As states battle for corporate nods to gain more jobs, the Carolinas and Texas have the best business climates in the nation, according to a new survey of 322 U.S. executives.
The "Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing" survey is conducted every three years by New York-based Development Counsellors International. Texas led the pack with 49.4 percent of the nods, with North Carolina ringing up a 27.8 percent approval rating and South Carolina, 14.3 percent.
Corporate executives labeled California, New York and Illinois as the states with the least favorable business climates.
"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 DCI President Andrew T. Levine. "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."
Of the survey's respondents, 46 percent said a location decision would be made in the next two years and 51 percent said they'd outsource a portion of the site selection process to a real estate broker or consultant. The real decisions covered the entire spectrum - relocation, expansion or consolidation of a manufacturing plant, offices, distribution center or other facilities.
This year, executives favored Texas and the Carolinas for their low operating costs and pro-business climate whereas three years ago the availability of a strong workforce was the leading reason.
Texas and North Carolina have consistently landed in the top spots since the survey began more than a decade ago. Texas has been in first place since 1999 while North Carolina has been second since 2002. South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida have frequently traded top positions in the survey and 2011 marks the return of South Carolina to third place.
California, New York and Illinois were faulted for the taxation levels, high costs and anti-business climate/regulation, according to respondents.
The survey polled C-level executives at companies with annual revenues of $25 million or more. The survey was augmented by 250 location advisers/consultants. A free copy of the full "Winning Strategies" survey is available at www.aboutdci.com/winning-strategies.