TOP SITE SELECTION ORGANIZATIONS
The Georgia Department of Economic Development is a clearinghouse for an array of site selection resources in the state. These include the Georgia Ports Authority, which advises companies on the many factors involved in site selection, including incentives, workforce, utilities and transportation options.
Georgia’s Regional Commissions comprise a network of 12 regional offices throughout the state that work closely with local officials and financial institutions to promote economic development, planning and infrastructure. The OneGeorgia Authority provides financing for projects that benefit rural Georgia. Awards may be used for business relocation, infrastructure development, land acquisition and machinery purchases.
Georgia’s Commercial Corridors tool, an online resource courtesy of the Georgia Ports Authority, makes finding the best location convenient. County information, photos and building and property site specs are regularly updated. Georgia EMC, representing the state’s electric cooperatives, also offers an online tool as does Georgia Power.
The Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) Sites Program, a program of the Georgia Allies organization, prepares available sites for industrial development with advance due diligence. Categories of due diligence and review include minimum acreage, ownership security, zoning designation, road and rail accessibility, utilities service and wetlands and stream delineation.
The state’s signature program is Georgia Quick Start, a free program customized for companies in numerous industries. The oldest program of its kind in the U.S., Quick Start has updated the skills of more than 1 million employees in 6,500 projects over the past 14 years. Quick Start training is shaped specifically for the skills that a company is looking to develop in its employees. Training is conducted in classrooms, mobile labs or onsite at the company. Caterpillar, Starbucks, Mitsubishi Power Systems, NCR and Ricoh Electronics are among the companies that have benefited from Quick Start in recent years.
Tax credits give Georgia businesses the opportunity to minimize or eliminate state corporate income tax. There are numerous tax credits available as incentives to businesses of all sizes to create jobs. Companies may also qualify for a tax credit to offset the costs of employee retraining.
The Port Tax Credit Bonus allows companies that increase imports or exports through a Georgia port by at least 10 percent to choose between an enhanced job tax credit or an adjustment in the investment tax credit. The Investment Tax Credit incentivizes upgrades or expansions for manufacturing and telecommunications companies that have operated in Georgia for at least three years.
NATHAN DEAL: Governor of Georgia
What has Georgia done to ensure the success of its businesses?
We’ve maintained one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation. We removed the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing. We eliminated the estate tax, removed the marriage tax penalty and enacted tax credits for agriculture, film and technology.
What are Georgia’s most under-appreciated assets for businesses?
Many corporate executives find that the cost of living here is significantly lower than the places they are coming from.
What are the strengths of Georgia’s workforce?
We are working with private companies to prepare our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. Our focus on education is aimed at graduating students who will stay in Georgia and excel in different career areas, from manufacturing to nursing to computer engineering.
What is your elevator pitch for manufacturing or logistics companies considering locating their next facility in Georgia?
Suppliers can reach 80 percent of the U.S. market in a two-day truck drive. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport offers flights to 50 countries and hosts 14 cargo-only carriers. The Port of Savannah is the fastest growing U.S. container port. Connectivity with the more than 1,600 railroad track miles is why Georgia is a leader in the global marketplace.
Corporate Tax Rate: 6 percent
2014 Gross State Product: $488.0 billion
2015 FY Real State Growth: 2.9 percent
2014 Export Total: $37.5 billion
Right to Work State: Yes
Population: 10.1 million
Labor Force Size: 4.8 million
Unemployment Rate: 6.3 percent
High School Diploma or Higher: 84.7 percent
Bachelors Degree or Higher: 28 percent
Ports: Brunswick, Savannah
Int’l Airports: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport; Savannah/Hilton Head Int’l Airport
Rail: CSX, NS
Highways: Five Interstates, Five U.S. Highways
FTZs: 26, 104, 144
University of Georgia
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia State University