2004 SB&D 100 State Summary

Job 100 Job JMD Investment 100 Investment JMD Total Deals Total Points Per Capita Rank
ALABAMA 5 22 8 8 43 280 FIRST

In an economy such as we've experienced since 2001, few states in the country can say their economy has never been better. Currently, Alabama's economy may be the best it has ever been. Sure, low wage industries have closed up in 'Bama as they have everywhere else. Yet, it can be argued that no state in the country is turning more deals per capita than Alabama right now. The automotive industry has found this state to its liking in a huge way. If the automotive industry is driving the South's economy, then Alabama is at the wheel. Alabama is our "State of the Year" for the second consecutive year.

ARKANSAS 2 1 1 1 5 40 15th

For three years now we have predicted that Arkansas is primed for big deals and each year we've been wrong. This year's SB&D 100 clearly points to another disappointment for the Razorback State. However, it is encouraging to see some significant automotive investments finding Arkansas. But with only five significant deals for the year, our confidence in Arkansas is waning. We'll stay on Arkansas' bandwagon for one more year. After that, we're getting off.

FLORIDA 19 19 11 4 53 415 10th

The Sunshine State has been all over the board in the last three years. In the 2002 SB&D 100, Florida won its second "State of the Year" with 645 points. Last year it posted a mere 360 points. This year, it's 53 deals that made our lists earned 415 points. Tampa Bay, which won Mega-market of the year the last two years could only muster 70 points this year. Orlando, on the other hand, won its second "Major Market of the Year" in the past three years. The Scripps Research Institute's decision to build in Palm Beach County was undoubtedly the most interesting deal of the year. Solid year for Florida, but nothing to call mama about.

GEORGIA 3 21 8 7 39 250 7th

For the first time in the 12-year history of the SB&D 100, Georgia's deals were spread throughout the state and not almost exclusively in the Atlanta metro. Every one of Georgia's mid-markets, including Macon, Columbus, Augusta, Rome and Savannah put at least one good deal on the board. And much smaller markets such as Fort Valley, LaGrange, Vidalia, Waycross and a bunch of others turned significant deals as well. We are recognizing Georgia for the first time since 1996 and it's because the wealth was spread to other parts of the state and not just to Atlanta. Good job Peach State!

KANSAS 0 2 1 1 4 25 LAST

Nothing much happened in the way of big deals in Kansas in 2003. It's hard to hammer the Sunflower State because their state economic development agency just might be the most efficient, professional and responsive state group that we deal with. But hammer them we will. Four deals in a year? Come on. The aerospace and aviation industry, one of Kansas' largest industries, had its best year in the history of the SB&D 100. Regardless, only four deals. There's always next year.

KENTUCKY 1 12 5 11 30 180 5th

Moving on up! Two years ago, Kentucky had its worst year in the history of the SB&D 100, earning but 100 points. Last year the Bluegrass State was one of just five states that improved its points from the year before. While not a record year, Kentucky improved to 180 points this year, one of the largest point increases of any Southern state. The performance earned Kentucky its first "State Honorable Mention."

LOUISIANA 1 10 14 7 32 235 4th

Typically, Louisiana earns the bulk of its points in the Investment 100 category. This year is no different. We've maintained for years that we will not recognize Louisiana until it does a better job at turning large job generating deals. Surprise! This year it did, with one Job 100 deal and an impressive 10 "just missed" job deals, its best performance in seven years. Still, 175 of its 235 points came from large investment deals. Regardless, a "State Special Recognition" was earned by Louisiana this year for those 11 big job deals.

MARYLAND 2 4 1 2 9 60 16th

Maryland's point totals have dropped by half each of the last three years from 100 in 2001 to 25 last year. But some significant government/defense deals landed in Maryland in 2003. Even so, the nine deals and 60 points, while an improvement, is still a long way from what it needs to be.

MISSISSIPPI 2 6 7 7 22 155 2nd

Even with the drop in points from 205 last year to 155 this year, Mississippi continues to impress. Second this year only to Alabama in points per capita, the Magnolia State benefited from a variety of industries including ship building, aerospace, automotive, gaming and metals. The Mississippi Gulf Coast markets of Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula won their second "Mid-Market of the Year" honor with 70 points. Columbus had a fine year as well.

