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South Carolina recognized among top states for doing business in Area Development survey

Strong business and labor climate propels state to second place in site consultants’ ranking

COLUMBIA, S.C. – October 23, 2012 – South Carolina has been named among the top states for key site selection criteria, according to Area Development magazine’s recent survey of highly respected site consultants who work with a nationwide client base. South Carolina ranked second overall meeting key location requirements, according to the magazine’s survey.

“It’s not surprising that South Carolina’s business-friendly environment has convinced numerous companies that the Palmetto State is the right place to do business. However, our skilled, ready and willing workforce and our worker training programs have also played a key role in attracting investments from world-class companies like Continental, Bridgestone, Michelin, BMW and Boeing,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “Our state’s workers have shown businesses that they can produce high-quality products efficiently and consistently. We’ve also shown we are committed to making sure our workforce has the skills to help companies succeed.”

Area Development surveyed a select group of national site consultants, who are hired by corporations to scout and analyze locations that meet a company’s investment requirements. The consultants were asked to name their “top picks” in each of the following categories: cost of doing business, corporate tax environment, incentives programs, corporate state government, speed of permitting, access to capital and project funding, availability of skilled labor, competitive labor costs, leading workforce development programs, rail and highway accessibility, certified sites or shovel-ready programs, competitive utility rates, distribution/logistics hub access and leading in the economic recovery.

The Palmetto State was the consultants’ top choice in both the certified shovel-ready sites and competitive utility rates categories (#1 in both). South Carolina was among their top-five picks in leading workforce development programs (#2), competitive labor costs (#2), cooperative state government (#2), speed of permitting (tied for #2), cost of doing business (#3), incentive programs (#3), corporate tax environment (tied for #5) and  leading in the economic recovery (tied for #5) categories.

South Carolina’s skilled talent pool and nationally-recognized workforce training programs, such as readySC, helped the state stand out for the site consultants. “This is a result of the state’s pro-active approach to building a ready and willing work force that provides the advanced skill sets companies need for their new operations,” according to the magazine’s article.

Area Development also referenced the state’s success in the manufacturing sector and several large investment announcements in South Carolina in the past 18 months, such as those by Bridgestone Americas, BMW and Michelin. 

Results of the Area Development survey can be found at