Georgia ranks No. 1 for business; Kemp visits area to discuss economy

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 10:55 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Governor Brian Kemp stopped in our area today at the Kia Georgia Training Center to discuss Hurricane Ian and tout the progress the Peach state has made in recovering from the pandemic.

This visit was part of a major announcement that Georgia is ranked as the number one state for business for the 9th year in a row.

The distinction was given by Area Development magazine. It’s a publication used by companies to determine the best places to expand their business. During his visit, Governor Kemp and other state and local economic developers explained how the Peach state got this title once again.

A little over a month before voters head to the polls, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is talking about the state’s economy in Troup County, picking Kia Georgia’s Training Center in West Point for a big announcement.

The plant is home to three thousand employees, producing over 340,000 vehicles per year and over 3.8 million cars since production started nearly 13 years ago.

“Governor Kemp has been a friend of Kia since his inauguration in 2018. He’s officiated two of our new model launches and celebrated with us our 10-year anniversary,” said Kia Georgia’s CEO Stuart Countess.

Top of mind right now, the Governor also took some time to talk about preparing Georgians for Hurricane Ian.

“...I’ve also declared a state of emergency for every county in Georgia to ensure we’re prepared for whatever this major weather event will bring our way,” said Governor Kemp.

While there isn’t much impact expected in the Chattahoochee Valley, Governor Kemp does encourage everyone to take the hurricane seriously.

Then he turned to that positive economic news.

“I’ve had the pleasure of announcing that Georgia has been named for the unprecedented 9th year in a row...the number one state for business. So, congratulations to you all,” said Gov. Kemp.

The title comes from Area Development magazine, used by companies to determine the best places to move and expand their business. Alabama ranked 6th on the publication’s list.

“In this past fiscal year alone, Georgia saw a record 51,132 new private sector jobs come to our state, and over 21.2 billion dollars in investments come to our communities,” said Gov. Kemp.

The list was compiled by consultants across the country, looking for states with the best overall cost of doing business, access to capital, real estate availability, workforce development programs and more.

“They blew it off the charts. Georgia -- there wasn’t one state that came close. There wasn’t one state that came close in those responses,” said the President of Area Development Magazine, Dennis Shea.

Governor Kemp says he will continue ensuring Georgia remains the number one state for business. News Leader 9 reached out to Stacey Abrams’ campaign for comment but has not heard back yet.