RALEIGH – A leading publication for corporate real estate and expansion planning has named North Carolina as the nation’s leader in friendly business climate.
Site Selection magazine ranked Tar Heel state number one this year after being tied with Georgia in 2020. The magazine noted North Carolina’s low corporate tax rate and a host of new projects and expansions, as capital investment accelerates in the state.
Chris Chung, CEO of the North Carolina Economic Development Partnership, pointed out that the increased focus on remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic is likely benefiting the state, given its lower taxes and a higher level of freedom than some democrat-run metropolises.
“If you look at where the mobile or remote workforce is concentrated as it emerges from the pandemic, you can see why a state like North Carolina would be very attractive in terms of affordability and quality of life, of care. health and access to education, ”Chung said. “If you look at what people are looking for in normal times, we appeal to that. Maybe some people are now done with life in New York or Chicago and DC in terms of congestion and high cost. If they don’t have to live in these places and are allowed to work remotely, this is a very attractive option. North Carolina has the mix of qualities that would appeal to someone seeking greener pastures after the pandemic. “
Senator Todd Johnson, R-Union, co-chair of the Senate Trade Committee, said: “Low taxes, low spending and reasonable regulations ushered in a decade of boom for North Carolina. When a formula works, we have to pursue it, and that’s what the Republicans of North Carolina intend to do. “
Senator Steve Jarvis, R-Davidson, echoed these comments, saying that as a small business owner his goal is to keep the state “an environment where businesses can thrive and families can work.” It is clear that the policy of lowering taxes and providing incentives for businesses is a successful strategy. A friendly business environment will help lead our state to a bright and prosperous future. “
Jon Sanders, senior regulatory studies researcher for the John Locke Foundation, told the Carolina Journal that while the ranking is positive, the study should also be taken with a grain of salt. Since Site Selection is pro-business, its rankings give positive weight to states that offer many economic incentives.
Sanders notes that these “can be impressive for large companies looking to relocate, but for the economy as a whole, it’s a net cost, not a benefit.” He argues that the incentives force long-established businesses to bear a disproportionate amount of the tax burden so that newcomers can benefit from a lower tax rate to relocate to the state.
“Gov. (Roy) Cooper has been extremely helpful with multi-million dollar donations to big business while simultaneously demonizing tax cuts for small businesses and families, ”Sanders said.
But Sanders noted that the magazine rightly echoed the state’s adoption of “proven economic stimulators” such as lower regulations and taxes, educational infrastructure and training programs.
“Fortunately, the General Assembly appears determined to continue to maintain the regulatory and fiscal burdens of the state,” he said. “Choosing to stop playing favorites with some corporate buddies may not sound as impressive to big incentive-playing corporations, but it would reinforce the good already done for the state economy.”
This report follows on from previous state distinctions. CNBC ranked North Carolina # 2 on its list of the best states for business, and Lending Tree ranked North Carolina # 1 in the United States for starting a small business.