Greenville NC #10 on Forbes list

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When my family moved to the South 20 years ago, there was very little to be desired. There were a few main roads with a few businesses that had been there since the beginning of time. Anything new or modern was yet to be seen in Eastern NC. Today, I have people tell me all the time about how “shocked” they are to see the many changes that have taken place in our small towns across Eastern NC. Recently, Greenville NC was ranked by Forbes.com as one of the best places for small business and careers. While many Eastern NC natives may balk at the idea, the city has definitely begun to appeal to many people outside of the area.
Greenville NC is probably best known for its affiliation with East Carolina University, and the large medical center now known as Vidant Health. Its educational programs have allowed the area to experience an influx of “non-traditional” Greenville citizens from many different walks of life; something that you don’t generally see in Eastern NC. With the cost of living 10.3% lower than the national average, Greenville NC is a great place for budding entrepreneurs to get their start in business.
Organizations such as Uptown Greenville and the local Chamber of Commerce encourage small business growth, and reward those with an entrepreneurial spirit. Uptown Greenville is a non-profit organization that was chartered to revive the city center and bring in more activity and community support. It’s recent endeavors include supporting Greenville SEED, a program designed to support economic and entrepreneurial development. The program provides flexible work spaces that will give budding entrepreneurs a place to work without having to pay for expensive overhead. The program will also provide access to peer coaching, as well as benefits associated with membership in Uptown Greenville.
Another initiative for local entrepreneurs is the BusinessPlan Competition sponsored by the City of Greenville. The competition is held twice a year and provides funding for local businesses located in the redevelopment district; which includes the downtown and West Greenville areas. Greenville NC was recently recognized by its Governor for its efforts to encourage and support small businesses. “Small businesses are the backbone of North Carolina’s economy.  Supporting our small business owners and entrepreneurs is the best way to improve the unemployment rate,” said Gov. Perdue.  “Part of being the best place to do business is providing support for the innovators, risk-takers and small business owners who create jobs.” New initiatives and free networking functions in the Greenville area are definitely providing the backbone for small business success.

Are you a small business owner in the Greenville NC area with a success story you’d like to share? What are some of the new developments that you would like to see in