North Carolina consistently ranks as one of the top places in the nation to live and do business. The state offers low business costs, supportive business environment, plentiful, productive labor force and outstanding scenic and recreational attractions. To find more information about North Carolina and for resources to help start, locate or expand a business in the state, visit the North Carolina Department of Commerce website.
North Carolina Business Overview
Content credit: North Carolina Department of Commerce
From skilled workers and a comprehensive workforce development network to a nationally touted business climate, North Carolina has the tangibles that businesses need as well as a lifestyle that helps employees flourish. People are at their best in North Carolina and in this increasingly global economy, happy and productive people are the source of a company’s competitive advantage. We’ve got everything from top universities and research that influences the world to a low cost of living and a pace of life that lets people get out and enjoy their surroundings. Just a few of the many reasons North Carolina consistently ranks at the top among places to live and do business. Check out this site to learn more about the incentives in North Carolina, from business resources and human resources to natural resources, that give companies in this right-to-work state a competitive advantage.
North Carolina’s Distinct Advantages
Our great labor environment and skilled productive workers, along with a comprehensive workforce development network and exceptional educational opportunities, ensure that people and businesses have what they need to Thrive. North Carolina’s proximity to many major markets and global connectivity help to move goods and people efficiently. In fact, we have the largest state-maintained highway system in the nation as well as 76 public, 225 private and four international airports. Add to that the fact that we are a right-to-work state, have one the lowest costs of doing business and a low cost of living and you can see why our population is growing at twice the national average.
Strong pipeline for labor
In today’s global economy, people are the most important asset to any company and North Carolina gives them what they need to flourish. We don’t just have one thing, we have it all. The businesses, the commerce, the people and the rich quality of life that everyone is looking for.
Our many skilled workers, as well as the highly specialized pools of talent already here, give your company a competitive advantage. They are dependable, hardworking and more than that, they are happy. That’s because they have the types of careers and opportunities available to them that help them succeed. Making them more productive. In fact, North Carolina workers are 36% more productive than the average U.S. worker.
And productive, happy workers create better businesses. They, along with a vast infrastructure and a collaborative, business-friendly environment, ensure that businesses here have what they need to make things happen. Universities, community colleges, military bases and other training programs coupled with a growing population continually provide a workforce with the skills that are in demand globally.
Skilled, productive workers and a friendly labor environment – A growing and diverse population that fuels a high-quality labor force for today’s advanced manufacturing and knowledge-based industries.
Comprehensive workforce development network – Customized recruiting, screening and training services and lifelong learning opportunities available through a coordinated network of agencies.
Exceptional educational opportunities – Nationally recognized preschool programs, accountable public schools, accessible state community colleges and university systems and outstanding private institutions all constantly developing new talent.
Proximity to major markets – A central East Coast location and extensive transportation infrastructure within a 700-mile radius of more than 170 million U.S. and Canadian consumers with global connections via deep water ports and international flights.
Global connectivity – Statewide high-speed internet access, 100% digital switching and other infrastructure investments for advanced voice, data and video communications and networking options. Add in our four international airports, and two ports and you are easily connected with the world.
Competitive operating cost structure – Construction costs, electric rates, overall taxes and cost-of-living indices all below the national average.
A government that works for business – Our leadership makes strategic investments in education, infrastructure and technology and emphasizes sound fiscal policy through a constitutionally mandated balanced budget, reasonable tax rates and AAA bond rating.
Performance-based, targeted incentives programs – Designed to lower your costs and increase global competitiveness, including discretionary grants in competitive situations and statutory tax credits for job creation, investments and research and development.
Quality of Life
A great place to live – Diverse geography and moderate climate for a variety of outdoor recreation activities stretching from the mountains to the beach. The state’s cultural offerings, rich history and variety of arts include everything from ballet and museums to festivals and symphonies. Our intense collegiate and professional sports rivalries are known the world over. All these activities help to create a quality of life that recruits new talent.
North Carolina’s accolades include:
- No. 1 Most Competitive State- Site Selection magazine, May 2015
- No.3 Best Business Climate- Site Selection magazine, November 2014
- No. 5 Most Competitive State- Site Selection magazine, May 2014
- No. 3 Best State for Business- Forbes magazine, November 2014
- No. 4 Best State for Business- Forbes magazine, September 2013
- No. 2 Best Business Costs- Forbes magazine, September 2013
- No. 5 America’s Top States for Business- CNBC survey, June 2014
- No. 2 Most Cost-Efficient for Manufacturing- AIER study, The Business Journals, July 2011
- No. 8 Venture Capital Investments- The Business Journals, August 2011
- No. 3 Best State for Business- by CEOs, Chief Executive magazine, May 2015
- No. 4 Best State for Business- by CEOs, Chief Executive magazine, June 2014
- 2014 Silver Shovel Award Winner- Area Development magazine, August 2014
- 2013 Silver Shovel Award Winner- Area Development magazine, May 2013
- No. 3 Lowest State & Local Tax Burden on Business- Council on State Taxation and Ernst & Young, August 2014
- 2013 CiCi Awards
- No. 3 Nationally Annual in-Migration to States- United Van Lines, January 2014
- No. 21 Milken Institute State Technology Index- April 2013
- No. 1 Best Business Climate—Site Selection magazine, November 2012
- No. 5 Most Competitive State—Site Selection magazine, May 2013
- No. 4 Most New Projects and Expansions in 2011—Site Selection magazine, March 2012
- No. 4 America’s Top States for Business—CNBC survey, July 2012
- No. 2 Most Cost-Efficient for Manufacturing—AIER study, The Business Journals, July 2011
- No. 8 Venture Capital Investments—The Business Journals, August 2011
- No. 3 Best State for Business—by CEO’s, Chief Executive magazine, May 2013
- No. 4 Best State for Business—Forbes magazine, December 2012
- No. 2 Best Business Costs —Forbes magazine, December 2012
- 2012 Silver Shovel Award Winner—Area Development magazine, June 2012
- No. 1 Lowest State & Local Tax Burden on Business—Council on State Taxation and Ernst & Young, July 2012