MORRISVILLE – The Town of Morrisville is ranked 11th out of more than 1,300 towns and cities across the United States for its business climate for new entrepreneurs and business owners.

The WalletHub analysis compared 1,334 cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 residents across three dimensions and 18 key metrics.

According to the WalletHub data, which was shared with WRAL TechWire upon request, Morrisville ranked highly for individual metrics that tracked:

  • Average revenue per business (16th overall)
  • Its working-age population growth (23rd overall)
  • Workforce educational attainment (51st overall)
  • Job growth (56th overall)

The total composite score for Morrisville was 57.71, out of a possible 100, yielding a final rank of 11th out of the 1,334 cities in the study.  Morrisville was the only town or city in North Carolina to rank in the top 45 cities (Asheville ranked 47th).

Six towns in Utah were ranked in the top 15, along with three in Florida, two in Montana, and one each in Wyoming and North Dakota, according to the analysis.

The ranking of Morrisville among the most friendly towns in which to start a business came as no surprise to Morrisville Town Councilor Steve Rao, who is also a regular columnist for WRAL TechWire.

“At the end of the day, diversity, inclusivity, innovation, sustainability, all coming together, it’s really making Morrisville stand out as a destination for the best and brightest minds in the world,” Rao told WRAL TechWire in an interview this morning.

Why Morrisville? An insider’s look at a Triangle hotspot for new businesses, jobs

Three strengths

According to Rao, there are three “fundamental strengths” that position Morrisville as a leader among cities and towns of similar size.

First, said Rao, the town is very diverse, and values inclusivity.  That has led to the town becoming an attractive place for immigrants, especially highly-skilled professionals, said Rao.

“Morrisville is home to immigrants from nearly every part of the world, many who work in technology and life sciences,” said Rao.  “They come to Morrisville for work, and then they end up starting businesses.”

There’s also another portion of the region’s workforce that contributes to the strength of the town and the local economy, Rao noted.  That’s the town’s schools and workforce training opportunities, such as the Wake Tech RTP campus and an excellent STEM program for high school students that enable residents to launch an educational program early to earn advanced degrees in some of the future’s most in-demand skills or domain areas, such as cybersecurity, Rao said.

“The third thing is that, 10 of the 99 top publicly-traded companies that have a North Carolina presence are based in Morrisville,” said Rao.  “It’s become a hub, and Morrisville is on the map.”

“We’ve had so many economic development announcements,” Rao noted, highlighting the announcements of Microsoft, Invitae, Science 37, and others.  “All of these things are just giving Morrisville more momentum.”

This isn’t the first national, or global, recognition the town has received, either.  Morrisville was named the best place to live in North Carolina in by Niche last year.  And the city also received global recognition for its programs and initiatives as a smart city, Rao noted.

“Our team is leading regional efforts with the Smart Cities Council,” said Rao.  “Small businesses want to come to a town where they can leverage technology and innovation.”

Making NC a ‘smart state:’ Lessons learned from the Morrisville smart city playbook