2014 Regional Report: The Southeast

Chief Executive’s newest Regional Report offers an in-depth look at the pros and cons of doing business in Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi.

South Carolina (No. 5): Excelling at Efficiency
BMW’s announcement that it would invest $1 billion in its Spartanburg factory was a major win for the Palmetto State. All counties saw employment growth in 2013 continuing into 2014, yet most job growth clustered around urban areas. There is a positive mindset at the statehouse, says site selector Gingerich. “Governor Haley is making things as efficient as possible. There is one stop for what you need to get done.”

“Governor Haley is making things as efficient as possible. [South Carolina offers] one stop for what you need to get done.”

Major recent expansion and relocations include Giti Tire’s $560 million factory in Chester County, GE’s $400 million advanced manufacturing plant in Greenville County and LPL Financial’s $150 regional headquarters in York County. The Tax Foundation ranks South Carolina’s state and local tax burden 9th-lowest out of 50 states, and ranks it 37th in business tax climate. South Carolina spends over $896 million per year on incentive programs.

Louisiana (No. 9): Touting Training
In 2013, Louisiana announced more new jobs and recorded more capital investment than any year since the Great Recession began. Did somebody say, “oil exploration?” The state attracted 67 major projects representing over $26.4 billion in new capital investment, associated with 27,000 new jobs. Nucor has started production on its $750 plant in Convent, and Bell Helicopter began building an $11.4 million aircraft assembly facility in Lafayette.

According to Louisiana State University’s economic forecasters, eight of the state’s metro areas will record robust employment gains through at least 2015, driven by increasing construction activity. Real GDP growth is slated to rise to 2.6% next year, up from the current 2.4%. Site selector Jerry Szatan touts Louisiana’s LED FastStart program, aimed at providing relocation and training programs to expanding and transferring companies. “No state has done more than Louisiana in getting the employer a workforce trained in its particular needs,” he claims.

Recent strides mark a turnaround for a state that “historically has been very challenging” as a business environment, says Thomas Stringer, principal and practice leader at Ryan’s Business Incentives and Site Selection department. “But you have a dynamic administration in place now, implementing substantial policy changes in how they work with businesses.” The Tax Foundation ranks Louisiana’s state and local tax burden fifth-lowest out of 50 states, and ranks its business tax climate 33rd. The state spends over $1.8 billion per year on incentive programs.


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    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

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    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

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    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

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    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

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