Last week, CNBC announced that North Carolina has nabbed the #1 spot in America’s Top States for Business. We’ve always been in the hunt, placing a close 2nd last year and rarely finishing outside of the top 10 since the study’s inception in 2007, but this turned out to be North Carolina’s year to outshine the rest.
CNBC’s feature article credits North Carolina’s bi-partisan politics as this year’s difference-maker. Regarding the impact of bi-partisanship on our state’s economy, Viking M&A President Jay Offerdahl says, “There is a pro-entrepreneurial environment here; both parties know that attracting small business is key to the long-term growth of the state.”
The Tar Heel State was also praised by CNBC for its Access to Capital – namely, Bank of America and Truist Financial, both based in Charlotte – dubbing it a sort of “home field advantage.” Regarding this point, Offerdahl added, “[Bank of America and Truist Financial] are the big money. So, the big money is here, yes. But, we also have many smaller, regional lenders that focus on SBA backing.” Additionally, North Carolina’s economy has historically shown great resilience during times of recession, essentially being the “last in and first out,” which carries significant weight with lenders. Offerdahl put it simply: “Lenders are willing to lend here.”
North Carolina’s pro-entrepreneurial environment means business-friendly legislation and an overall small-business-friendly economic climate. Offerdahl adds, “Our state is filled with robust industries and strong universities. We have Raleigh as our capital, with Life Sciences booming in the Research Triangle Region. And Charlotte, NC, isn’t just a banking town anymore. We are still a banking town, yes, but we also have a thriving energy sector, including Duke Energy. We’re also a growing healthcare hub with two nationally ranked hospital systems, Novant Health and Atrium Health [formerly Carolinas Healthcare System].”
During the pandemic, when the country saw a great deal of domestic migration, the Carolinas received a large percentage of that. South Carolina was 2nd in the nation for inbound migration in 2020, and North Carolina was 6th. This really comes as no surprise to those of us who live and work here, though. “Having 5 out of 10 Viking M&A offices located in the Carolinas is very intentional,” confirms Offerdahl. “There are a lot of positive things going on here.”
And, he should know. Since 1996, Viking has been providing exit strategies and M&A services to middle-market business owners in the Carolinas and across the Southeast United States; and with the nation’s strongest economy, now is certainly a great time to buy, sell, or own a business in North Carolina.