September 26, 2011

Survey: S.C. a Top State for Business

Staff Report  /  Charleston Regional Business Journal

SC Viewed as Having One of Best Business Climates

South Carolina is viewed as having one of the best business climates among the 50 states, according to a new survey of U.S. corporate executives. Only Texas and North Carolina fared better.

California, New York and Illinois are viewed as having the least-favorable business climates.

Conducted by Development Counsellors International every three years, the "Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing" survey has tracked trends in economic development since its inception in 1996.

"With the battle for business more intense than ever, states and their economic development organizations need to pay close attention to the results of this survey," said Andrew T. Levine, president of the agency. "Whether accurate or misguided, perceptions about a location's business climate often play a crucial role in site selection decisions and where companies invest money and create jobs."

Nearly half (46%), of the 322 corporate executives who responded to the survey indicated that their firm would make a location decision in the next 24 months –- whether a move, expansion or consolidation of a manufacturing plant, offices, distribution center or other facilities. More than half (51%) said they would outsource a portion of the site selection process to a real estate broker or site selection consultant.

Texas was the clear-cut favorite among the respondents to the survey, with 49.4% naming the Lone Star State as having one of the most favorable business climates in the nation. North Carolina ranked second with 27.8%; and South Carolina received 14.3% of the votes.

When asked why they selected the states they did as being best for business, respondents frequently cited low operating costs and a pro-business climate. In the 2008 survey, more executives pointed to the availability of a strong workforce than they did in 2011.

For the fourth consecutive time, California was deemed as having the least-favorable business climate, with 70.5% of the responses. New York was named second most frequently (46.5%), followed by Illinois (24.4%). Taxes, high costs and "anti-business climate/regulation" spurred most of the negative opinions.

Development Counsellors International conducted the survey online, polling a random selection of C-level executives at U.S. companies with annual revenues of $25 million or more. The survey was augmented by 250 location advisers and consultants.

Read the full survey report online.

Best States for Business

1. Texas
2. North Carolina
3. South Carolina

**Worst States for Business **


1. California
2. New York
3. Illiniois

Source: Development Counsellors International survey of C-level executives