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Ohio’s business-climate ranking falls to seventh nationally

Ohio’s ranking dropped a couple of spots in an annual report that measures the state’s business climate, but it still received one of the top grades.

Trade publication Site Selection ranked Ohio seventh in the country this year, down from fifth in 2014 and second in 2012.

Georgia came in first for the third straight year in a competition dominated by Southern states. Ohio was the highest ranked state in the northern half of the country.

“We are pleased that Ohio remains in a strong top-10 position nationally and again has the No. 1 business climate in the Midwest,” said Matt Englehart, spokesman for JobsOhio, the state’s nonprofit economic-development organization.

“We have seen companies of all sizes and from many different sectors invest and grow jobs here because they see what we have long known — Ohio is one of the best places in the country to do business.”

In related news, Central Ohio expected to gain 466 jobs from projects offered tax credits.

Half of the ranking is based on a survey of corporate site selectors who are asked to rank the states based on their recent experience of locating facilities in them. Ohio came in 11th in that rating.

The other half is based on an index of seven criteria ranging from state tax burdens on companies to new projects to how the states fare on Site Selection’s annual competitiveness ranking.

Ohio’s highest rankings came from its rating on tax burden for new businesses (No. 3) and existing businesses (No. 5). It also came in fifth in the number of plants that have opened this year.

The past two years, the state has come in second in the country in Site Selection’s Governor’s Cup Competition that ranks the states based on economic-development projects per capita and total projects.

“That is really significant to me,” said Mark Arend, Site Selection’s editor in chief. “The state is attracting investment not in just a couple of industries, but attracting investments across diverse industries in numbers that are really significant.”

Arend said that while Ohio had the highest ranking in the Midwest, several states in the region are doing well.

“Ohio is among a handful of the states in the Midwest performing extremely well,” he said. ” Capital investment in the state and the Governor’s Cup, business climate and other rankings bear that out.”

This article was written by Mark Williams from The Columbus Dispatch and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.