While politics may change the story, North Carolina has a red-hot reputation, with many global and domestic companies viewing the state as a great location for expansions.
It shared top billing with Texas in Site Selection magazine’s 2016 Prosperity Cup, which recognizes states based on their business climates. The magazine noted the state’s strong reputation, AAA bond rating and record venture-capital funding. Separately, Forbes ranked North Carolina as its second-best state for business in 2015, citing low labor costs and one of the nation’s highest migration rates. (Utah ranked first.)
Business North Carolina compiled a list of the largest projects announced or initiated between June 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016, based on projected job-creation goals. There is no official state list of such expansions, so our sources also included individual companies, state and local economic-development executives and press reports.
The good news comes with potential clouds looming as CEOs of some large U.S. companies have condemned the state’s House Bill 2 law, which nullifies a Charlotte ordinance that would have added nondiscrimination protections for LGBT individuals. Two featured projects may not come to fruition: Red Ventures and DB Global Technologies have put their expansion plans “on hold” while legislators and business leaders seek a compromise. E-commerce company PayPal would have made the list had the company not pulled its plans to bring 400 jobs to Charlotte in response to the new law.
We included the state’s incentives aimed at attracting companies. The largest grant, $16.8 million, went to insulin-maker Novo Nordisk, which is adding nearly 700 jobs in a $1.85 billion expansion of its Johnston County plant.
Most of the expansions occurred in or near Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh, continuing a long-term trend. A key exception was BSH Home Appliances Corp.’s plans to add 460 jobs in Craven County.