Study: N. Charleston in Top 10 to start a business in S.C.

North Charleston ranked eighth as the best place to start a business in a study of South Carolina communities by personal finance website NerdWallet.

North Charleston is the 8th best place to start a business in South Carolina, according to personal finance website NerdWallet.

Moncks Corner comes in at No. 20. Charleston is 33rd. Other local communities are down the list.

NerdWallet used a number of factors to arrive at its results, including business climate and local economic health.

The website considered the average revenue of businesses, percentage of businesses with paid employees, number of businesses per 100 people, median annual income, median annual housing costs and unemployment rate.

The 61 municipalities or communities studied had a population of at least 7,000 and more than 500 businesses. The businesses range in size from sole proprietorships to large companies.

The presence of large manufacturers in North Charleston, particularly Boeing Co., and the city’s rank as the No. 1 retail center in the state based on tax revenues propelled it into the Top 10.

At $2.25 million, it also ranks second in the state in revenue per business, most likely because of Boeing. Nearby Ladson, which is not a municipality and probably included the thriving Palmetto Commerce Park, which is in North Charleston but has a Ladson address, ranks first at $2.33 million. Greer, where BMW builds cars, came in third at $2.2 million.

The study said most businesses in South Carolina and across the nation are made up of one person. In North Charleston, 37.4 percent of the businesses have paid employees. The city has 6.7 businesses per 100 people. The median annual income in North Charleston is $32,111. The median yearly housing costs come to $10,470. The city’s unemployment rate is 8.3 percent, according to NerdWallet.

North Charleston scored 50.54 in the survey.

“We are proud to be considered one of the state’s best places to start a business and believe that North Charleston can compete with any other city in the country for economic development growth,” Mayor Keith Summey said.

“We continue to drive the state’s economy as the epicenter of business development, offering a business-friendly community allowing companies to compete on a global scale,” the mayor said. “Our young, highly skilled workforce attracts diverse industries, such as aerospace, automotive, aviation, bioscience, defense, renewable energy, financial services and information technology. North Charleston is where businesses flourish.”

Tiny Seneca, in Oconee County in the Upstate, topped the list of best communities to start a business in the Palmetto State. It scored 61.90. The higher the score, the more business-friendly the municipality is, NerdWallet said.

Charleston scored 41.51. Parker, a community near Greenville, scored lowest in the survey at 19.59.

A key takeaway from the study is 42.3 percent of business revenue in South Carolina comes from manufacturing. Another is that coastal tourism is strong for business growth: Myrtle Beach, Beaufort and Georgetown made the Top 10. For more information, go to

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