Site Selection magazine, a leading economic development pub, this week released its 2010 Top Business Climate Rankings, and Louisiana earned its highest ranking to date — improving to ninth best in the U.S. from 25th in 2009. It is the largest improvement of any state.
Site Selection has been ranking states for 18 years, with scoring based 50 percent on a survey of site selection consultants and corporate executives who make location decisions for major business investment projects and 50 percent on quantitative measures primarily linked to the national Conway Data New Plant Database of new and expanded business facility activity. Louisiana ranked seventh best on the executive survey.
“Louisiana, by moving up to ninth place in the overall Business Climate Ranking and up to seventh place in the Executive Survey Ranking, shows that it has done the hard work of putting together a top-notch economic development team and program,” says Ron Starner, general manager of Conway Data Inc. and Site Selection. “Plus, LED has effectively marketed the state as a destination of choice for businesses. This could not have happened without the solid leadership of Gov. Bobby Jindal and Secretary Stephen Moret and their entire team of high-quality professionals. Leaders at the local and regional levels throughout Louisiana must also be credited for doing amazing work on the ground in local communities.”
“This terrific news is a reflection of Louisiana’s continued economic progress during a difficult national economic period,” says Moret. “Our dramatically improved ranking is in large part the result of recent economic competitiveness improvements in Louisiana, such as business tax cuts, governmental ethics reform, the creation of Louisiana FastStart and our focus on business retention and expansion, as well as our enhanced focus on small business development."
Moret, however, stipulated that the state would likely have climbed higher had the survey been more inclusive of recent projects. “We would have done even better if Site Selection had included all of our project wins from earlier this year. Apparently they inadvertently left out at least several dozen of the major business investment projects that were announced or in progress earlier this year. We expect those projects will be included next time around.”
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AUG 22 Blogger Robert Mann is writing about the so-called Edmonson Amendment in this post, and he's not a fan. If Bobby Jindal really does support a "gold standard" of ethics he would have done something - or even said something - and yet he has not, Mann says.
AUG 22 Crazy Crawfish is blogging about the (interesting) incident of the state Education Department's website being out of commission earlier this week. It was reported (with heavy implications) in two local media outlets, and Crawfish feels the stories would have been better had the reporters done a little investigation instead of just printing what they were told.
AUG 22 Blogger Tom Aswell has some advice for state troopers who plan on making any public comments or challenges to the Jindal administration: don't do it. He's telling the story of one trooper who dared to challenge Commander Mike Edmonson's buddy and paid the price for it.
AUG 22 Columnist Clancy DuBos is writing about the upcoming elections in this post on Gambit. The field for local and federal offices has its share of old guys, he tells us, although mostly he's talking about Edwin Edwards.
AUG 22 Columnist Jim Beam is talking about the Office of Group Benefits in this post; that's the office that handles the money collected from state employees to pay their benefits. The OGB reserve fund has been reduced by half in the last year, and the Jindal administration keeps saying that's a good thing - but that's like telling a kid that castor oil is good, Beam says.
AUG 22 Columnist James Gill is writing about dueling efforts over the killing of animals; on one side is a lady trying to avoid the euthanizing of stray cats and on the other is a camp of folk who feel that there are enough black bears in Louisiana for us to start killing them for fun.
AUG 22 One could assume that nobody (teachers included) likes it when politicians tell them how to do their job. So what do teachers think about Common Core? Blogger Michael Deshotels is examining some responses from teachers who were asked. (Spoiler alert: none of these comments will be used in a Common Core marketing campaign.)
AUG 22 This post on The Hill is commenting upon the latest round of "that candidate is the worst person in the world" ads that are running in Louisiana's Senate race. This round takes aim at Bill Cassidy, the physician/Congressman who is challenging Mary Landrieu, and lists all the votes he has cast that hurt veterans.
AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
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