Sometimes sharing isn’t the right thing to do — especially when the prize is recognition as the state with the best economic development performance in a single year.

For the third straight year, North Carolina ranks first in the nation in a closely watched annual business ranking by Site Selection magazine.  But this year, North Carolina isn’t sharing the No. 1 spot with Texas, which dropped to fourth place in the magazine’s 2017 Prosperity Cup awards, formerly known as the Top Competitive State award.

Rounding out the Top 5 are Tennessee (No. 2), Georgia (No. 3) and Michigan (No. 5).

The nationwide 2017 Prosperity Cup is based on 10 measures of state economic performance in 2016, including the total number of new and expanded facilities in the state, capital investment and total number of new jobs created. It also considers measures of business-climate attractiveness.

The magazine, in its May issue announcing the rankings, says North Carolina “still has one of the most educated workforces in the U.S.; a temperate climate; two international airports, including a major hub for American Airlines at Charlotte, which is also a top financial center; … coastal ports; a desirable mid-Atlantic location; top research universities and community colleges and a 3 percent corporate income tax rate — the lowest such rate east of the Mississippi other than Ohio, which imposes a gross receipts tax in lieu of corporate income tax.”

The magazine article highlights Trilliant Networks as a recent example of the type of company packing up to move to the tech-savvy, workforce-rich Research Triangle region. The company is relocating its global headquarters from California’s Silicon Valley to Cary, North Carolina, a move that will create 130 new well-paying jobs in the state.

Trilliant offers the energy industry’s only enterprise-wide Smart Communications Platform for connecting the internet of things (IoT) through a secure, multi-technology, open-spectrum solution.

“The Research Triangle is a globally recognized technology community of more than 350 clean tech companies, and offers some of the brightest and most innovative talent for a high-tech company like us,” Trilliant CEO Andy White has said. “By establishing our global headquarters in the Research Triangle, we are adding our footprint to other world-leading technology companies as we continue leading innovation in Utility and IoT communications.”

While urban regions such as Greater Charlotte and the Raleigh-Durham have been extremely successful in attracting new businesses, the magazine also noted successes in the state’s rural areas and its efforts to support more economic growth in those communities.

State Commerce Secretary  Anthony M. Copeland emphasized a number of such successes in his remarks to Site Selection, including the anticipated 2019 completion of a massive CSX intermodal rail facility in Rocky Mount. State officials expect the terminal, which will be the largest such facility in the U.S., will attract new manufacturers and distribution centers to Eastern North Carolina while stimulating more shipping at the Port of Wilmington.

Copeland also highlighted the growth of  manufacturing and non-woven textiles enterprises in rural communities. “In particular, we have an Israeli sector of nonwovens — about 17 of them now — and every one of them is in a rural county, and they are expanding,” Copeland told Site Selection. “One of them that came over about 10 years ago with a minimal investment did a $180-million investment two years ago. It’s in a rural county. We are having success there.”

For full coverage of the 2017 Prosperity Cup, visit Site Selection’s website.

Interested in relocating your business to North Carolina or expanding here? Connect with one of our business recruiters by calling (919) 447-7744  or emailing clientservices@edpnc.com