The City of Greensboro and Guilford County have seen a great deal of economic development in the last five years but it turns out that this area isn’t the only fortunate place in the state. New statistics published by the North Carolina Association of Counties reveal that, out of the 100 counties in the state, 99 have increased the number of businesses in the five years between 2018 and 2023, the last year for which complete statistics are available.

Some counties added a lot more businesses than others; however, only one county had fewer business establishments in 2023 than five years prior. Hyde County, the second least populus county in the state in the 2020 census, had 202 businesses at last count – which was 2 percent below the number the county had in 2018.  That eastern county on the Pamlico Sound has a lot of swampland and it includes the town of Ocracoke.

Guilford County is doing quite well in this regard – assuming one believes economic growth is a good thing.

 In 2023, Guilford County had 17,637 business establishments, which was up 23 percent over the number from 2018. That percentage isn’t the highest in the state, but it puts Guilford County roughly in the middle of the pack in terms of growth.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said recently that too often news media and economic development leaders stress huge projects like the new Toyota battery plant being built in the area or the Boom Supersonic jet factory, but she said that there’s much growth in Greensboro due to smaller businesses.

“There is a lot of organic growth that people don’t talk about much,” the mayor said.

Some counties that are doing extremely well in this regard are Brunswick County (48 percent growth),  Mecklenburg County (39 percent growth and now over 52,000 businesses) and Wake County (46 percent growth with just over 50,000 businesses).

Some counties not doing very well right now are Hertford County, Jones County and Martin County. Each had 3 percent growth or lower – and all of those counties have less than 500 businesses. All three counties are in eastern North Carolina and perhaps are best known by Greensboro residents as counties that you pass through on the way to the coast.