Area Development: Louisiana Ranks As Top 5 State For Business

BATON ROUGE, La. — Area Development has ranked Louisiana No. 5 in the magazine’s annual Top States for Doing Business report, with the state climbing three spots from its No. 8 ranking last year. The 2016 report represents the sixth consecutive year Louisiana has ranked in the nation’s Top 10, and this year’s ranking is the highest ever for the state. Area Development surveys the nation’s top site selection consultants to produce the report’s findings.

“We are committed to quality job creation for Louisiana citizens, and maintaining a strong business climate is an important step toward that goal,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “A Top 5 showing in this important ranking by Area Development reinforces what we have long known about our economic development efforts. We are a leading destination for companies planning new expansion or relocation projects, and we value our partnerships with our existing business community across the state. We will continue working to provide new opportunities for our residents to build great careers right here at home.”

In addition to the overall Top States for Doing Business ranking, Area Development ranked states in a number of specific business categories. For example, Louisiana ranks No. 2 in Business Incentive Programs; No. 2 in Leading Workforce Development Programs; No. 3 in Cooperative and Responsive State Government; No. 5 in Favorable Regulatory Environment; and No. 7 in Speed of Permitting.

Area Development editors lauded LED FastStart® – Louisiana’s customized workforce development program – as a key element in the state’s successful business environment.

“A shortage of qualified workers is a common enough problem – what really sets some states apart is how well they address that challenge,” the magazine said. “Louisiana … gets high marks for its LED FastStart workforce training program, which blends employee recruitment, screening services, and the development and delivery of training programs for new or growing companies – the cost: zero. FastStart’s staffers have experience in a wide range of industries, giving them the ability to support everything from manufacturing operations to corporate headquarters to R&D initiatives to call centers.”

The magazine also took particular note of Louisiana’s productive business incentives programs.

“It’s challenging to compare apples-to-apples when reviewing the advantages of different states, and business incentives are among the reasons. Every state is eager to land job-creating investment, and each state has its own way of sweetening the deal, with incentives that reflect local strengths as well as development aspirations and priorities,” Area Development said. “Louisiana … has a long and diverse list of possibilities, including incentives that encourage angel investment, technology, commercialization, rehabilitation of existing structures, and even the creation of motion pictures, theatrical productions, and sound recordings.”

The recognition by Area Development is among several top business climate rankings earned by Louisiana this year. Southern Business & Development ranked Louisiana No. 1 among Southern states for attracting the most significant capital investment and job-creation projects per capita, for the seventh year in a row.

In August, Business Facilities ranked LED FastStart® as the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program for the seventh consecutive year. In addition, Bloomberg recently described Louisiana’s economic health as that of a Top 10 state, citing such factors in its analysis as employment, personal income, home prices, mortgage delinquency, tax revenue and stock performance of companies domiciled in the state.

About Area Development
Founded in 1965, Area Development magazine is considered a leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation. Editorial coverage provides valuable information pertinent to the factors, key issues and criteria that affect a successful decision. Area Development is published quarterly and has 60,000 mailed copies. It also has a very active custom publishing group that has produced many award-winning magazines, inserts and brochures on behalf of its clients. Area Development maintains several highly visited websites:,, and For more on the Top States for Doing Business rankings, visit

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