Georgia: Top State For Business

Emily Poole, Region 3 (Metro Atlanta) Project Manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Georgia has been ranked the top state in the nation for business for the past five years by at least two business ranking companies, according to Emily Poole, metro Atlanta project manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Poole spoke to the Georgia Association of Business Brokers on June 25 at their weekly meeting. Site Selection, an internationally circulated business publication covering corporate real estate and economic development, ranked Georgia tops in the nation for business from 2013 through 2018.  Area Development, a leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation, ranked Georgia tops in the nation from 2014-2018, Poole said.

In her presentation “Georgia: A Profile in Economic Development,” Ms. Poole described how her department works to develop business in Georgia, how they track trends and how varying factors converge to make local projects happen. The GABB is the state’s largest association of professionals dedicated to buying and selling businesses and franchises.

Among the items that make the Peach State favorable for business:

  • Unchanged 6% corporate income tax rate for over 50 years;  lowered to 5.75% effective January 1, 2019.
  • Consistent AAA credit rating from all three credit agencies for the past 20 years
  • First Southeastern state to adopt single-factor apportionment
  • Certain tax credits applicable to payroll withholding
  • Top 10 for lowest effective tax rate

Georgia many economic incentive programs include job tax credits, a port tax credit bonus, a quality jobs tax credit and mega project tax credits. The state also has discretionary grants for land acquisition, site preparation, building construction and equipment costs. Community incentives include the potential for property tax abatement, buying land at a reduced cost, waivers of permitting fees, site preparation and cash grants.


Hear her presentation here.

The Georgia Association of Business Brokers meets at conference room hosted by the Georgia Association of Realtors at 6065 Barfield Road, Sandy Springs, GA, 30328. The monthly GABB meeting is free and open to the public and is preceded at 9:45 a.m. by a free light breakfast and networking session. Thanks to Christopher J. Cowart, CFP®, CTFA, CRPC®, Vice President, Private Wealth Management for SunTrust Bank for sponsoring the meeting. The meeting will last from about 10:30 to somewhere between 11:30 and noon. Please fill out the form below if you are not a GABB member but wish to attend our meeting.

Emily Poole serves as the Region 3 (Metro Atlanta) Project Manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Prior to joining the Department, Emily worked for the City of Fayetteville as their Director of Economic Development, as well as the Fayette County Development Authority as Vice President of Economic Development.

Awarded Fayette County Young Professional of the Year for 2011, Emily has an impressive record of community service and partnership. The 2012-2013 President of Young Professionals of Fayette County, Emily has served on the board of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Fayetteville.  Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for Bloom, AV Pride, and Fayette Senior Services.  Additionally, she is a 2013 graduate of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute, and a 2014 graduate of Leadership Fayette.

A native of Fayette County, she graduated from McIntosh High School in Peachtree City. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology & Human Services and an MBA in International Business from Clayton State University where she was recognized with the “MBA Service & Leadership” Award for the Class of 2016.

The GABB is the state’s largest and oldest association of professionals who specialize in brokering the purchase and sale of businesses and franchises. Broker members help owners determine the asking price of their business, create marketing plans and strategies for selling their business, identify and qualify buyers, and have the knowledge, experience and skills needed to help maintain the confidential nature of the process. Affiliate members include bankers, lawyers, appraisers, insurers and other professionals who work closely with brokers to help owners and buyers get to the closing table.

For more information about GABB, please contact GABB President Dean Burnette at 912-247-3209 or, or GABB Executive Director Diane Loupe at or 404-374-3990.