A Community of Opportunity
The thriving pro-business climate in Haywood County, NC, is supported by tax incentives, workforce development programs, an entrepreneurial network of resources, and other features designed to give area businesses a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. State and county incentives stimulate new and expanding businesses and industries and in turn create jobs and investments in Haywood County.
The founding of the Haywood County Economic Development Commission (EDC) in 1982 is a market indicator of the community’s pro-business status. As an arm of the Haywood Chamber of Commerce, the EDC and other leading community organizations work together to advance initiatives that promote the success of both new and existing businesses, foster and maintain an environment where businesses of all types can thrive.
Certified Entrepreneurial Community
Haywood County was the first community in the United States to achieve a Certified Entrepreneurial Community (CEC) designation, a program of AdvantageWest Economic Development Group.
Leaders in business, economic development and education work together drive innovation, encourage and support entrepreneurship while also improving the business climate for existing companies. Key points include asset mapping and developing a strategy for growth, improving access to capital for entrepreneurs and providing a superior support system.
Strategic Initiatives for Economic Growth
Leaders from business, labor, higher education and economic development contribute to and inform Haywood’s strategic initiatives for economic growth. Over the arc of the EDC’s collaboration with these leading organizations, Haywood has transformed into a long-term, sustainable, 21st century growth economy evidenced by a progressive business environment where companies innovate, expand, evolve and succeed.
Several organizations enhance Haywood’s progressive business climate:
- Economic Development Partnership for North Carolina
- Mountain West Partnership
- Haywood Community College
- Western Carolina University
- Lenoir-Rhyne University
- Small Business Center
- Southwestern North Carolina Planning and Economic Development Commission
- Western Carolina University – Corporation for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Businesses are drawn to Haywood County because the area offers favorable market conditions for sustained growth, from a skilled workforce and diverse facilities to exceptionally high quality of life.
Reasons to relocate or start a business in Haywood:
- Strategically located within one day’s drive of 50% of US population
- Easily accessible via the I-40 and I-26 Corridors
- Stable and balanced growth
- Diversified economic base
Existing Business & Industry
Haywood County has remained a primary destination for a wide-range of industries including manufacturing, agriculture, health care and entrepreneurship.
Manufacturing opportunities have been the primary backbone of the western North Carolina economy since the early 1900s. Western North Carolina has joined NC in pursuit of an aggressive pro-growth, pro-business agenda that is creating more jobs and opportunities across the region. The stimulus to this transformation has been the ability to shift away from labor-intensive, low-skilled manufacturing into advanced, skills-based production.
Haywood is home to manufacturing businesses such as Evergreen Packaging, ConMet, Sonoco Plastics, Sonoco, Giles Chemical, General Dynamics and Haywood Vocational Opportunities (HVO) which employ 2328 employees with an average wage of $1044 per week.
The skilled workforce in Haywood is enhanced by workforce development programs through Haywood Community College designed to meet long-term recruitment and training needs.
Vital statistics provide an extended outlook of Haywood County.