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North Carolina returns to first place nationally for top business climate in 2020

North Carolina has managed to climb to the top of the ranks of states with the best climates for business after years of vying for first place.

The Tar Heel state landed a tie for first place with Georgia in 2020’s list of Site Selection magazine’s top 10 state business climates of 2020 after ranking second last year.

The ranking is based on surveyed corporate executives and site selectors who rank states based on how attractive they are to companies looking for states to invest in. The consensus is based on several factors, including how easy it is to do business somewhere.

The ranking is also based on criteria relating to total new corporate expansion projects in 2020 to date and per capita and on property tax data.

North Carolina and Georgia rank at the top for qualities such as population growth, workforce development, state incentives for companies , a good tax climate and access to a large pool of job talent, according to Site Selection, which covers economic development and corporate expansion.

“North Carolina is a consistently strong performer in this ranking and has demonstrated once again that it has the business-climate attributes it takes to reach first place,” said Site Selection editor-in-chief Mark Arend in a news release.

North Carolina previously had been listed in first place from 2005 to 2010.

“We’re thrilled North Carolina has received this recognition, and to be part of the team of state and local partners that helped make 2019 a decade-topping year for North Carolina in terms of corporate recruitment and expansion announcements that promise 21,000 new jobs,” said Christopher Chung, the CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

ECONOMIC GROWTH IN N.C.

The EDPNC highlighted several major economic announcements in North Carolina this year.

In the Triangle, Raleigh-based Bandwidth Inc. is planning a 1,165-job expansion in Raleigh and announced plans for construction of a new headquarters building. BioAgilytix, a Durham-based drug clinical research firm, announced plans to add 878 jobs in Durham County after landing a large incentive package from the state last month.

In Charlotte, plans were announced for a $1 billion regional headquarters for Fortune 50 health insurance company Centene that will bring up to 6,000 jobs.

Aerospace company Pratt & Whitney announced a new $650 million plant in Asheville that will bring up to 800 jobs and UPS plans to expand its North Carolina presence and add 592 jobs in Guilford and Alamance counties with a $316.4 million investment at two facilities in the future.

The EDPNC told Site Selection that many of these announcements were achieved through a special economic development program to lure companies to the state that was initially designed to lure Apple to North Carolina.

“Even though [the program] wasn’t used these past two years, it was deployed this year for the Centene East Coast campus, which is the biggest win and I believe state incentive package ever for North Carolina,” said Chung.

A new provision to state’s 18-year-old Job Development Investment Grant program allows companies that invest more than $1 billion and create more than 3,000 jobs to qualify for the special grant classification, which affects the the length of time the grant can be active and the percentage of state tax withholding that can be used to fund the grant.

According to Site Selection, Centene could be reimbursed up to $388 million over 39 years using a formula that considers tax revenues by the new jobs created.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire