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Georgia Fourth in CNBC Rankings of Best States to Do Business

Thursday, July 12, 2007  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


State also in top five for entrepreneurship, nonemployer business growth


ATLANTA In three major business rankings recently released, Georgia landed in the top five among states in areas such as best states to do business, entrepreneurship rate and nonemployer business growth.

“By maintaining a pro-growth business climate in the state, we encourage businesses of all sizes to invest and create jobs in Georgia,” Governor Sonny Perdue said. “These rankings tell us we are doing the right things to promote growth, and encourage us to continue to look for ways to make Georgia even more attractive for businesses.”

The cable network CNBC has compiled rankings for all 50 states in 10 categories such as workforce, transportation, cost of doing business and others. The combined scores in those 10 categories are then used to generate an overall ranking. The network is releasing the top five overall states this week, and Georgia was named fourth-best state to do business on Tuesday. Senior correspondent Scott Cohn pointed specifically to Georgia’s rankings in workforce (second in the country) and transportation (third in the country) as the reason for the state’s high overall ranking. More information is available about Georgia’s ranking at .

A report from the Kauffman Foundation called the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity put Georgia third in the country in entrepreneurship rate. According to that measure, Georgia has a rate of 0.44 percent entrepreneurial activity, coming behind only Montana (0.6 percent) and Mississippi (0.52 percent.)

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes 28 metro counties, had the second highest rate of entrepreneurial activity for large metro areas with 0.49 percent, closely following the Miami MSA with 0.5 percent.

The entire report can be found at .

“Georgia has long encouraged entrepreneurial spirit and I am pleased that the statistics bear that out,” said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). “With a state as business-friendly as Georgia, it is clear that whether you’re a large multinational corporation or a one-person shop, we are your gateway to growth.”

The U.S. Census bureau recently released statistics indicating that Georgia nonemployer businesses – those with no paid employees – were the fourth fastest-growing in the nation.

Nonemployer businesses can take the form of corporations, individual proprietors and partnerships. As long as they have no paid employees, any type of firm can qualify. Some of the fastest-growing industries in this arena are Web search portals, Internet service providers, nail salons, e-commerce businesses, RV dealers and landscaping services.

With the recent release of the “Nonemployer Statistics: 2005” report, Georgians had a 7.6 percent growth rate between 2004 and 2005. When the data was broken down by county, Gwinnett County was fifth-fastest growing, with a growth rate of 8.4 percent in the same time period.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see these results showing what we have known all along – that Georgia is a great place for small business owners to thrive and realize their dreams,” said Greg Torre, division director of Small Business and Innovation for GDEcD. “As communities across the state add entrepreneur and small business development components to their economic development strategies through initiatives like our Entrepreneur Friendly program, I believe we will continue to be a leader in small business growth.”

The Entrepreneur Friendly program takes communities through proven methods designed to establish an entrepreneur support program, helping them better understand their existing entrepreneur environment and develop sustainable, effective local strategies. More than 50 Georgia counties have been designated Entrepreneur Friendly.