Surveys tout Georgia’s economy, business climate


Three surveys have named Georgia to their honor rolls for business climate.

Business network CNBC on Tuesday named Georgia its top state for business for 2014. Two other surveys recognized the Peach State and the city of Atlanta for being near the head their classes for both small business friendliness and tax friendliness.

Gov. Nathan Deal has gotten a lot of political mileage and taken some heat for touting such rankings as he seeks reelection. Deal pointed to the latest CNBC rating as vindication of sorts during a trade mission to Israel.

“It is the fulfillment of the goal that I had when I was first elected,” Deal told the AJC in an interview.

CNBC lauded Georgia for its “abundant supply of educated, largely non-union workers” and for its improving economy. The network also noted infrastructure such as the Savannah port and world’s busiest airport.

In measures of both quality of life and education, however, the state ranked 32nd, CNBC said.

The CNBC rank follows two similar rankings by a niche publication, Site Selection magazine. Critics have contended Deal has used that magazine’s rankings as a smokescreen for other economic problems that have plagued the state since before the Great Recession.

From 1997 to 2012, for instance, Georgia ranked 30th in GDP growth and 49th in per capita income growth, according to an analysis by the Carolina Center for Competitive Economies at the University of North Carolina. And Georgia’s unemployment rate of 7.2 percent in May was among the 10 highest in the nation.

Deal also has started a listening tour with businesses to ensure the state is prepared to develop skilled workers for the future. Some companies have said they can’t find the talent they need in Georgia.

Two other surveys released Tuesday applauded the state and to Atlanta for being friendly to small business and for being tax-friendly to businesses of any size.

Georgia received an overall small business friendliness grade of A- in a survey done for Thumbtack.com, an online broker for local consumer service providers, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private foundation that promotes entrepreneurship.

Georgia ranked 10th in the nation for the second year in a row in the survey, which assessed states and cities in 10 different categories: ease of starting a business; ease of hiring; licensing; regulations; health and safety; tax code; employment, labor and hiring; environmental; zoning; and training and networking.

Georgia rated an A- in environmental and in zoning, a B+ in ease of starting a business, and a B in ease of hiring, regulations and tax code. It received a C+ in licensing, and a C in training and networking.

The top rated states overall were Utah, Idaho, Texas, Virginia and Louisiana. The survey included responses from more than 12,000 small business owners.

The same survey, in measuring cities, gave Atlanta an A- for overall friendliness to small businesses. It fared best in zoning and in environmental regulation, and poorest in training and networking programs.

In a separate study, Atlanta ranked third among 31 U.S. cities with populations of more than 2 million in having a favorable tax structure. Atlanta also had the lowest tax burden in one of four industry sectors analyzed: research and development.

Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this article



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Kempner: Amazon, thanks for sort of picking Atlanta, but …
Kempner: Amazon, thanks for sort of picking Atlanta, but …

Amazon, it’s not that we’re ungrateful for Atlanta being one of your Top 20 choices for your second headquarters and 50,000 delicious jobs. We’ll hold off celebrating or feeling like we’ve gotten some kind of affirmation until we figure out if you just like us a good bit or really love us. Yes, we do think we are all that...
New Chick-fil-A opens in Vine City, part of revitalization efforts
New Chick-fil-A opens in Vine City, part of revitalization efforts

Chick-fil-A has opened a new restaurant in Vine City, as part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the Westside area of Atlanta. The new restaurant located on MLK Drive, has provided 90 jobs, seventy percent of which went to Westside residents and also includes a conference room for people to hold community meetings. “This restaurant serves as...
Atlanta survives the first cut in Amazon’s HQ2 sweepstakes
Atlanta survives the first cut in Amazon’s HQ2 sweepstakes

Amazon narrowed its list of potential communities for its massive second headquarters on Thursday to a final grouping that includes Atlanta and 19 others in the U.S. and Canada, setting off a battle royale for a project promising prestige and 50,000 high-paying jobs. Georgia and metro Atlanta leaders hailed the news, while noting much work remains...
Georgia ends 2017 with modest job growth, slowest of past five years
Georgia ends 2017 with modest job growth, slowest of past five years

Georgia’s economy added 5,600 jobs last month, providing an upbeat but unspectacular ending to year of modest growth across most employment sectors. In 2017, the state finished the year with 83,200 more jobs than the year before, according to a report Thursday from Georgia’s Labor Department . “As we look back at the year, it was...
Best gifts for the home chef
Best gifts for the home chef

There are all sorts of new gizmos for people whose relationship with food comes in all forms. Here are four of our favorite new devices for the cook and the kitchen. ——— Amazon Dash Wand Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/amazon-dash-wand-with-alexa-2017/review/#ftag=CAD187281f CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)...
More Stories