Area Development magazine ranks Louisiana No. 8 among business-friendly states

Area Development ranked Louisiana No. 8 in the magazine's annual Top States for Doing Business report, with the state earning a Top 10 position for the ninth consecutive year. Area Development surveys the nation's top site selection consultants to produce the annual report.

In addition to the overall business climate ranking, Louisiana posted several other Top 10 rankings in the report. Those include: No. 3 in the nation for Leading Workforce Development programs, No. 6 for Favorable Utility Rates, No. 7 for Business Incentive Programs, and No. 8 for Favorable General Regulatory Environment and Speed of Permitting.

"This is great news and confirms that Louisiana continues to be a great place for doing business," Gov. John Bel Edwards said. "We are building momentum based on our strong performance in attracting business investment to our state. Louisiana is delivering a skilled workforce, backed by low energy costs, outstanding logistics and a business friendly environment that supports business success. With our Gross Domestic Product at an all-time high and employment remaining at a near record-high level, we are appropriately being recognized as a top state for doing business."

"This ninth consecutive Top 10 ranking by Area Development recognizes the strength of our business climate," Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said. "We are attracting major industrial projects and growing our small business sector throughout the state, while strengthening and diversifying our economy in the process."

Area Development lauded Louisiana's workforce development successes, which include LED FastStart, the state's best-in-class, customized workforce training program. Earlier this year, Business Facilities magazine ranked LED FastStart the No. 1 state workforce training program for a record 10th year in a row.

The Area Development report noted that Louisiana places "a strong commitment toward helping both businesses and job-seekers make connections and, as needed, arrange the training necessary to succeed through its LED FastStart program."

Louisiana ranks among the leading states for best business climate in multiple national rankings. In addition to its Top 10 placement in the Area Development report, Louisiana earned its second consecutive No. 2 ranking in July 2019 for Southern states with the best economic development results, as judged by Southern Business & Development magazine.

The same month, Business Facilities ranked LED FastStart as the nation's No. 1 state workforce training program. In 2018, Louisiana Economic Development became the only state economic development agency in the U.S. to be accredited by the International Economic Development Council.

Contributed by Louisiana Economic Development