Ohio business climate slips in national rating

No. 4 ranking reflects progress by other states

The states with the best business climates, according to Site Selection magazine:

1. Georgia
2. North Carolina
3. Texas
4. Ohio
5. Tennessee
6. Louisiana
7. South Carolina
8. Virginia
9. Kentucky
10. Indiana

After ranking as the No. 2 state in 2012 when it comes to a favorable business climate, Ohio slipped to No. 4 in the 2013 rankings compiled by Site Selection magazine, the preferred publication of economic development and site selection professionals.

In its annual rankings of the Top State Business Climates, Site Selection named Georgia as the top state in which to do business, followed by North Carolina (which was last year’s No. 1), Texas, Ohio, and Tennessee. The rankings were announced Monday.

Michigan finished 16th in the 2013 rankings, which only ranks 25 states. In 2012 Michigan finished 23rd.

Mark Arend, a spokesman for Site Selection, emphasized that Ohio’s slip to the No. 4 ranking in 2013 was not a negative reflection on the Buckeye State’s business climate.

“It’s a matter of other states just accumulated more points. It’s not that Ohio did anything wrong,” he said. “Ohio did as well as it did last year. It’s just that other states did a little better.”

The magazine gives states points for their rankings in eight categories, although last year it used six categories.

One category that was used in both years was the ranking of the business climate given by executives surveyed by the magazine. In 2012, Ohio was ranked 9th by the executives, but for 2013 it finished 10th.

“Ohio was 10th in survey this year and that category counts for 50 percent of an overall ranking,” Mr. Arend said.

The Buckeye State also ranked sixth in competitiveness, second in the number of new factories opened during 2012, third in new factories per capita in 2012, fifth in new factories opened between January and August of 2013, 21st in new factories per capita between January and August of 2013, fifth in mature firms tax index, and third in new firms tax index.

The categories added this year were the new factories per capita in the previous year and through the first eight months of this year.

An accompanying survey of executives found that in 2013 the No. 1 criterion for choosing a state in which to do business was the skills of the workforce.

That was followed by: transportation, state and local taxes, utility infrastructure, land/​building prices and supply, ease of permitting and regulatory procedures, flexibility of incentive programs, availability of incentives, union activity, and access to higher education resources.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.