North Carolina just won the coveted title of “America’s Top State for Business” in CNBC’s annual ranking, marking a historic first victory for the Tarheel state.
All 50 states were ranked on ten different categories using a points system, including Workforce, Infrastructure, Business Friendliness, and Life, Health & Inclusion. This year’s Infrastructure category also included crypto currency mining as a factor.
Unsurprisingly, North Carolina scored high on Access to Capital, Technology and Innovation and Workforce. The state recently scored a $4 billion dollar contract with Vietnamese automotive company VinFast, bringing a major manufacturing facility to Chatham County by 2024.
Major economic players like VinFast are attracted to the state by business friendly regulations, a thriving workforce pipeline in the trades, skilled labor and tech and land pre-zoned for industry. Infrastructure plays a big role in recruiting companies by offering utilities required for industry like roads, sewer and water. Chatham boasts two of NC’s five mega-sites — which means 40% of the state’s mega-sites are located in just one of its 100 counties.
“I’ve always believed our state to be a special gem,” said Antonio McBroom, board member of the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation. “Governor Roy Cooper and Chatham EDC president Michael Smith are true ambassadors and I’m excited for more of the world to enjoy the magical place I’m blessed to call home.”
CNBC cited North Carolina’s commitment to bipartisanship as the key to its economic success. With Roy Cooper as governor and a majority Republican legislature, leaders have had to set aside their differences to work together.
While the state scored high on markers for business, it fell behind in the Life, Health & Inclusion category, coming in at No. 28.
Nevertheless, NC’s new ranking bodes well for the economic future of Chatham and Orange counties as state leaders continue to set aside partisan politics to ensure future jobs and economic development.