Raleigh tops 'Best Places for Business' list
Eat your heart out, Des Moines. Raleigh returned to the top of Forbes’ Best Places for Business and Careers in 2014, unseating the Iowa state capital. Our seat of state government was third last year, previously ranking No. 1 in 2011 and from 2007 to 2009.
“Fueling Raleigh’s consistent results are business costs that are 18% below the national average, and an adult population where 42% have a college degree, the 12th best rate in the U.S. (30% is the national average). Raleigh is home to North Carolina State University and nearby schools include Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The area’s appeal has led to a strong inflow of new residents to the city, which boasts the sixth fastest net migration rate over the past five years.” Also contributing were Research Triangle Park, which has spawned 1,800 startups since 1970, business recruitment efforts, such as those that landed Cisco System’s expansion last month, and low regulatory hurdles. Charlotte ranked 12th. “Charlotte’s economy continues to be one of America’s best performers with the metro’s gross metro product up 3.7% last year.”
The list wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the Tar Heel State. North Carolina also boasts Hickory, the 10th-worst city for business. Though it has the lowest business costs in the U.S., its job losses are third highest over the past five years — and this is simply the latest slight for the metro.