significantly increasing his involvement in Bridgestone’s R&D processes for developing new golf ball technology.
“Georgia’s success is thanks to a long, proven track record of our state doing things the right way,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Whether entering or expanding in Georgia, it’s our goal to give every company we work with the peace of mind they need to know that they will have a long-term partner in the state. I want to thank Governor Kemp, Speaker David Ralston, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, and our General Assembly for the consistent leadership that gives us a competitive edge and the support that helps our entire state find success.”
Site Selection magazine joins Area Development magazine in naming Georgia the top state for business for 2020 – the eighth and seventh consecutive year, respectively, that both publications have awarded Georgia the top ranking. Earlier this week, Governor Kemp also shared that Georgia remains on a record pace for economic development investments and job creation in the state during fiscal year 2021, increasing investments by 56% and jobs by 45% compared to the same timeframe last year.