State Among Best In Nation For Economic Development

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NASHVILLE – Business Facilities, a national economic development publication, has issued its annual 2010 Rankings Report and Tennessee, along with many cities throughout the state, has earned top honors.

The Volunteer State was ranked number one in the nation for Automotive Manufacturing Strength, number two for Economic Growth Potential and number five for Best Business Climate.
“We’ve worked hard to distinguish Tennessee as one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, and I’m pleased the editors of Business Facilities and other corporate decision-makers are taking notice,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “We remain committed to growing our state’s economy and providing the best possible education and training for our workforce.”
The key metric used in Business Facilities’ 2010 rankings was growth, giving special emphasis to the growth potential of each location’s economic development strategy. Calling its Rankings Report a “barometer of the economic outlook,” Business Facilities identified those states and cities that are poised for success in the new, emerging economy as the nation eases out of recession.
“We’ve gotten the attention of corporate decision makers by adopting a job creation strategy focusing on the unique goals of each project and that approach is certainly paying off as the Business Facilities Rankings Report clearly indicates,” said Matt Kisber, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “Under the leadership of Governor Bredesen, we’ve completely remade the process of economic development by fostering a culture of collaboration on both the state and local levels and by addressing the real needs of growing businesses through our flexible incentives.”
With the top ranking for Automotive Manufacturing Strength, Business Facilities made mention of Tennessee’s success in attracting first-tier auto suppliers to support the new Volkswagen plant under construction in Chattanooga. Rounding out the top five in the automotive category was Kentucky, South Carolina, Michigan and Ohio.
Tennessee’s top two finish in the new Economic Growth Potential category honors those states with the most effective overall strategies and the successful executions of those strategies.  In 2009 alone, the state welcomed more than 21,000 new jobs and $6 billion in new capital investment.
Describing Tennessee as a “one of the players to watch in the alternative energy sector,” the state came in at number five on the list of Solar Energy Manufacturing Leaders and number six on the Alternative Energy Industry Leaders lists.
Other mentions Tennessee received in the 2010 Rankings Report include: fifth for Quality of Life, seventh for Cost of Labor and ninth Best Transportation Infrastructure. In January 2010, the editors of Business Facilities also named Tennessee the 2009 State of the Year for the number of new jobs created and amount of capital investments made during the calendar year.
The accolades don’t stop at the state level, however, with Tennessee cities topping several economic development related lists.
Chattanooga was number one in the Top 10 Metro Economic Growth Potential rankings. When the Volkswagen assembly plant begins production there early next year, a University of Tennessee study estimated $511 million will be created annually in new personal incomes for the region and more than $55 million will be generated annually in new tax revenues for state and local governments.  
In West Tennessee, Memphis notched a number one finish in the Top Logistics/Distribution Hubs rankings. The Bluff City was lauded for its superior rail, water and road access, and the fact that the Memphis International Airport is the world’s busiest freight airport with an estimated $22 billion annual impact on the area economy.
Tennessee cities dominated the Top 10 Metro Best Cost of Living rankings with four making the cut, more than any other state. Memphis was ranked number two, Nashville was number five and Chattanooga finished ninth, followed by Knoxville at number ten. Clarksville was tenth in the Top 10 Metro Best Cost of Living rankings for cities with less than a 350,000 population.
Other notable rankings for Tennessee cities included: Knoxville at number five in the Top 10 Metro Economic Growth Potential list for cities under 200,000 in population; Clarksville at number four and Knoxville at number seven for Alternative Energy Industry Leaders; Nashville was number two in the Top 10 Metro Quality of Life list; and Clarksville finished eighth in the Low Cost Manufacturing Centers with less than 500,000 in population rankings.
To view the complete 2010 Business Facilities Rankings Report, visit
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