Alabama ranks above New York + California as 7th for top business climate

person holding pencil near laptop computer
Alabama beat out several states with major city hubs for a spot in the top 10 business climates. Photo via Unsplash

Site Selection, a national publication focused on economic development, ranked Alabama as number seven for top business climates in the U.S. This is the first year Alabama has cracked the top 10, tying with Arizona and beating out New York, California and Tennessee for the spot.

Let’s dive into what the rating means

 Mercedes Benz US International (MBUSI) recently announced they are expanding in Vance, Alabama with hundreds of new jobs. Photo via Mercedes Benz U.S. International’s Facebook

According to Site Selection, 2020’s state business climates were extremely competitive. In order to determine the ranking, the publication took results from two main factors—survey results and an index of project counts.

Here’s how survey takers responded

50% of the results are based on answers from a Site Selection survey completed by corporate executives and site selectors. They were asked to identify the states they believe to have the best business climate.

When choosing the top states for the list, responders of Site Selection’s survey listed the following reasons, among others, that played into their choice:

  • Good tax climate
  • Access to markets
  • Workforce development
  • Ease of doing business
  • Accommodating policies

So what were the other 50% of results based on?

The remaining half of the results that determined the states with the top business climates are based on an index of project counts and seven other criteria, which include:

  1. Performance in Site Selection’s annual Prosperity Cup ranking
  2. Total Conway Projects Database-compliant facility locations
  3. Total expansion projects in 2019
  4. Total projects in 2019 per capita
  5. Total 2020 projects year to date
  6. Total 2020 projects year to date per capita,
  7. Corporate and property tax data from the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Index

It’s been a big year for Alabama’s business climate

The Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer could bring lots of jobs to Birmingham. Photo via Pat Byington

Even through the hardship this pandemic has inflicted on the business world, Birmingham and surrounding communities have continued to experience growth. In fact, back in September, Alabama ranked number six in Site Selection’s list of the “Top States for Doing Business.”

Amazon, Mercedes and local startups are only a few of the businesses who’ve made major money moves in Birmingham this year. Take a look at how they’ve brought, or will soon bring, jobs to the city:

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