North Carolina falls to No. 3 in business climate ranking

North Carolina’s business climate ranking slipped from No. 2 to a tie for No. 3 in a new survey of corporate executives nationwide.

North Carolina was ranked behind Texas and Florida – and tied with Georgia – in the latest survey by Development Counsellors International, which focuses on economic development and tourism marketing. DCI has conducted the survey every three years since 1996.

North Carolina ranked No. 2 in the prior four surveys conducted in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011.

North Carolina recently overhauled its economic development efforts. Earlier this month the nonprofit Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, which has taken over job-recruiting and marketing efforts for the state, opened its doors in Cary.

A total of 17.6 percent of the executives surveyed ranked North Carolina among the best states for business in the latest survey, compared to 18.1 percent for Florida and 49.7 percent for Texas. In 2011, 27 percent of those surveyed ranked North Carolina among the best states.

Among those who ranked North Carolina among the best: 31 percent cited its pro-business environment; 31 named the quality and availability of the workforce; and 25 percent cited low overall operating costs.

The Charlotte Regional Partnership ranked No. 2 among regional economic development organizations nationwide in the latest survey.

The online survey was based on responses from 356 corporates executives responsible for site selection and consultants who work with those executives. The respondents were asked to name the three states with the most favorable business climates.