• Why Wilmington

  • The Wilmington area brings together everything even the most enterprising businesses need to succeed. Across our four counties — one of the fastest-growing regions in the southeastern US — you’ll find strong and expanding infrastructure, an eager, diverse workforce, excellent education, and workforce development programs, and top-notch healthcare. Residents are committed to community service and sustained growth. Our ecosystem is backed by access to capital and resources that can turn promising opportunities for expansion or relocation into a profitable reality.
    It’s also a really nice place to visit — and an even better place to live.


    Wilmington, North Carolina, offers residents vibrant options for arts and culture, great neighborhoods, safe and healthy communities, access to the outdoors, quality schools, and a welcoming culture for all. Currently, Wilmington is ranked as one of the fastest-growing population centers in the Southeastern United States, with a swift but manageable 1.5% average annual growth rate. It makes sense to those who already live here – a desirable place to live, work, and play attracts ambitious people motivated to pursue a high quality of life with endless opportunities for both residents and businesses.

    The clean and beautiful beaches of the Carolina coast are a strong drawing card for attracting top talent, many of whom already have an affinity for the area or a connection as a tourist. Wilmington employers have a unique opportunity to marry the lure of life at the beach with the ability to scale a successful and balanced career.


    Wilmington is recognized nationally as a top location for entrepreneurs, start-ups, experienced small business owners, and corporate leaders who want to locate or grow their businesses in a unique place. Our chamber believes that being an excellent place for business starts with effective business advocacy built around the needs of our unique industries. Our ecosystem of collaborators, business champions, elected officials, and institutional allies want you to be successful and are making the investments and implementing the strategies to ensure our success today and for decades to come.

    Recently, Wilmington has been being recognized as a top global emerging ecosystem for startups according to a report from research firm Startup Genome and Global Entrepreneurship Network. According to their research, Wilmington ranks No. 81-90 in the Top 100 Emerging Ecosystems list, which showcases the strengths in ecosystems with the highest potential to become global top performers.

    The Wilmington area is developing a tech talent pool that has been described as “impressive” by the NC Tech Association compared to more populated parts of the state and country. In 2022, WalletHub ranked North Carolina as the 19th most innovative state. According to the 2021 Tracking Innovation report published by the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation, North Carolina has risen to No. 20 in the nation for innovation. 


    Becoming a top-tier destination for business on the east coast requires investments in education and creative talent pipeline development. New Hanover County currently boasts the best-paid teachers in the state, which led to low vacancy rates in our public school systems despite national teacher shortages. Local leaders in economic development, K–12 and higher education, the local business community, and workforce boards have also been working collaboratively to create a short and long-term strategy for regional workforce development.


    Our community also champions investments in higher education, whether students pursue highly technical education through apprenticeship and internship opportunities at our highly ranked community college or progress to a four-year public university that has served as an anchor for our community since 1947.




  • Our region has attracted and developed several unique clusters with long-term trends within our market, including:

    • Warehouse & Logistics
    • Life Science Manufacturing & Pharmaceuticals
    • Digital Technology
    • Offshore Wind
    • Film Industry
    • Blue Economy Companies
    • Aerospace and Aviation Support Services
    • Building Materials
    • Boat Building & Repair