Report: Triangle region drew $11B in new investments, added 18,000 jobs despite pandemic

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by Jason Parker 

The 12 county Research Triangle Region attracted $11 billion in new investments, along with as many as 18,000 new jobs, since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, Ryan Combs, executive director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership reported in introducing the RTRP 2021 State of the Region presentation this week.

“It’s my job to promote our region, and every economic development manager would say that about their region, but most of them would agree that our market is one of the hottest markets in the country right now,” said Combs.  “What a truly incredible time to be here in the Triangle.”

Combs added that, across the state of North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, there were 147 economic development announcements made in 2020, with 20,000 jobs announced, along with $6.3 billion in investment. In 2021 – so far –  there have been 61,000 new business applications, which is 75% more than the average of the prior three years during the same time period.

“What a truly incredible time to be here in the Triangle,” said Combs.  “We know that the investments are coming, and we are ready.”


“Investors were very slow deploying capital over Zoom, as we had the stark realization that this was not going to be weeks or months, but a year, year plus, then capital started to move more broadly, and we saw a dispersion, a democratization of investment beyond the hubs that was really enabled by Zoom and people getting more comfortable with the idea of building that initial trust, that relationship virtually,” said David Sabow, head of life science and technology banking at Silicon Valley Bank.

Silicon Valley Bank studied, then ranked, different regional markets across the country, and found Raleigh as the market most poised to take advantage of current economic climate and trends in entrepreneurship and venture capital moving forward, due to a variety of factors.

Screenshot of the video replay of the RTRP 2021 State of the Region. Credit: Silicon Valley Bank.

The most important factor, said Sabow, is talent, and the pipeline of talent the Triangle retains and attracts, along with other factors that position the Triangle to be a destination of choice not only for companies, but also for individuals, families, and entrepreneurs.

“From my standpoint, one of the most important characteristics in terms of determining economic durability of this innovation democratization is this concentration of academic excellence, and that’s really what Raleigh, and North Carolina broadly, has in spades,” said Sabow.  “Even more broadly, it helps every other aspect of the economy.”

Capital is moving into the Triangle, noted Sabow, and that will drive future innovation and growth, ultimately benefitting the region.

“We are seeing, and I think we are going to continue to see a democratization of innovation, and a democratization of capital, and capital formation,” said Sabow.  “RTP and NC broadly are going to benefit significantly from that.”

Original Source: WRAL TechWire