North Carolina consistently ranks at the top among places to live and do business. From skilled workers and a comprehensive workforce development network to a nationally touted business climate, North Carolina offers businesses the tangible assets they require as well as a lifestyle that helps their employees flourish.
Recently, the business-friendly state enhanced its attractiveness to business even further by implementing a series of regulatory and tax reforms. North Carolina has moved to a flat tax rate of 5.8 percent for personal income, which will tick down further to 5.75 percent in 2015. The state’s previous corporate income tax rate of 6.9 percent has dropped to 6.0 percent and will decrease to 5.0 percent in 2015.
Corporate tax rates may drop to as low as 3.0 percent by 2017 if state revenue targets are met.
The state’s many incentives, from business resources and human resources to natural resources, combine to offer companies the competitive advantages they seek when choosing a business location.
In today’s global economy, people are the most important asset to any company and North Carolina offer companies a great labor environment with skilled, highly productive workers. In fact, North Carolina workers are 36 percent more productive than the average U.S. worker, according to research conducted by Dr. Michael Walden, a respected economist at N.C. State University and an expert on the North Carolina economy. The state’s heritage in manufacturing in particular has cultivated a pool of dependable, hardworking people and they’re available in sufficient numbers to meet company demand. North Carolina is the number one manufacturer employer in the Southeast and ninth overall in the country, with 19 percent of the state’s gross product derived from the manufacturing sector. More than 435,000 people are working in manufacturing positions in North Carolina. This workforce, along with a solid infrastructure and a collaborative business-friendly environment, ensures that businesses have what they need to make things happen.
One of North Carolina’s distinct advantages is its ready access to major markets in North America. North Carolina enjoys a central East Coast location with an extensive transportation infrastructure.
Companies located in the state are within a 700-mile radius of more than 170 million U.S. and Canadian consumers and can maintain global supply chain connections via two deep water ports and a host of international flights.
Quality of Life
From the moderate climate with excellent recreational opportunities to its culture-rich history and arts, there truly is something for everyone in the state. Combine that with quality healthcare and a low cost of living and it’s easy to see why people are moving to North Carolina at twice the national average. The quality of life enables businesses to attract and keep skilled and knowledgeable workers. From the mountains to the beaches and everything in between, North Carolina has what people are looking for to thrive.
Key Industries in North Carolina
Aerospace, Aviation, and Defense. In 1903, the Wright Brothers found the right conditions for success in North Carolina.
Today, North Carolina is an innovative and growing center for aerospace, with more than 180 aerospace and aviation companies engaged in manufacturing and service employing nearly 10,000 skilled workers in the sector. World-class companies such as Curtis-Wright, GE Aviation, Honda Aircraft Company, Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, Spirit AeroSystems, Turbomeca (SAFRAN) and UTC Aerospace are located in North Carolina.
Recently, GE Aviation broke ground for its new 170,000-square-foot facility in Asheville, which will be the first in the world to mass produce engine components made of advanced ceramic matrix composite
(CMC) materials. Within five years, the workforce at the plant is expected to grow to more than 340 people. Cutting-edge composites are also the hallmark of production at Spirit AeroSystem’s Kinston facility, where major elements of the new Airbus A350 XWB are being manufactured.
In addition, North Carolina is known as the most military-friendly state in the nation, with more than 100,000 active-duty personnel spread across seven military installations. More than 10,000 highly-trained individuals are available to join North Carolina’s labor force annually as they complete military service. The state’s military installations continually train people in fields such as aviation and avionics; communications; electronics; engineering; heavy and specialized equipment operation; information technology; and transportation and logistics.
Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences. North Carolina features the third-largest biotechnology industry cluster in the nation with more than 520 bioscience companies, contract research organizations and device and life-science related companies. More than
56,000 workers with skill sets ranging from bioprocess technicians to Ph.D.s are employed by this sector. Among the largest biotech and pharmaceutical firms are Bayer Crop Science, Biogen IDEC, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Novozymes, Pfizer and Quintiles.
North Carolina is one of the few places in the world to offer a comprehensive environment for biotechnology firms of any stage.
Entrepreneurs can take an idea conceived in a local laboratory, refine their product, produce and test it through the clinical trial phase and then manufacture and distribute it at scale to global markets, all from a single location.
Business and Financial Services. North Carolina is the second-largest financial center in the nation, due in many ways to the state’s top-quality talent and global connectivity. The state features a low-risk, pro-business environment with premier educational institutions and low costs. With a variety of functional platforms including commercial and retail banking, information technology operations, customer contact facilities and data centers as well as a pace of life that employees value, North Carolina offers significant appeal to the sector. Companies such as Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Fidelity Investments, MetLife, TIAA-CREF and Wells Fargo are thriving in North Carolina.
For additional information about doing business in North Carolina, contact Tiffany McNeill at the North Carolina Department of Commerce at (919) 733-4977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Carolina offers various financial incentives for companies considering locating or expanding in the state, including:
• Favorable Tax Environment. A new, flat rate income tax of 5.8 percent has just gone into effect, and will decrease to 5.75 percent in 2015. The corporate tax rate has been cut from 6.9% to 6.0% in 2014, heading lower to 5.0% in 2015.
• Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG). A performance-based, discretionary program that provides cash grants directly to new and expanding businesses to help offset costs. These cash grants can be used by the company for whatever purpose is desired and are not tied to qualified expenses or other such requirements.
• One North Carolina Fund. A fund that allows the state to respond quickly to job creation opportunities and that can be applied to various needs, such as installing or purchasing equipment, structural repairs or improvements to buildings and upgrading infrastructure.
Local government matching funds are required.
More details about the business cost saving programs available in North Carolina are available online at www.ThriveNC.com.