North Carolina Ranks No 5 Among States For Business Climate Corp Execs Say

Dated: 09/18/2017

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When it comes to identifying the nation's best climate for business, corporate executives say Texas ranks first among states nationwide, according to a report released Monday by Development Counsellors International. It's a familiar spot for Texas: This is the seventh straight time the state has stood No. 1 in the DCI survey, which has been produced every three years since 1996. In this year's report, 42 percent of respondents to the group's survey picked the Lone Star State over all other states as the nation's most pro-business state. Respondents cited a favorable tax climate and a quality workforce as among the factors benefiting Texas. Texas was followed by Florida, which garnered 22 percent of respondents picking it as the state with the most favorable business environment. Rounding out the top five were Georgia, with 20 percent; South Carolina, with 15 percent; and North Carolina, with 15 percent. The state with the worst business climate, according to DCI, is California, which was named the least-favorable state by 57 percent of respondents. California was followed by New York, with 40 percent; Illinois, with 29 percent; New Jersey, with 16 percent; and Connecticut, with 10 percent. The report, titled “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing," notes that the five most-favorable states are “red” states while the bottom five are “blue” states, a nod to the historic political leanings of states' voters. To produce the report, DCI surveyed corporate executives with site-selection responsibilities. The stated goal is to find a “customer’s perspective” on the most-effective strategies and techniques in economic development marketing. This year’s survey drew 331 responses from executives at large- and mid-sized companies as well as location advisers. Andy Levine, DCI president, and chief creative officer, said one of the key findings of this year’s report was that the election of Donald Trump as president appears to have given site selectors more confidence. The survey asked whether Trump’s election has affected their investment plans. While 57 percent of respondents said the election has had no impact on their investment plans, 33 percent said they are more likely to explore expansion opportunities in the United States. That compares to 10 percent of respondents saying they were more likely to explore expansion opportunities in international locations. “If I am in the Trump administration, I have to think that what the White House is doing is having some kind of impact,” Levine said. Levine also noted that corporate executives are showing signs of increased optimism, even without factoring in Trump’s election. Fifty percent of respondents said their company will make a location decision (such as a move, expansion or consolidation) during the next 24 months, up 6 percent from 2014. Additionally, 19 percent of respondents said their company would make no location decision during the next 24 months, down from 26 percent in 2014

TECHNOLOGY Infosys selects a site in Raleigh for 2,000-job Wake County hub Ravi Kumar, president and deputy chief operating officer of Infosys, in Raleigh to announce that Infosys will add 2,000 jobs in a Wake County expansion, July 6, 2017. TECHNOLOGY Amazon's HQ2 options: Here's how the Triangle costs stacks up The following slides provide estimates of the annual costs to operate a 500-worker technology office in various North American cities, along with the costs to operate a headquarters on the scale of what Inc. is looking for outside of its primary headquarters in Seattle. These estimates were derived by taking the size of Amazon's proposed facility as described in an open request for proposals and applying data contained in the recently released annual Tech Talent Report by Los Angeles-based commercial real estate company CBRE Group Inc., which provides guidance regarding the costs to stand up a technology office in dozens of first- and second-tier cities in the U.S. and Canada. CBRE’s report provides costs for operating a 500-employee, 75,000-square-foot office. Also, the slides show the year-over-year increases in operating costs, which include average commercial space rent, tech worker salaries, support staff, and management. The analysis also incorporates data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Canadian labor statistics, and CBRE Research. About 38 percent of respondents said that reducing corporate tax rates and reforming corporate tax policies should be a priority to encourage U.S. companies to expand in the United States.

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