We recently relocated from Connecticut to Georgia – a personal location choice that echoed some of the factors I had explored with clients over the past three decades. Here, as both international and domestic corporate transplants attest, the climate, especially the business climate, is welcoming to newcomers and to those deciding which among their current locations provides an environment that helps rather than hinders when they expand operations.

Many of the economic development people in Georgia know that in addition to an aggressive offence, they need a good defence. This defence is best manifested in the strong showing that so many local operations have when they are compared with peers within their own firms.

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No matter the measures used internally, many, daresay most, southern US operations are consistently at the top of their companies’ internal rankings. That should bode well in the future for both attraction and expansion.

Now, in addition, some places have been strengthening their efforts to support young companies. Many have launched efforts pointed to creating a hospitable environment for young companies – removing meddlesome regulations, creating zoning and property tax programmes that enable affordable occupancy, establishing education and training programmes that supply relevant talent, even acting as a convener to facilitate private seed and venture capital investments. 

For some, it might be fruitful to seduce young companies from other places, especially where the leadership is not focused on improving the business climate. Many send recruiting teams to Silicon Valley, where the weather is great but some elements of the business climate present extra challenges. But there, recruiters roaming the Los Altos hills will find that traditional comparative strengths are not enough to differentiate themselves. Especially when it comes to human capital and current and potential talent pools from several ethnicities, only the most compelling messages will ring true.