CNBC has named North Carolina America’s Top State for Business in 2022. Consistently in the top 10 since the study began in 2007, and a close 2nd last year, this is the first time North Carolina has taken the #1 spot. 

How States Were Ranked

CNBC scored all 50 states on 88 metrics in 10 broad categories of competitiveness. Those categories were Workforce; Infrastructure; Cost of Doing Business; Economy; Life, Health, & Inclusion; Technology & Innovation; Business Friendliness; Education; Access to Capital; and Cost of Living.  Each category was weighted based on how frequently states used them as a selling point in economic development marketing materials. 

North Carolina ranked 1st in Economy, 2nd in Access to Capital, and 5th in the Technology & Innovation categories.  

CNBC explained it this way:

“North Carolina’s solid finances are the cornerstone of the nation’s top Economy as measured by the CNBC study. The state’s credit rating is pristine; its fiscal balance is sound. According to government statistics, economic growth at 6.7% last year and job growth at 3.6% were among the strongest in the nation.

The state ranks No. 2, behind only California, for Access to Capital. Having the nation’s second- and sixth-largest banks based in Charlotte (Bank of America and Truist Financial, respectively) provides a home-field advantage of sorts. But North Carolina companies also attracted some $3.5 billion in venture capital investments last year, the sixth highest in the country, according to the National Venture Capital Association. And state grant and loan programs for business have gotten new life under the state’s bipartisan truce.

In Technology and Innovation, the home of the famed Research Triangle Park finishes at No. 5. North Carolina institutions are among the leading recipients of National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health research funding, and the state ranks high for cryptocurrency mining, a new factor in this year’s rankings.”

North Carolina’s Top Score is No Surprise

Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, wasn’t surprised by the ranking, and commented, “NC’s efforts to lower corporate taxes and personal income tax and to support education from  K-12, the community college system and university system, have added the special sauce to create this environment. NC’s not perfect, but it’s better than most.”

“Davie County is the proof in the pudding,” he added. “In 2021, we welcomed seven industrial partners that will create 550 new jobs and add $100 million to the tax base – and my phone continues to ring.”  

Free Enterprise is Alive and Well

“Regardless of what we hear on TV, there is still an incredible amount of money that people want to invest in NC. As urban America continues to move to the suburbs, communities like ours will continue to grow and benefit from this national trend.  We are blessed in our county that free enterprise is alive and private sector investors believe in our local community. I’m delighted they are willing to invest over $100 million again this year and bring more new jobs to our area. NC and Davie County are becoming a destination of choice.”

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