Around the Region: CEOs rank North Carolina second in U.S. for business

Published 3:21 pm Wednesday, May 25, 2011

North Carolina is the second best state in the country for business, according to a survey of 550 CEOs across the country. released its annual report on the best and worst states for business, according to CEOs. For the seventh straight year, the report lists Texas in the top spot and California at the bottom. South Carolina was ranked eighth, up from 10th last year.

North Carolina’s position did not change from last year in the survey, which asks CEOs to consider three criteria: taxes and regulation; workforce quality and living environment. On a scale of 1 to 10, North Carolina scored a 6.89 on taxes and regulation, while South Carolina was at 7.14. On workforce quality, North Carolina had a 7.66 and South Carolina was at 6.69. North Carolina had its highest score on living environment at 8.53, while South Carolina was at 7.69. North Carolina had the highest score in the country for living environment, which considers crime rates, public education, public health, real estate costs, transportation and arts and cultural institutions.

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Home sales increased in areas of Western North Carolina in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year, according to figures from the N.C. Mountains Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS shows Henderson County had 89 home sales in March and 77 in April. Transylvania County had 28 home sales in March and 19 in April. Over the first four months of this year, Transylvania County had 85 sales compared to 77 from January to April of 2010. Cathy Jackson of Cathy Jackson Realty in Saluda said sales have followed the same trend in Polk County, which has had 12 home sales through the first four months this year, compared to just five sales last year.


Real estate sales have not shown the same improvement in Upstate South Carolina. According to data from South Carolina Realtors, sales in Spartanburg County in April were down 33 percent from the same period in 2010. South Carolina Realtors reports there were 193 homes sold in the county last month, compared to 287 during the same month last year.


District Attorney Jeff Hunt has ordered a criminal investigation to determine whether Hendersonville attorney Sam Neill mishandled his clients’ money.

Neill, a former candidate for the 11th Congressional District in Western North Carolina, was disbarred Monday, May 16 by a Wake County Superior Court judge for misappropriating a client’s money. The ruling came after Neill voluntarily surrendered his law license.

The N.C. Attorney General’s Office has agreed to carry out the criminal investigation. Hunt chose not to conduct the investigation himself due to a potential conflict of interest. He noted that he and Neill had been close friends going back to their days in college and law school.