North Carolina May Have Been Best State for Businesses in 2017

A year in review: Best state to do business, per Forbes, is North Carolina, in 2017.  This choice is not so surprising in some aspects.  For example, North Carolina has some of the best universities in the country such as Duke, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and North Carolina State.  These universities bring in the best and brightest students from around the world.  When the students graduate, some stay in the state start innovative businesses, which leads to jobs for the area and economic expansion. 

A second benefit for starting a business in North Carolina is the minimal impact labor unions have in the state.  Researchers have suggested that this fact alone has had a causal effect in reducing labor costs by as much as 10% on a national average in the state.  This may have led to lower cost for doing business in higher profit margins for entrepreneurs.

A final reason North Carolina is a natural choice for the best state to do business is the steady growth in population.  North Carolina’s population in 2016 was 10.15 million.  In 2017, the population grew by 1.15%.  This growth rate may not seem that impressive.  However, this growth rate has been sustained for the last several years, with no end in sight.  Couple this fact with the low labor union presence allows employers to select top-quality candidates for low wages.

Unfortunately, not all aspects of North Carolina are conducive for the state to hold this coveted title for long.  For example, the state has a 5.75% income tax.  From an employee’s perspective, this drives wages even lower.  As a result, new college graduates masterly in the area for long and seek out states with lower or no state income tax.  In addition, millennials tend to be more environmentally conscious as compared to other age groups.  North Carolina state government tends to turn their back on industry pollution.  To support this though, the US attorney and EPA had to step in and sue Duke Energy for polluting rivers with coal ash.  This resulted in a $102 million fine for the company and a five-year probationary period.

In the end, North Carolina is a great place to start a company.  However, more work needs to be done in relations to social corporate responsibility because the state legislature may be a little too business friendly.

Author: Paul Borosky, MBA., ABD

January, 2018