MISSOURI 5 4 5 8 22 160 9th

With 160 points, it wasn't a bad year for the Show Me State. Last year saw Missouri earn 165 points. Maintaining is an honorable goal in this economy. Missouri would perform better if it spent more time on recruiting new projects instead of so much time on the retention of existing industry. Kansas City performed well, earning recognition in the Major Market division. But nothing much seems to happen in Missouri's rural areas. The state should do a better job at creating jobs outside of its metros.

NORTH CAROLINA 4 12 2 8 27 160 14th

The Tar Heel State continues to struggle in a big way. Posting 160 points for a second straight year is more than concerning, it's downright alarming. Since the 2000 SB&D 100, N.C.'s points have gone like this: 335, 310, 215, 160 and 160. During this freefall, politicos and economic development officials have tried everything from tinkering with incentives to sending videos to the President about outsourced jobs. It's time that North Carolina officials admit they have a problem instead of dismissing every good idea that they don't come up with. In other words, ditch the dadgum skepticism about the way economic development is practiced today. N.C., you were always a thoroughbred. Yet, if it wasn't for your brilliant moves in the biotech arena, we'd label you a nag this year.

OKLAHOMA 4 7 1 0 12 85 11th

There are times when you admire and recognize those who do well with little resources and then there are times when those little resources are not enough to do well. The last few years have seen Oklahoma perform beyond their state economic development office's capabilities. This year is not one of those years.

SOUTH CAROLINA 4 5 2 5 16 10 13th

Here's another state that has gutted its economic development department in this economic downturn and the drop in points shows. But this year should be the bottom for the Palmetto State. There's new optimism coming out of there and that's half the battle won when you're struggling. We reported neighboring North Carolina's point drop since 2000, so we'll do S.C.'s as well: 215, 225, 265, 180 and 110. If we get off Arkansas' bandwagon next year, we'll jump on South Carolina's because the state is primed for big deals.

TENNESSEE 13 15 2 0 30 225 6th

Tennessee's 28 big job deals rank near the top in the South this year. It's really a shame that Tennessee doesn't report all of its investment deals because if they did, we would call this year a great one for the Volunteer State. In other words, the 225 points earned by Tennessee this year is not accurate. It really should be about 350. Regardless, there's no doubt that Tennessee is one of the hottest states in the country right now. When you land big headquarter relocations like Tennessee did in 2003, well, that's about as good as it gets. Yet, Nashville is getting cocky for no reason. Memphis has outperformed them for four straight years now, as have many other major markets in the South.

TEXAS 27 33 23 6 89 695 8th

It's about time. No state has seen its points drop like Texas in this economy. Since 2000, Texas' points have gone like this: 825, 675, 610, and 355. This year's 695 almost doubles their points from last year. But if you want to really impress us, Texas, ring up another one of those 1,300 point years you posted from 1996 to 1998. Seriously though, Texas had to have a year like they had in 2003. The Lone Star State turned the "Deal of the Year" with the new Texas Instruments fab in Dallas and they also turned the second-best deal of the year with Toyota's San Antonio assembly plant.

VIRGINIA 10 24 13 13 60 415 3rd

Another good year posted by Virginia. The Old Dominion holds the most "State of the Year" crowns with three and they weren't that far off from winning it again this year. Virginia's points are up from 355 points last year, but down from the 615 points earned in 2001. Still, Virginia's performance year-in and year-out is the most consistent in the entire South. There's one thing the state of Virginia has learned in its economic development practices over the years that we wish all Southern states would learn: you get what you pay for. In other words, no state has invested in itself or in its economic development practices more than Virginia has over the last decade or so.

WEST VIRGINIA 1 1 2 2 6 45 12th

The South's smallest state acted like it in 2003. Not a whole lot of big deal activity, but not a horrible year by West Virginia standards. They've certainly done better, though. At least W.V. posted deals across the board. Look for a better year next year.