The Last Word: Gov. Abbott On Why Texas Ranks No. 1 for ‘Top State Business Climate’ in 2023

The secret to our success is not complicated.

Greg Abbott
Governor of Texas
.…on w
hy Texas ranks No. 1 for “Top State Business Climate” in 2023, via Site Selection Magazine.

Texas just topped Site Selection’s annual ranking of state business climates. The state, typically in the top five business climate rankings, placed No. 3 last year. The No. 1 ranking follows another recent win—Texas won the publication’s Governor’s Cup for total capital investment projects for the 11th straight year in March.

“In Texas, we want businesses to succeed,” Abbott said in the publication. “Whether a company is new to our great state or has been in operation for years, when those businesses succeed, Texans succeed.”

Gov. Abbott said the state sees the impact of its economic development model “year after year as we continue to attract new jobs and capital investment from across the country and around the globe.” Texas is the eighth-largest economy in the world, he noted.

Earlier this summer, the governor’s office said the Texas economy has grown to $2.36 trillion, making its economy larger than Canada and Russia.

Per Site Selection, Texas’ “first-place finish is decisive with a total point score of 410, well ahead of second-place Georgia, which earned 361.” Also in the top five are Virginia (344), which was last year’s winner, North Carolina (343), and Ohio (330).

In an interview with the publication, Abbott highlighted two key pieces of legislation signed earlier this year that can keep the state a go-to for business investment both from within the U.S. and globally:

  • The $698 million Texas CHIPS Act will “accelerate semiconductor manufacturing in Texas and reduce our nation’s reliance on foreign production and supply chains.”
  • The Jobs, Energy, Technology and Innovation Act (JETI), which replaces the Chapter 313 incentives program, is a new competitive economic incentive for large-scale projects that “will help ensure our communities have the necessary economic development tools to continue attracting new capital investments that will create good-paying jobs for generations.” The incentive continues to provide tax breaks on school property taxes to attract major capital investment in sectors like manufacturing, energy, and research.

Texas aligns with what site selectors report as their top location criteria, such as ease of permitting, workforce skills, and a pro-business tax scheme. According to the Site Selection survey, the top 10 most important location criteria for site selectors in 2023 are:

  1. Ease of permitting and regulatory procedures
  2. Workforce skills
  3. Land/building prices and supply
  4. Utilities (cost,reliability)
  5. Quality of life
  6. Workforce development
  7. Economic development strategy
  8. State and local tax scheme
  9. Transportation infrastructure
  10. Right-to-work state

While Texans may be accustomed to the state’s pro-growth environment and other “Texas advantages,” companies from across the nation and around the world continue to take notice. In Site Selection, Abbott says Texas offers companies “the freedom and our welcoming business climate” that allows innovative ideas to flourish.

Governor Abbott emphasized it’s the people of Texas that make these advantages possible—their work ethic, innovation, and drive help make Texas a hub for economic development and job creation. The governor credits the hard-working Texans who contribute to the state’s success in attracting investment.

“The economic momentum we’re seeing in Texas today is record-setting,” Gov. Abbott said.

The state has been awarded the Governor’s Cup for the most relocation and expansion projects in the nation every year since Abbott has been governor, Gov. Abbott said.

“But we cannot be complacent,” he added. “We’re in competition with locations not only across the United States but around the world.”

Read more in Site Selection Magazine’s November 2023 article.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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