Businesses in Alamance County
Table of Contents:
III. Large Businesses and Corporations
IV. Small Businesses
V. Chamber of Commerce
VII. Sources and References
Business is a key factor in Alamance County, benefiting the town on an economic basis. If business is doing well, then the people of the community tend to do well. All businesses provide a sense of economic development, enriching the economy financially. The two main types of businesses can be categorized by size, from large to small businesses. Both types have many similar characteristics, though the level of intimacy and financial prosperity differ. Together they provide a diverse economy. Alamance County is considered to be in the heart of North Carolina's business district, located in The Carolina Corridor. Their prime location is due to the nearness of several large interstates, less than six miles from the closest one. They stress their prime location, located between major metropolitan areas and highways. The business in Alamance County covers a population of 152, 531 people as of 2011. Alamance County strongly stresses that it is a perfect location of start or expand one’s business. Fore more than 150 years, Alamance County has brought a sense of expansion and growth for companies. Today, Alamance County is proudly home of 5,000 businesses and roughly 300 industries in manufacturing, services, and distribution.
Alamance County offers many benefits for business owners, including an appealing tax rate and a central location for shopping. The state of North Carolina and Alamance County provide a large abundance of economic incentives. The main local incentive, that offers financial opportunity for business, is cash grants. Cash grants depend on an individual basis, differing for each corporation or business. Other less known incentives are utility upgrades and extensions, expedited regulatory processes, and various fee/charge waivers for building development costs.
Large Businesses & Corporations
For the most part, Alamance County is heavily dependent on their large corporations and industries. In the past, Alamance County was heavily business dependent on tobacco products and textiles. In the present, Alamance County depends on textile manufacturing and agriculture. Textile production was considered to the economic foundation of the local company and strengthened the community. When a business grows, the number of available jobs grow, benefiting the unemployed. For over a hundred years, the Alamance County textile industry was the largest in the world. In the early 1900’s, the Burlington Industry was founded, a large textile industry. On a smaller economic scale they also rely on advanced manufacturing, healthcare, retail, government, warehousing and distribution, and education.
The largest industry in Alamance County is Industry, having a total of 2,776 people under their employment. Health Care and Social Assistance employs the second amount of people, having 8,090 people under their industry. The third largest employment by Industry is Retail Trade, approximately having 8,083 people as of employment. There are various major employees of Alamance County at a larger scale. The Alamance-Burlington School System has about 3,260 people under their employment. Next is the Laboratory Corp of America having approximately 3,200 employees. Thirdly, the Alamance Regional Medical center which employs 2,057 people. Elon University is fourth on the list, only employing 1,290 people.
Throughout Alamance County, there are various small town businesses. There is a wide range of small town businesses, from local restaurants to small clothing boutiques. Alamance County is considered to have a diverse economy, due to their recent growth in business. Alamance County has many small restaurants some being, Pandora's Pies, The Root, and Acorn. The three restaurants remain very popular with students from Elon University., having established a connection to the university. As of recently, Alamance County has experienced a growth in retail development. Each small business provides a personal shopping experience that large corporations could not. These businesses provide a more individualistic and personal basis for economic development.
Chamber of Commerce
Alamance County's economic welfare is promoted and regulated through their Chamber of Commerce. They also claim to be a business’s connection to success. Their mission is to “ enhance the welfare of business and to promote and stimulate economic vitality in the Alamance County area for the benefit of its members and the community.” They work to promote local businesses in efforts to increase economic growth within their district.
I recently interviewed a business owner, Anna Lee. She owns a local dry cleaning service within Alamance County. Due to personal reasons, she asked for her business's name not to be mentioned. I sat with her and asked her questions regarding her business. She has co-owned her store for 8 years and recently gained full ownership. Her business is booming, finding herself and her employees constantly busy. Work is constantly piling up and it is hard to find a free moment to relax. Even though business is going well, she still finds herself struggling financially. The recent recession has had a negative impact on her business, making it hard to be a small business owner. The complex machines require heavy upkeep and maintenance, taking a financial toll on the business. All of her hours are spent at the business, often times putting her business before her health. She is only able to hire several employees, but the best employees make a difference in the workload. Her employees have different tasks from operating the machines to being a tailor. Each employee is skilled in their own manner. Her favorite part of her business is the customers, as she claims to have a personal relationship with almost all of them. She says that for the most part they are loyal customers and she rarely leaves a customer dissatisfied. Though in the past, she has had a couple disgruntled and difficult customers. She believes that Alamance County is a prime location for a small business, as the County continues to grow. The community has helped her business stay alive through their support. She hopes that her business will continue to grow and prosper with time.
Sources and References
(Chamber of Commerce)