Forbes names North Carolina as the best state for business

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Charlotte skyline
The Charlotte skyline (Wikimedia Commons)

With its strong business climate fueled by low business costs, incentives and an educated workforce, North Carolina has recently topped Forbes’ list of the Best States for Business 2017.

For 12 consecutive years, the state has ranked among the top five but never made it as number one until this 2017.

“An improved employment outlook and the second lowest business cost (labor, energy and taxes) have propelled North Carolina to first in our annual ranking, a spot previously only attained by Utah and Virginia since we launched the list in 2006,” Forbes reported on Nov. 28.

North Carolina ranked second in 2016 due to the “Bathroom Bill” which threatened its business climate. The bill required people to use the public facility that corresponds with their biological gender, leading to an economic loss of more than $500 million as Deutsche Bank and PayPal stopped their expansions within the state. The NBA, NCAA and ACC also withdrew their events.

When the state legislature partially rolled back the bill in March 2017, businesses immediately announced plans to return. The NBA scheduled its 2019 All-Star Game in Charlotte, and Credit Suisse continued its expansion, adding 1,200 new jobs.

“We opposed that law,” said Credit Suisse vice chairman Wilson Ervin. “During the period that HB2 was on the books, we had to put our plans on hold. We did not think that expansion could be done in a way that was consistent with our core values.”

To build the list, Forbes assessed states based on six categories: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. North Carolina was the only state to rank in all categories.

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