Skip to main content

North Carolina Reclaims Site Selection Magazine’s Prosperity Cup

By Allan Maurer, NCBiotech Writer

North Carolina won Site Selection Magazine’s prestigious Prosperity Cup for 2017, topping all states’ rankings, in the publication's May issue.

North Carolina was tied with Texas in 2016 after topping the ranking in 2015 when Site Selection called its evaluation “Top Competitive States.”

The magazine notes that North Carolina's return to the top of the chart was helped by the fact that it ranked fourth nationally in total new and expanded facility announcements in 2016 with 289 projects. Significantly, though not included in the story, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center partnered in bringing some key life science expansions, recruitments and relocations in that tally to fruition. Also, the state retained other major advantages:

  • One of the most educated workforces in the nation.
  • A temperate climate.
  • Two international airports: Raleigh-Durham International, a major life science and tech center, and Charlotte, the American Airlines hub, a major financial center.
  • Three coastal ports.
  • A desirable mid-Atlantic location.
  • Top research universities and community colleges.
  • A 3 percent corporate tax rate, lowest east of the Mississippi other than Ohio.

The article notes that the state is placing more emphasis on offering incentives to companies that locate in rural rather than urban areas. “We have been successful in many rural areas, bringing in some advanced manufacturing and non-woven textiles,” N.C. Secretary of Commerce Anthony Copeland told the magazine.

“The governor’s budget includes money for site [preparation], especially in rural counties. It’s only real estate until the infrastructure is there.”

He calls the state’s approach to working with companies “A wraparound strategy. When we’re working with companies, we all need to wrap our arms around that – the state, legislature, local county and local municipality.”

The top ten states in the ranking overall are N.C., Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Michigan, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky and Louisiana, in that order.

In the South Atlantic region, top scorers are, in order: N.C., Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia.

Site Selection uses a variety of data points to rank the states, including:

  • Total new and expanded facilities in 2016 and total per 1 million population.
  • Total capital investment in new and expanded facilities for the year.
  • Total new jobs created per 1 million population.
  • The Tax Foundation’s state tax climate ranking.
  • Performance on Beacon Hill Institute’s State Competiveness index.

Add new comment

Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture.
Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.