For the second year in a row, Forbes magazine has named North Carolina as the country’s Best State for Business.
This 2018 ranking is the magazine’s 13th annual listing of the best states for business. To determine the rankings each year, Forbes looks at six categories: business costs, workforce quality and availability, the state’s regulatory environment, the “current economic climate,” overall quality of life and the states’ potential for economic growth. Forbes states that it weighs 41 different metrics to rank the states in each of the six categories and then determines the overall winner.
North Carolina’s top ranking is important for economic development because it shines a great deal of positive light on the state and draws the attention of executives in major companies, site consultants and others who have a say in where businesses should expand or locate.
In Guilford County, leaders were of course thrilled to hear the announcement.
State Rep. Jon Hardister posted the Forbes article on his Facebook page and called it “great news,” while Summerfield Town Councilmember John O’Day went one better on social media and called it “excellent news.”
Many other economic development officials and elected leaders, such as Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Alan Branson, said they were delighted and said this was excellent publicity for the state.
Despite the great – or even excellent news, depending on who you ask – it wasn’t all peace, love and understanding in the wake of Forbes honor for the state.
On Facebook, some Democrats chimed in and said Republicans seemed to be trying to take all the credit for the top ranking.
Hardister posted in response to one critic: “The tax cuts, regulatory reform and fiscal responsibility that improved our economy were primarily driven by Republicans.”
Hardister pointed out that the magazine cited the state’s low costs for doing business, it’s tax reform and its sound fiscal policies as key drivers of the state’s economic activity.
Forbes also cited the state’s colleges and universities as a key to providing an able workforce.