State ranked as top state for doing business

Published 12:14 pm Friday, September 6, 2013



MONTGOMERY – For the fourth consecutive year, Alabama ranks among the top five states for doing business according to Area Development magazine.

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“Alabama has a positive business climate, and we’re always working to attract more new jobs,” Governor Robert Bentley said.  “We have a strong workforce, and our job training program is recognized for excellence throughout the business community.  We have a statewide economic development plan called Accelerate Alabama, which focuses on recruiting high-paying jobs from a variety of industries.  We’re spreading the message that Alabama is a great place to do business, and I’m proud that, once again, Area Development is recognizing Alabama’s progress.”

In the “2013 Top States for Doing Business” published Friday by Area Development, Alabama ranks fourth in the nation overall.  Alabama also ranks as a top-five state in 15 specific economic development categories.  Within those categories, Alabama ranked:

  • #1 for Competitive Labor Costs
  • #2 for Right-to-Work Environment
  • #2 for Speed of Permitting
  • #3 for Overall Labor Climate
  • #3 for Cost of Doing Business
  • #3 for Competitive Utility Rates
  • #3 for Most Favorable Regulatory Environment
  • #3 for Incentive Programs
  • #4 for Consultants’ Site Location Choice – States Most Mentioned by Respondents
  • #4 for Overall Business Environment
  • #4 for Overall Top Ten State for Doing Business
  • #4 for Leading Workforce Development Programs
  • #4 for Overall Infrastructure & Global Access
  • #5 for CooperativeState Government
  • #5 for Certified Sites/Shovel Ready Programs

Area Development is a national business publication covering site selection and facility planning.  The rankings published Friday resulted from a survey of leading site selection consultants nationwide.  Area Developmentasked a group of highly-respected consultants who work with a nationwide client base to name their top-five state choices in several site selection categories.

In describing Alabama, Area Development wrote, “Alabama has a proven track record in economic development and 2013 promises to be another strong year.  State and local leaders are working together to carry out Accelerate Alabama, the state’s long-term economic development plan based on three economic development drivers: recruitment of new business and industry, retention and expansion of existing businesses and industry, and creating jobs through innovation, entrepreneurship, research and development, and commercialization.”

Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said the state’s number-three ranking in overall labor climate reflects highly on the quality of its workforce development program and employees who are eager to help companies succeed.

“These rankings have real meaning because they are driven by the very site consultants who have actually done business across the nation, the Southeast and in Alabama,” Secretary Canfield said.  “Our continued year-over-year improvement in the number of top-five rankings is further proof that Governor Bentley’s economic development priorities are taking root and producing real results across our state.”

A full review of this year’s Top States for Doing Business, along with commentary on the results from several well-respected industry consultants, is presented in the third quarter issue of Area Development magazine and is posted online at

Alabama’s high rankings follow the recent recognition the state received from Business Facilities magazine, another national trade publication targeting site consultants and economic developers.  Alabama ranked in the Top 10 in several categories in the Business Facilities “2013 Rankings Report,” an annual report card of how U.S. states are performing in economic development.