RALEIGH – North Carolina tops the nation when it comes to the state’s business climate, according to a new rankings analysis from Business Facilities.

That’s the second time this week that North Carolina has topped a rankings list for the strength of its business climate, as CNBC ranked the state first in the nation, as well.

“North Carolina hit a new level for business attraction and retention over the past 12 months, and our ranking of the state for Best Business Climate recognizes what an increasing number of companies have recognized by locating or expanding there,” said  Anne Cosgrove, the editorial director for the Business Facilities magazine in a statement announcing the results.

North Carolina beat out Virginia, Utah, Texas, and Tennessee, the other members of the top 5, and every other U.S. state.  Last year, Business Facilities ranked North Carolina second.

“The state’s move to the top of the leaderboard this year is a recognition of the success of a broad-based economic development approach from teams across the state,” added Cosgrove. “This ranking also looks beyond the sheer numbers, evaluating diversity of growth sectors, incentives, workforce development and training, and education partnerships.”

North Carolina is No. 1 for business, says CNBC in new report

Improvement spurred by economic development activity

Multiple large investments in the state were a driving force in the rankings, including a record year for economic development in the state.

But North Carolina is building on the success of 2021 in 2022, as well, including the announcement of VinFast deciding to build an automotive assembly plant in Chatham County earlier this year.  The state topped the nation in economic development in 2021 and won the Site Selection Prosperity Cup for the second year in a row.

Other economic development deals have led to an excellent first half of the year for the state, as well, with nearly 20,000 jobs and $8.4 billion in investment already announced between January 2022 and early July 2022, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce website.

“We appreciate Business Facilities magazine for recognizing North Carolina as the Best Business Climate,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders in a statement shared with WRAL TechWire today. “Despite the economic impacts of the pandemic, 2021 was a record year for North Carolina with 185 economic development projects, announcing more than 24,000 new jobs and $10.1 billion in investments.”

NC tops nation in economic development for second year in a row