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For the fourth consecutive year, site consultants have collectively agreed that South Carolina ranks as one of the nation’s top three states for doing business. The Palmetto State ranked third overall in Area Development Magazine’s 2015 Top States for Doing Business, an annual business ranking based on the results of a survey of consultants.

The survey asked site consultants to rank their top states based on 21 different factors across three main categories—business environment, labor climate, and infrastructure and global access.

When it comes evaluating the best states for doing business, “Site consultants often have the best view of a state’s performance — especially when compared to other states,” per Mark Crawford at Area Development magazine. “They work on a variety of projects in multiple industries, interact with economic development offices, and conduct their own research. They get the hard-to-find details that are needed to select the best site for their client’s requirements.“

South Carolina ranked in the top five in over half of the 21 categories, including taking the top spot in Overall Cost of Doing Business, Incentive Programs, Cooperative State Government and Speed of Permitting.

South Carolina’s state-run workforce development programs are also one of the biggest draws for site consultants. For almost 50 years, readySC has been recognized as one of the nation's premier and most-experienced workforce training programs. Operated through the SC Technical College System, it provides customized workforce training at little or no cost to companies located in the area.

Area Development also points out that a state’s right-to-work status is “top consideration for many companies.” South Carolina is attractive for many businesses thanks to the state’s low unionization rate for the private sector, which is one of the lowest in the country at 1.9%.

South Carolina rankings:

#1 – Overall Cost of Doing Business
#1 – Incentive Programs
#1 – Cooperative State Government
#1 – Speed of Permitting          

#2 – Most Favorable Regulatory Environment
#2 – Labor Climate (RTW states)
#2 – Certified Sites/Shovel-Ready Programs

#3 – Competitive Labor Costs
#3 – Leading Workforce Development Programs

#4 – Quality of Life
#4 – Competitive Utility Rates
#4 – Energy Reliability

#6 – Corporate Tax Environment
#6 – Access to Capital and Project Funding

#7 – Availability of Skilled Labor

#8 – Educational Resources
#8 – Water Outlook

#9 – Distribution and Supply Chain Hubs

#10 – Rail Accessibility
#10 – Highway Accessibility

 

For a full list of rankings, visit AreaDevelopment.com.

For more information on Upstate South Carolina’s business climate, visit http://www.upstatescalliance.com/about-upstate/upstate-sc-overview.