Tennessee ranked in the “Top States for Doing Business” by Area Development
Consultants Recognize State's Industrial Competitiveness in Area Development 3rd Annual "Top States For Doing Business Survey".
Tennessee ranked seventh overall among the Top States for Doing Business — up one spot compared to 2011 survey results. Tennessee also scored the top ranking for its overall infrastructure and global access, and also beat out its competitors in ranking first for its distribution/logistics hub access.
Tennessee is well known for its stellar transportation infrastructure and accessibility to markets around the country and the globe. That strength is due in part to its central location. The state also has an extremely strong transportation network that encompasses several major interstates, rail, air, and inland river ports. “We’ve got five major interstates that go through the major cities of the state, which is a huge benefit for us from a transportation and logistics standpoint,” says Kingsley Brock, Assistant Commissioner of Business Development at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
The fact that FedEx is headquartered in Memphis and operates a super-hub out of that city is another advantage for the state. Given Tennessee’s importance as a logistics and distribution center, maintaining and improving the infrastructure is a top priority. “There is a lot of activity through the Tennessee Department of Transportation to keep our road system up-to-date and ahead of the game,” says Brock.
One new initiative under way is the development of a new port along the Mississippi River in Lake County. The port will be in close proximity to major interstates including I-40, I-55, and I-69. “We have big plans for that area, and we think this is going to be a major attraction for companies coming into Tennessee,” says Brock. That new port is expected to open in spring 2013. Tennessee is already home to the Port of Memphis, which is the second-largest inland port on the Mississippi River and fourth largest inland port in the United States. It handles more than 16 million tons annually.
Tennessee also has several other initiatives under way to foster business growth. One new program that recently launched is the Select Tennessee Site Certification Program. Tennessee is home to hundreds of potential commercial building sites in various stages of development. The new program is aimed at creating a central database to manage information on available sites, as well as working with communities to get these sites deal-ready certified so new projects are able to move forward more quickly. The database is expected to be up and running by the end of the year. Notably, Tennessee ranked third among the states for its certified sites or shovel-ready programs.
The main goal under Governor Bill Haslam is to attract and create high-wage jobs. “We are putting a significant focus on attracting headquarters, back office operations, and advanced manufacturing,” Brock adds.
Source: Area Development