Are you considering starting a new business or expanding your existing one? Look no further than the booming coastal city of Wilmington, North Carolina and it's surrounding communities. With its thriving economy, exceptional quality of life, and diverse range of industries, Wilmington offers a host of benefits for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Located between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, Wilmington, North Carolina, is a captivating city by the sea that boasts a wealth of scenic splendor and a closely bonded community. Its warm, inviting ambiance and deep-rooted history are what its inhabitants take great pride in. The city of Wilmington fosters an intimate community where everyone experiences a strong sense of belonging.

Wilmington and the surrounding areas have gained national recognition as a prime spot for entrepreneurs, start-ups, seasoned small business operators, and corporate moguls looking to establish or expand their ventures in a distinctive setting.

In this article, we will explore five compelling reasons why Wilmington should be at the top of your list when it comes to choosing a business destination.

1. Rapidly Growing Economy

The population of Wilmington has seen a growth of 5.26% from the year 2020, as per census data, which showed 116,146 residents at that time. The spike in the number of individuals relocating to the Wilmington metropolitan region outweighed those leaving by roughly 16,240 between the years 2021 and 2022.

From 2020 to 2022, the yearly increase in population of the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area maintained an average of 1.90%. The population stood at 286,623 in 2020, and rose to 291,833 in the following year, 2021.

The Wilmington MSA's (Metropolitan Statistical Area) economy is undergoing a transition, shifting from a focus predominantly on tourism to encompassing a broader range of sectors, such as professional services and academics. The economic growth in Wilmington has been escalating, predominantly driven by industries like healthcare, education, and film production.


7 Advantage of Starting a Business in Wilmington, NC

2. Community Oriented

One of the distinguishing characteristics of life in Cape Fear region is the substantial emphasis on community engagement and activity. Despite the fact that the region is undergoing considerable population expansion and economic diversification, there's an enduring presence of a small-town spirit of unity and pride, which is often lacking in larger metropolitan regions.

The residents of the Wilmington area put an emphasis on supporting locally owned businesses, regularly max out attendance at popular community events, and maintain a sense of pride in their charming coastal community.


Community in Wilmington NC

3. Quality Of Life

Wilmington and neighboring communities is a region that seamlessly blends work and play. Renowned for its fantastic weather, stunning nearby beaches, and historic riverfront, Wilmington offers a quality of life that is hard to match. When you choose to start or expand your business in Wilmington, you are not only investing in a vibrant and dynamic community but also in an environment that promotes a healthy work-life balance.

With its appealing quality of life and attractive business climate, there is no doubt that Wilmington is an excellent place for both living and establishing a successful business.


Quality of Life in Wilmington NC

4. Capable & Educated Workforce

Securing and maintaining high-caliber personnel is a fundamental component for the triumph of any business. Wilmington's unique allure and high standard of living make it an excellent place to draw in and keep the best professionals.

Wilmington boasts two outstanding educational institutions - Cape Fear Community College and the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). These institutions provide top-notch training and education, producing smart and enthusiastic graduates who are ready to contribute to the local economy. Many of these graduates are drawn to Wilmington because of its exceptional quality of life, making it easier for businesses to attract and retain talented individuals.

Wilmington's quality of life not only attracts talented graduates but also professionals with diverse skills and expertise. The area has seen a trend of experienced professionals relocating from across the state and nation in search of a better work-life balance. Expanding a business in Wilmington simplifies the task of persuading elite professionals to abandon urban life, to take advantage of the perks offered by a more intimate seaside town.



Capable and educated workforce in Wilmington, NC

5. Diversified & Resilient Economy

Wilmington's economy is characterized by its diversification, which provides stability even in the face of challenges. Unlike cities heavily reliant on a single industry, Wilmington has a robust business ecosystem supported by a range of industries. These include the medical sector, financial services, tourism, import/export, distribution (thanks to its status as a port city), pharmaceuticals, and education.

The presence of institutions like UNCW and Cape Fear Community College further bolsters the local economy by nurturing innovation and fostering collaboration between academia and industry. This diversified economy ensures that Wilmington remains resilient and offers a wide array of opportunities for businesses across various sectors.

Diverse Economy of Wilmington NC

6. Growing Retiree Population

The city's exceptional quality of life, including great weather, golf courses, and dining options, attracts retirees from various professional backgrounds and areas of the county. Many of these retirees have had long and successful careers in the business world, and their knowledge and expertise are invaluable to the local community.

The members of the growing retiree population in the Wilmington area often play vital roles in managing charities, churches, and other organizations while acting as mentors to younger generations of workers. Wilmington's retiree population adds a unique dimension to the business landscape, enriching the community and contributing to its overall success.

Growing Retiree Population in Wilmington, NC

7. Reasonable Cost of Living

The allure of Wilmington for potential small business entrepreneurs often lies in its affordable lifestyle. In comparison to larger metropolitan regions across the country, this area consistently exhibits a reduced cost in multiple facets of living.

The cost of accommodation in Wilmington falls about 23% below the average national cost, which makes it an enticing location for those considering a move. In addition, grocery expenses in Wilmington are less compared to the nation's average. Although some aspects might be slightly more expensive when comparing other southern communities, in general, the living cost in Wilmington is below the typical national average.

Reasonable Cost of Living in Wilmington NC

Why is Wilmington a good place to start a company?

First of all, it's quality of life. Many of us come from major cities in corporate positions where life is dominated by commuting, work, and little time for family and hobbies. The main thing that we hear from recent transplants is that life in Wilmington is an ongoing work vacation.

The major growth market in the Wilmington area is entrepreneurial and independently owned businesses. There is a true loyalty and underlying support for these local independent businesses. It is something you don't find as often in major metro areas. People in Wilmington sincerely care about supporting local companies.

Terry Espy - President of Momentum Companies

Terry Espy - President of Momentum Companies

What are some of the advantages of starting a business in Wilmington?

I would describe the business environment in Wilmington to be fun and vibrant. We have great amenities, reasonable cost of living, and great higher education options that are training up a skilled workforce.

Overall the work atmosphere is business casual all day everyday but there is still a strong desire to work hard and be productive. If your company gives value to the mantra work hard, play hard then this is the place for you.

Adam Nicholas - COO of Momentum Companies

Adam NIcholas COO

Looking to kickstart, grow, or take over a business in Wilmington? The team at Momentum Companies is here to guide you through every stage of the process!

Momentum Companies offers an extensive range of commercial real estate and business brokerage solutions in and around Wilmington, NC. We have a team of experts with unmatched local knowledge and skillset, dedicated to facilitating the purchase and sale of local businesses. Our team is not just committed to the success of our clients, but also fervently works towards enhancing the economy of Wilmington, all while maintaining its distinctive allure.