Breaking down NC’s number 2 spot for America’s Top States for Business

Photo by @ashevillepictures

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From small businesses to startups + more, Asheville’s business game is strong. It just so happens that we’re following in the steps of the Tarheel State itself — business network CNBC just ranked North Carolina at the number 2 spot for its annual Top States for Business.


The study primarily uses publicly available data from federal + state-specific sources. Based on this, the team created over 85 different metrics in 10 key categories of competitiveness. 

So how does it work? 

Each category is weighted based on how often states use them in economic development marketing materials. States earn a maximum of 2,500 points across categories, and those with the most points are the best ones for business. Virginia came in at number 1 with 1,587 points, NC was a close second with 1,546 points. 

What are this year’s categories? 

  • Cost of doing business
  • Infrastructure 
  • Life, health, and inclusion 
  • Workforce 
  • Economy 
  • Business friendliness
  • Access to capital 
  • Technology and innovation 
  • Education 
  • Cost of living 

NC scored high in categories like economy + workforce with a steady influx of educated workers. Officials noted that multiple + diverse companies, like Apple, are locating and expanding here. NC scored lower in categories of life, health, and inclusion. North Carolina was followed in the rankings by Utah, Texas, and Tennessee.