While criteria for location decisions are unique to a specific project’s needs, the “bedrock” factors tend to be on everyone’s lists. Talent attraction & retention, labor costs, efficiency in shipping goods/products, business environment, infrastructure, real estate costs and availability and economic incentives are the cornerstones of these corporate decisions. While no one state will score at the top in every category, the optimal location typically ranks in the higher end of the spectrum for each of these and overall scores.
The “Top 5” states for this year have been on a roll for several recent years. Their success is due in large part to favorable demographics and migration patterns, a strong manufacturing presence, low cost of doing business, access to consumer bases and/or proximity to major ports. It will be interesting to see when they reach saturation and which states will emerge as most attractive in the next several years.
Once states are short-listed, the best companies look hard at key cities where stats and costs can vary significantly from those of that state’s averages.