WCED Blog


Raleigh Ranked Third Among Small Business Vitality Nationally

While big mergers and acquisitions typically make the headlines, small businesses play a crucial role in our country’s economic development. This is particularly true in Wake County, as confirmed by a recent survey.

Portfolio.com has released its annual small business vitality surveyand ranked Raleigh third among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas profiled. A six-part formula was used to analyze the nation’s 100 largest metros, looking for the places that are most conducive to the creation and development of small businesses. The formula analyzed each metro’s number of small businesses per 1,000 residents, the one-year change in that concentration, one-year growth rates for small businesses and private-sector employment, and five-year rates for population and employment.

The highest scores went to areas that have prosperous economies, are expanding rapidly, and are densely packed with small businesses. (Portfolio defined a small business as any private-sector employer with 99 or fewer employees.)

Raleigh did top all other cities in the five-year growth rate category, showing a 22.5 percent increase in population. Also of note was that Raleigh finished high among the number of small businesses per 1,000 residents, at 27.44.

Additionally, Raleigh was the only North Carolina city to finish in the top 30. Charlotte, second in last year’s survey, fell 29 positions down from that level this time.

This survey confirmed what we have been saying about how our area is resilient amid the national economic downturn. We are ready for business at all levels, and we mean it when we say that when it comes to economic development, Wake County really is “smarter all around.”

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