Alabama earns Top 10 spot in State Business Climate rankings

Gov. Robert Bentley stands with the first Alabama-built Polaris vehicle at a grand opening ceremony for Polaris' new factory in Huntsville. (Image: Governor's Office, Jamie Martin)
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Governor's Office, Jamie Martin: Gov. Bentley at Polaris grand opening

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MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Site Selection, an economic development-focused publication, ranked Alabama in the Top 10 in its annual State Business Climate survey, based largely on feedback from corporate real estate executives and project activity.

Alabama Commerce Sec. Greg Canfield
Alabama Commerce Sec. Greg Canfield

Alabama placed No. 9 in the magazine’s overall 2016 State Business Climate rankings, and No. 8 in the survey of corporate site selectors who were asked to rank the states based on their experience of locating facilities.

This year’s results reflect an improvement from 2015, when Alabama ranked No. 11 overall and No. 9 in Site Selection’s executive survey.

“Receiving high rankings from site selection professionals is solid evidence of the hard work put in by all members of Alabama’s economic development team who are winning new investment and jobs for communities across the state,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“At the same time, we are committed to enhancing Alabama’s competitive position in economic development so that we can bring home game-changing projects and new opportunities for our citizens,” he added.

Georgia topped Site Selection’s Business Climate rankings.

WINNING STREAK

A record-setting year in 2015 for Alabama’s economic development team, led by Governor Robert Bentley, has garnered the state plenty of attention. Alabama attracted more than $7.1 billion in new capital investment last year in projects that will create more than 19,200 jobs.

A sampling of recent recognition:

  • An analysis by global business service firm Ernst & Young ranked Alabama No. 5 among the states for new investment in 2015, and it cited the state’s strong record on foreign investment.
  • Business Facilities, another economic development-focused publication, named Alabama is “State of the Year” in 2015, pointing to the successful recruitment of Polaris’ $140 million manufacturing facility and Google’s $600 million data center, among others.
  • Alabama ranked No. 6 in Area Development magazine’s 2016 “Top States For Doing Business” list and earned a Silver Shovel award for economic development accomplishments in 2015.