Nov 1, 2010 3:50 PM by Katie Durio
Leading economic development publication ranks Louisiana among the top 10 states for business in the U.S. for the first time; Louisiana jumps 16 spots from 2009 to 2010 -- the largest improvement of any state
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Earlier today, Site Selection magazine released its 2010 Top Business Climate Rankings, and Louisiana earned its highest ranking to date -- improving to ninth best in the U.S. from 25th in 2009.
From 2009 to 2010, Louisiana's business climate ranking improved more than that of any other state in the U.S. Louisiana had never before appeared in the top 10 in the 18-year history of the Site Selection ranking.
"This is yet another example of the New Louisiana we are building for our children," said Gov. Bobby Jindal. "Since day one, we have made economic development our top priority by working to cut taxes, revamp workforce training, reform our ethics code and eliminate the culture of corruption. We've made incredible progress and created an environment that is fostering opportunity for our people, but we've got more work to do so that all of our sons and daughters can pursue their dreams here at home. Indeed, we're on the right path and that means we must continue to oppose tax increases and reduce government spending so that we can retain jobs and attract thousands more for our people."
The Site Selection ranking is based 50 percent on a survey of site selection consultants and corporate executives who make location decisions for major business investment projects and 50 percent on quantitative measures primarily linked to the national Conway Data New Plant Database of new and expanded business facility activity. Louisiana ranked seventh best on the executive survey and ninth best overall.
"Louisiana, by moving up to ninth place in the overall Business Climate Ranking and up to seventh place in the Executive Survey Ranking, shows that it has done the hard work of putting together a top-notch economic development team and program," said Ron Starner, general manager of Conway Data Inc. and Site Selection. "Plus, LED has effectively marketed the state as a destination of choice for businesses. This could not have happened without the solid leadership of Gov. Bobby Jindal and Secretary Stephen Moret and their entire team of high-quality professionals. Leaders at the local and regional levels throughout Louisiana must also be credited for doing amazing work on the ground in local communities."
"This terrific news is a reflection of Louisiana's continued economic progress during a difficult national economic period," said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret. "Our dramatically improved ranking is in large part the result of recent economic competitiveness improvements in Louisiana, such as business tax cuts, governmental ethics reform, the creation of Louisiana FastStartTM and our focus on business retention and expansion, as well as our enhanced focus on small business development. Additionally, this improved ranking reflects the results of our recent business development successes, as well as our aggressive marketing efforts focused on closing the gap between the perception and reality of Louisiana's business climate. While we are pleased with our progress, we are not slowing down -- we are going to keep working hard to strengthen Louisiana's position as the emerging economic powerhouse of the South."
Moret added, "We would have done even better if Site Selection had included all of our project wins from earlier this year. Apparently they inadvertently left out at least several dozen of the major business investment projects that were announced or in progress earlier this year. We expect those projects will be included next time around."
Recently, Louisiana received its highest placement to date in several rankings by other leading publications and organizations. For example, in August 2010, Louisiana earned the first-ever Most Improved State designation in Pollina Corporate Real Estate's rankings of top states for business based on its improvement from 2008 to 2010. In two years, Louisiana jumped 20 spots in Pollina's ranking of best states for business (from 40th to 20th). In July 2010, LED's comprehensive workforce development program for expanding companies, Louisiana FastStart, was ranked the best state workforce training program in the country by Business Facilities magazine. Also in July, Southern Business & Development magazine named Louisiana "Co-state of the Year" for the second consecutive year, noting that Louisiana attracted more significant business investment and job-creating projects per capita than any other state in the South for the second year in a row. In April 2010, Site Selection named LED the second best performing state economic development agency in the U.S.
Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Data Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 44,000 executives of fast-growing firms. Now in its 57th year, Site Selection is also the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council.