Alabama earns spot as Top 10 state for business in Pollina survey

Department of Commerce's Made in Alabama trade booth at Paris Air Show.
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CHICAGO — Alabama has been ranked a Top 10 state for business by Pollina Corporate Real Estate and the American Economic Development Institute, thanks in part to economic development efforts that demonstrate how state officials understand the needs of businesses.

The Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States study sizes up how well each state has or has not positioned itself to retain and create jobs as well as sustain America’s middle class, according to Park Ridge, Ill.-based Pollina. Now in its tenth edition, the study has also become an important tool for corporations to evaluate their current and future U.S. locations, according to Brent Pollina, vice president of Pollina Corporate Real Estate and co-author of the study.

“I am pleased to see that Pollina is recognizing what we already know – that Alabama is a great place to do business,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “We have a positive business climate.  We offer low taxes, a low cost of energy and the best workforce you’ll find anywhere.  We are committed to helping companies succeed and expand.”

Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield added: “We are proud that economic development groups are increasingly recognizing that we have ramped up our economic development efforts and that our strategic plan for bringing new jobs to our state is indeed working. Alabama is the best place to both live and do business.”

Pollina said Alabama has proven why it has a reputation for understanding the needs of business.  “It would appear that under the leadership of Governor Bentley, the state is back on track showing the world it is a business leader that knows how to work hard to create jobs,” he said.

Governor Bentley and Secretary Canfield have made strengthening the state’s economy a cornerstone of the administration’s agenda, through the adoption of the Accelerate Alabama plan. “To advance the state’s prosperity, the Economic Development Alliance was created in 2011 by an Executive Order of Governor Bentley.  Alliance members developed a comprehensive three-year strategic plan based on three economic development drivers – Recruitment: attraction of new business and industry; Retention- retention and expansion of existing business and industry; and Renewal: job creation through innovation, entrepreneurship, research and development, and commercialization,” Pollina said.

As a result of these efforts, Alabama has announced more than 40,000 new jobs since Governor Bentley took office in 2011. Many of those job announcements are at the state’s auto plants and their suppliers, while new jobs are being created in the aerospace sector in the wake of a decision by Airbus to locate a passenger jet production center at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.

Alabama received “A” grades in the 2013 survey for its right-to-work laws, business inventory tax, property taxes, and economic development incentives. The state also received an overall “A” grade.

Pollina’s Corporate Top Pro Business States is an annual study of job retention and creation efforts by the 50 states. It examines more than 30 factors relative to state efforts to create business-friendly environments, including taxes, human resources, energy costs, infrastructure spending, economic incentive programs and state economic development efforts.

Alabama was the only Deep South state to earn a Top 10 ranking in the Pollina study.