North Carolina shows improved atmosphere for small businesses

May. 12, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

North Carolina improved its atmosphere for small businesses more than any other state between 2012 and 2013, according to California-based business, an internet marketplace which also conducts an annual business survey.

North Carolina got an overall “business friendliness” grade of a C+ last year but raised to a B+ this year. The survey asked thousands of business owners across the country to rate states on a variety of factors, from environmental regulations to training and networking opportunities. North Carolina’s lowest grade was a C- business owners gave in the “ease of hiring” category, which the survey analysis said was troubling given the state’s high unemployment rate.

The state’s next-lowest grade was for its tax code, which Republican legislators are currently considering overhauling. The GOP tax plans would lessen the burden of personal and corporate income taxes but would significantly raise the sales tax burden.

The full rundown of North Carolina’s grades can be found at, which also includes comments from people across the state on how they personally view the atmosphere for small businesses.

In other news…

Speaking of taxes: N.C. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, is working with her Senatorial counterparts from Florida, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson, to draft legislation they say will simplify the tax return process for senior citizens. The bill would reportedly create a new tax form similar to the 1040-EZ designed specifically for individuals 65 and over.

Elite company: Pittsboro was just named a Certified Retirement Community by the state, joining just four other cities in all of North Carolina – including Sanford – as an officially great place for people to retire. In addition to the two local cities, Lumberton, Asheboro and Marion also bear the official stamp of approval. The designations will last for at least five years.

Future leaders, current champs: Each of Chatham County’s three traditional public high schools had students come out on top at the statewide Future Business Leaders of America competition last month. Morgan McDonnell and Ellen Turner from Northwood High School placed first in Desktop Publishing; Chantal Mosley and Kendal Stone from Jordan-Matthews High School placed first in Website Design; Kristen Garner and Sarah Threat from Chatham Central High School placed first in Community Service. Each of the schools also had at least one other student place in other competitions.

Delivering awards: Raleigh-based Media Partners, Inc. received three Inspire Awards for excellence from the North Carolina Public Relations Society of America last week, including one award for its work with Sanford’s Central Carolina Hospital. The group worked with the hospital on a project called “Operation Special Delivery.” It highlighted the hospital’s birth center and specifically the growing number of births shown live in private online videos while the baby’s father was away on a military deployment.

Business fluctuations: Six new corporations (Change in Direction, Electric Paramedics, Garcia Intelligence Services, GOOD BONES HOMES, Integrated Automotive, Lee County Animal Advocacy, and NewGen Interactive Software) formed in Lee County in the past week, and one (Privette Foods) dissolved.