A little more than 2 years I uprooted my family to move to a city that I’d never been within 120 miles of to start a business from scratch. The past 2 years have been a bit of validation as I love the area (we live in Cary, NC part of the Raleigh-Cary metroplex) and our business is thriving. Yesterday I received a very informative newsletter from my great commercial real estate agent, Blair Graham, with info from Forbes magazine stating that Raleigh was rated the top metro area in the U.S. to start a business. This was great to hear because I had spent the 10 months following my resignation from my previous job researching the best place to move and start the business. I had some very strict criteria both for the business as well as for quality of life. The Raleigh-Cary metroplex was in my top 5 (probably last choice to be honest) but I chose it, almost impulsively on a site visit (which was the first of what was planned to be one visit to each of the top 5 possible cities), based on a string of events and ‘opportunities’ that fortunately never panned out. Glad things turned out how they did.

Here’s what Forbes has to say about the area:

Topping our 13th annual list of the Best Places for Business and Careers isRaleigh, N.C. It is one of those locales with a strong university presence helping fuel growth in the area (albeit in an East Coast state, a rarity in the upper part of the list). Raleigh and nearby Durham (ranked No. 31) get a strong boost from three elite schools in the surrounding area in University of North Carolina, Duke University and North Carolina State.

Raleigh ranks No. 1 after dipping to third last year. Low business costs (18% below the national average) and a smart labor force (42% have a college degree) make North Carolina’s capital an attractive spot for employers like First Citizens Bank and Progress Energy. Job seekers get it: The net migration rate to Raleigh was the second highest in the U.S. over the past five years.