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Doing Business Here

There’s a strong, old-fashioned bond between business and community here in Polk County. Our towns bustle with small, medium, and a few large companies providing products and services. If you’re considering launching your own business here, you’ll find an eager workforce as well as regional economic development agencies that encourage entrepreneurial spirit while they support existing businesses. Whether you are looking at bringing a large business or a small cottage indsutry , you will find local governments and organizations ready to accommodate your needs–and make you feel genuinely welcome in the community.

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Why Polk County?

Because Polk County is an area of rapidly increasing international attention and part of the I-26 Asheville to Spartanburg corridor. We hold 40% of the Greenville, SC BMW plant 65-mile radius local purchasing area and are in the center of the developing southeastern United States mega-region.

Polk County offers access to major medical facilities located in Greenville, Spartanburg, Hendersonville, Fletcher, Brevard and Asheville. Of the 40 Economic Hot Spots worldwide, the 8th hottest spot is the I-85 corridor, Polk is located in the I-26 rib off I-85.

Some other reasons to choose Polk County are:

  • Early college program that offers college credit courses to high school students.
  • Low costs of living—housing, utilities, supplies and groceries, transportation and health care are all below the national average.
  • Low construction costs. Low crime.
  • Market access includes two close interstate systems and three close proximity major airports.
  • Broadband infrastructure for advanced voice, data and video communications.
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Why North Carolina?

North Carolina now has one third of the early colleges in the United States. Harvard honored NC with an award for education innovation. North Carolina has a AAA bond rating and was named one of the Top Three places to do business in the United States.

North Carolina has the third largest, most successful community college system in the US. 51,000 North Carolina students have received MicroSoft certification within the last 18 mos.

The state lies within a 700 mile radius of more than 170 million consumers and at least 70 percent of the nation’s industrial base.
North Carolina also has four international airports provide passenger service by major carriers to most locations throughout the U.S.

Here are a few more reasons to choose North Carolina:

  • Tax credits incentives are available to new and expanding industry. No inventory tax for NC businesses.
  • Fourth largest military presence in the nation.
  • Global economy driven by knowledge-based enterprises.
  • Research Triangle Park is an internationally recognized research and development center for diverse business and industry endeavors.
  • North Carolina boasts a 4,000 mile rail network coupled with the nation’s second largest highway system.
  • North Carolina is a right-to-work state.
  • Unemployment insurance and workman’s compensation rates are among the lowest in the nation.
  • Tarheel workers are 36% more productive than the average US worker.
  • Fifty eight campuses of the state’s community and technical college system offers free, customized skills training.
  • The University of North Carolina university system has 16 highly accredited campuses which offers advanced educational opportunities.
  • Voted #2 Lowest State and Local Tax Burden on Business by Ernst & Young, July 2011.
  • Voted #2 Best State for Business by Development Councils International, Sept 2011.
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Connectivity

Connectivity plays a vital role in the life of business in Our Polk. Telecommunications, fiber, wired and wireless connections all provide the powerful 21st century ingredients for increased capacity and enhanced prosperity.

Windstream, Charter Communications, ePolk and Pangaea have all made major investments in our technology infrastructure by strategically routing their high-tech architecture through major business and residential corridors in the county. Our Polk is connected to the world at gigabyte speed.

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Weather

Polk County is located in Zone 7 of the USDA plant hardiness zone map. Elevation in the county range from 720 feet to 3,239 feet so some micro climates exist. In the foothills of the county, many residents successfully grow many Zone 8 shrubs with some winter protection provided.

The first frost is normally October 15th and the last frost date is April 20th, giving Polk a 26 week frost free growing season in most years. Average rain fall is 65.31 inches.

Annual snowfall in Polk County for a period of record 8/1/1948 to 3/31/2004 average total snowfall in inches – January 2.5; February 2.0; March 1.4: April 0.0; October 0.0; November 0.1; December 0.7; Annual 6.7.

Annual ice accumulation is minimal in the area and the frequency of road closures is directly related to weather events. 15 secondary routes were closed during Hurricane Francis and 1 Route (US 176) was closed during Hurricane Ivan. 4 Routes were also closed due to weather events in the past 5 years. 3 were in September of 2004, and one was in July 2005

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Location

90 minutes- Keeps business moving

Our Polk has fast access to three major growing metropolitan areas, Asheville, Charlotte, and Greenville/Spartanburg and is positioned in the heart of Carolinas Golden Gateway. Our position in the region makes us the ideal location for business, research, industry, and the arts.

Polk County is located in the western part of the State of North Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and covers 239 square miles. The western county is in North Carolina’s southern foothills with a population of 20, 510 (2010 census). Polk County’s population includes the inhabitants of its three municipalities. These municipalities include Columbus (the county seat), Tryon and Saluda.
Polk County’s location in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains exert a strong influence on the County’s climate and ambience.  Known as the Isotheral Belt, the County is sheltered by mountains that moderate winter temperatures and provide refreshing summer breezes. Elevation ranges from 800 to3200 feet. Its average year round temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its major lake, Lake Adger, is strikingly back dropped against the wooded shorelines. Other Lakes and reservoirs include: Lyles Lake, Bullseye Orchard Lake, Hooper Creek Lake, Kaye Thompson Lake, Lake Adger, Deering Milliken Lake, Warrior Mountain Lake and Lake Sandy Plains. Streams, rivers, and creeks: Green River, Green Creek, Ostin Creek, Panther Creek, Gadd Creek, Little Fall Creek, Fork Creek, Pulliam Creek, and Laurel Branch.
Polk County’s proximity to interstate access makes it a prime location for business. Interstate-26 runs east to west through Polk County. Accessible via US Highway 74 and I-26, Interstate-85 is reachable in approximately 30 minutes.
Polk County is located within 1.5 hours of the City of Charlotte, home of the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and headquarters of Wachovia Bank and Bank of America. The
The City of Asheville, home of the Biltmore Estate, lies less than an hour to the West and Spartanburg, SC is located approximately30 minutes to the Southwest. Greenville, SC is located approximately one hour south of Polk County.

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Community

The county and municipal leadership in Our Polk are dedicated to serving the community. Whether you prefer living in a rural mountain environment, in a pastoral horse farm setting, an older historic neighborhood in a small foothills town, or a country club community — Our Polk provides a lifestyle that is comfortable and surprisingly affordable.

Our Polk, with five townships and three municipalities, offers a distinct diversity that is pro-business, pro-community, and pro-possibilities. Your small to medium enterprise, your passion, your dedication and family are welcome here.

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