North Carolina -- CNBC has ranked North Carolina the best state for business in the United States in 2022.

On July 13, 2022,  Governor Roy Cooper joined CNBC's Scott Cohn at Wrightsville Beach's Oceanic at the Crystal Pier for a live broadcast announcing the winner.

“North Carolina is the best place in America to do business and the main reason is our people,” Governor Cooper said. “This is a great honor, and we’re going to continue to work with our state legislature, businesses, education leaders and employees to build the talented workforce and resilient infrastructure needed to support the high paying jobs of the next generation.” 

“North Carolina is proud of its economic success that continues to garner national recognition like being CNBC’s Best State for Business,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Last year, we announced more than 24,000 new jobs and investments exceeding $10.1 billion from future-focused companies in fields like biotechnology, computers, and electric vehicles. There are many factors for our success, including our central East Coast location, premier quality of life and low cost of business, but our greatest asset is our diverse and highly-skilled workforce that is supported by our top-rated education system. We will continue to focus on creative partnerships for talent development as we evolve to meet the demands of existing, new, and future employers like Apple, Toyota, and FUJIFILM that call North Carolina home.” 

“To say North Carolina had a record year in 2021 would be an understatement,” said Gene McLaurin, chair of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina’s (EDPNC) Board of Directors. “Our economic development successes would not have been possible without collaboration between Governor Cooper, the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the EDPNC, and other public and private partnerships. Because of that collaboration, we have been able to create an award-winning business climate that the biggest companies in the world want to experience and use for their own successes, as well as for the successes of North Carolinians.” 

The CNBC analysis examines 88 metrics in ten competitiveness categories. North Carolina scored well in the categories of Economy, Access to Capital, and Technology and Innovation. Since 2017, North Carolina has placed in the top five three times.

Since Governor Cooper assumed office in 2017, North Carolina has announced approximately 95,000 employment opportunities, including announcements from Apple, Vinfast, Toyota, and Centene Corp. This remarkable recruitment achievement in both rural and urban North Carolina continues to contribute value to the state's burgeoning manufacturing and renewable energy sectors.

Governor Cooper has prioritized workforce development and education. In May 2021, the Governor initiated the Longleaf Commitment Community College Grants Program, which guarantees that recent high school graduates from low- and middle-income families will receive at least $2,800 in federal and state grants to cover tuition and the majority of fees at any of the state's 58 community colleges. In July of 2018, the Governor introduced the Finish Line Grants Program to assist community college students with unanticipated financial emergencies in completing their education.

Governor Cooper unveiled the North Carolina Child Care Stabilization Grants in October 2021, a $805 million investment in the state's early care and learning child care programs. These grants aided child care centers in recruitment and retention efforts and assisted parents in returning to the workforce.

Governor Cooper has prioritized assisting companies throughout the pandemic, forming alliances to guarantee that employees and customers can visit businesses securely. In addition, he allocated funds to aid the businesses severely damaged by the pandemic, offering direct monetary assistance to the hotel industry through the Business Recovery Grant Program and ensuring the survival of women- and minority-owned businesses through the ReTool NC Program.

During the pandemic, North Carolina had among the lowest rates of COVID-related mortality and employment losses per capita because of these investments. According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, North Carolina's economy returned to its pre-COVID-19 employment level and GDP by mid-2021, considerably ahead of the national average, and the state's unemployment rate is at a 22-year low.

Wnctimes by Marjorie Farrington


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