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Texas Takes BF’s Best Business Climate Crown

Texas has reclaimed its leadership position as the top-ranked state for Best Business Climate in Business Facilities 2012 State Rankings Report.

A perennial frontrunner for our annual Best Business Climate designation, Texas has been ranked first or second in this flagship category for each of the past five years. In addition to this year’s first-place finish, Texas also was our top-ranked state for Best Business Climate in 2009 and 2010.

“Texas has doubled down on its business-friendly tradition. The Lone Star State has been able to match and then exceed pre-Recession employment levels faster than any state in the nation,” said Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers.

A surging population in Texas has yielded a cost-effective workforce that is being deployed in an increasingly diversified industrial base.

“Texas has laid out the welcome mat for a variety of high-tech growth sectors, including semiconductors, biotechnology and alternative energy,” Rogers noted. “When you factor in a resurgent oil and gas industry and new manufacturing, you get an economic powerhouse that can compete against all comers.”

In addition to growing high-tech businesses, Texas has been aggressive in courting traditional manufacturers. A recent success was equipment giant Caterpillar’s decision to move its hydraulics and engine manufacturing to the state.

Texas edged out Utah, last year’s top-ranked state for Best Business Climate. With mega-incentives for big-ticket projects and low business taxes, Utah has succeeded in convincing tech giants including Adobe and eBay to put major operations in the Beehive State.

Rounding out the top five in Best Business Climate are Virginia, which is luring major government contractors to relocate their headquarters to the state (Northrop made the move and VA is courting Lockheed); Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott has eliminated hundreds of regulations he says are impeding business expansions and new facilities in the Sunshine State; and Louisiana, which has married an unmatched workforce training program with a bevy of new incentives that are spurring hot new growth sectors including digital media.

Our flagship Best Business Climate ranking evaluates an amalgamation of our key rankings results (including education climate, workforce training/availability, cost of labor, infrastructure, utility costs, credit rating and business tax climate). We give extra credit to states that have enacted and executed business-friendly policies, including new incentives, an improved business tax climate, workforce training and a relatively low cost of labor. We also factor in the recent success of economic development initiatives geared to bring in new industry segments and facilities.

Here are the top 10 states for Best Business Climate:

BUSINESS FACILITIES 2012 STATE RANKINGS:

BEST BUSINESS CLIMATE
1 TEXAS
2 UTAH
3 VIRGINIA
4 FLORIDA
5 LOUISIANA
6 INDIANA
7 SOUTH CAROLINA
8 TENNESSEE
9 GEORGIA
10 NEBRASKA

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