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CEO Guide to the States

North Carolina


North Carolina keeps climbing the rankings in the Chief Executive Best & Worst States for Business. A favorable business climate, competitive tax rates, an educated workforce and low costs combined with a high quality of life continue to attract pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. Over the past year, the state has seen an increase in companies in the clean energy space. In 2022, North Carolina welcomed one of the biggest economic development projects in state history when Vietnamese EV manufacturer VinFast announced a $4 billion manufacturing plant to create 7,500 jobs.

“Our manufacturing legacy and workforce have consistently supported North Carolina’s reputation as the best state for business. Manufacturing is North Carolina’s second largest industry with nearly 11,000 businesses producing critical medicines, aircraft engines, wind turbine components, and soon supersonic jets, electric vehicles, charging stations and batteries. We need to keep this momentum going by investing in education and training for our world class workforce.”
Roy Cooper


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top corporate income tax

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on the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index ranking


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of adults 25 years of age and older graduated high school

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of adults age 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher


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increase between 2010 and 2020


Job Development Investment Grant: A performance-based discretionary incentive program that offers cash grants to new and expanding companies, based on a percentage of personal income tax with- holdings associated with new jobs created.

One North Carolina Fund: A discretionary cash grant program that enables the governor to quickly respond to job-creating competitive projects considering locations outside of North Carolina.

JDIG for a High-Yield Project: Offers a JDIG grant worth up to 90% of personal income withholdings for up to 20 years for a company that creates 1,750 jobs and invests at least $500 million in a project.

JDIG for a Transformative Project: Offers up to 90% of personal income withholdings for up to 30 years for a company that creates 3,000 jobs and invests at least $1 billion.


Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

North Carolina Department of Commerce

Raleigh Office of Economic Development

Charlotte Regional Business Alliance


In January 2022, the North Carolina Department of Commerce announced new small business grant funds under the One North Carolina Small Business Program. Grant awards help small businesses develop and commercialize innovative new technologies. Companies in economically distressed areas may be quality for larger awards or relaxed eligibility restrictions.


  • German ventilation system company Ziehl-Abegg announced in November 2022 a $100 million expansion and relocation of its North American headquarters to Winston-Salem. It will create 189 jobs.
  • Siemens Mobility announced in March 2023 a $220 million investment and 506 jobs in Davidson County.
  • Italian tech company Alpitronic Americas announced in May 2023 it will locate its new U.S. headquarters in Charlotte and create 300 jobs.
  • ProKidney announced in June 2023 it will invest $458 million and create 330 jobs at a plant in Guilford County.
  • Honda Aircraft Company announced in July 2023 a $55.7 million investment and 280 new jobs in Guilford County.
  • Marshall USA, a subsidiary of Marshall Aerospace, announced a $50 million investment and 240 new jobs in Greensboro.
  • Deere & Company and Kreisel Electric GMBH announced in August 2023 a nearly $70 million investment in Kernersville.


13 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state, including:

  • Lowe’s Companies
  • Bank of America
  • Nucor
  • Honeywell International
  • Duke Energy
  • Truist Financial
  • Laboratory Corp. of America
  • IQVIA Holdings
  • Sonic Automotive

Strategic Planning Workshop

1:00 - 5:00 pm

Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

  1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
  2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
  3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

2:00 - 5:00 pm

Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

Limited space available.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

Golf Outing

10:30 - 5:00 pm
General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
Sponsored by UBS

General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.