U.S. Corporate Executives Rank Best States for Business: Florida Ranks #2

NEW YORK, NY (September 18, 2017) – Florida ranks second among the 50 states for having the best business climate, according to a new survey of U.S. corporate executives released today at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference in Toronto. Texas ranked first. Georgia ranked third, followed by South Carolina and North Carolina, respectively.

Conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) every three years, the “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing” survey has tracked trends in economic development since its inception in 1996. For the first time, the survey also includes findings about how the current political climate affects business perceptions.  Many of the executives surveyed, 57 percent, reported that the Trump presidency hasn’t impacted their investment plans and 33 percent were more likely to explore domestic expansion.

“Winning Strategies” Survey Peeks Into Minds of Key Corporate Decision Makers

“The Winning Strategies survey provides insights into the minds of key decision makers—from their perceptions on locations around the world to how they get the information that shapes those perceptions,” said DCI President Andrew T. Levine. “As the competition for business expansions and talent intensifies, this information can be crucial to communities looking to set themselves apart from other locations.”

Florida took the No. 2 spot with 22 percent of the respondents naming it as the state with having the most favorable business climate. In 2014, Florida bumped North Carolina out of the No. 2 spot, after the state held second place for a decade. Respondents who named Florida as having a favorable business climate mentioned the state’s pro-business environment, favorable tax climate and its strategic location.

Key findings from the 2017 “Winning Strategies” survey, which is based on the aggregate responses of 331 corporate executives with site selection responsibilities, include:

  • Texas has consistently held the No. 1 ranking since 1999, and was again a favorite among survey respondents, with 42 percent naming the state as having one of the most favorable business climates. Rounding out the top 5 states for business include Georgia at No. 3 with 20 percent, South Carolina at No. 4 with 16 percent and North Carolina at No. 5 with 15 percent.
  • When asked which international countries they were most likely to explore for investment, 31 percent of U.S. executives named China as their top choice, followed by the United Kingdom (22 percent) and Canada (21 percent). Germany and Mexico ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.
  • 3 percent of executives report that their company will make a location decision (move, expansion or consolidation) in the next 24 months. This is a 6 percent increase from 2014 results.
  • 54 percent of the survey audience report that they plan to outsource a portion of the site selection process during their next site selection search, a significant increase from 2014 (40 percent).

Best States for Business:

  1. Texas   42%
  2. Florida   22%
  3. Georgia   20%
  4. South Carolina   16%
  5. North Carolina   15%

For a free copy of the full “Winning Strategies” survey report or an executive summary, visit www.aboutdci.com/winning-strategies.


About DCI
Considered the leader in marketing places, Development Counsellors International (DCI) specializes in economic development and tourism marketing. The agency has worked for more than 450 cities, regions, states, provinces and countries since it was established in New York City in 1960. www.aboutdci.com