Winston-Salem ranked in the Top 10 in Affordability, Fun!

Winston-Salem ranked in the Top 10 in Affordability, Fun!

Winston-Salem has been ranked in the Top 10 in two recent reports. First, according to a new report from Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, Winston-Salem is the 10th Most Fun and Affordable place to live. Click here for the story from Bloomberg Businessweek.

Next, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, Winston-Salem ranks number 10 in its annual list of Cheapest US Cities to live in.  Click here for details.


For more information on the cost of living in Winston-Salem and Forsyth  County check our site.

Gov. Perdue Announces 212 New Jobs with Inmar Expansion

Gov. Perdue Announces 212 New Jobs with Inmar Expansion

RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that Inmar, Inc., a technology company that operates collaborative commerce networks, will expand its corporate headquarters in Winston-Salem.  The company plans to create 212 jobs over the next five years and invest $24.5 million.  The project was made possible in part by state grants from the Job Development Investment Grant and the One North Carolina Fund award.

“Creating jobs is my top priority,” said Gov. Perdue, “The fact that Inmar chose to expand with us in North Carolina is a testament to our top-notch business climate and the potential to develop a tremendously skilled workforce.”

Supported by a continuous investment in technology, Inmar operates three cost-effective networks: Supply Chain, Promotion and Pharmaceutical Services. With the power of speed, these networks move billions of dollars annually, and significant amounts of information and goods among trading partners.

“Inmar has positioned itself to be competitive in the marketplace and we are honored that the City of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County and the State of North Carolina support our vision for economic growth and expansion,” said David Mounts, Inmar CEO.  “Inmar is all about collaboration and after working with the Governor, the Commissioner and the Mayor it is clear that they are true professionals at collaboration, which results in job creation for the people of North Carolina.”

Inmar, a privately held company, currently employs more than 640 people in Winston-Salem, and in Forsyth and Mecklenburg Counties.  They also have facilities in many states, including Georgia, Texas, Mexico and Canada, with more than 4,200 employees worldwide. The company began as a coupon processor in 1980 and now offers an array of business services to its 1,700 retail, pharmaceutical and manufacturing clients including; supply chain consulting and analysis, field audit services, recall planning and execution, returned goods management, remarketing, digital promotions, rebates management, pharmacy receivables and contract management and coupon processing.

Salaries will vary by job function, but the average salary for the new positions will be $72,783, plus benefits. The average annual wage in Forsyth County is $41,912.

To help facilitate this expansion, the company has been awarded a grant of up to $237,000 from the state’s One North Carolina Fund.  This fund assists the state in industry recruitment and expansion by providing financial assistance through local governments to attract business projects deemed by the governor to be vital to a healthy and growing state economy. One North Carolina Fund grants require a local match, and this grant is contingent upon approval of local incentives.

“Our history of investing in education has built a workforce that is second to none,” said Rep. Earline Parmon, of Winston-Salem. “Companies want skilled, educated workers, and they know they can find them here.”

“One of the best ways to create jobs is to fuel expansion by companies that already call North Carolina home,” said Sen. Linda Garrou, of Winston-Salem. “We do that by creating an environment in which those companies can grow and thrive.”

In addition, the state Economic Investment Committee voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant to Inmar. JDIGS are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.

Under the terms of JDIG, the company is eligible to receive a grant equal to 70 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes derived from the creation of new jobs for each of the 10 years in which the company meets annual performance targets.  If Inmar meets the targets called for under the agreement and sustains them for 10 years, the JDIG could yield as much as $4.167 million in maximum benefits for the company.

In addition, up to $1.389 million could be added to the state’s Utility Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties. When a JDIG is awarded in the state’s more economically prosperous counties such as Forsyth, 25 percent of the grant is allocated to the Utility Fund to encourage economic development in less prosperous counties.

Other partners who assisted with this announcement include: The N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Forsyth County and the City of Winston Salem.

For more information about Inmar, including job opportunities, visit


WSBI Annual Meeting speaker Mike Randle video interview available

WSBI Annual Meeting speaker Mike Randle video interview available

Mike Randle, publisher of Southern Business and Development magazine, recently spoke at the Winston-Salem Business Inc. Annual Meeting.  His perspective on economic development in the South was well-received by those in attendance and we were fortunate to be able to interview him for our blog.

We have made several video clips of our interview with Mike Randle available for viewing on our YouTube channel.  You can see all of them here.

In the segment below, Mike Randle discusses the growth in manufacturing jobs in the South:


For more of our interview with Mike Randle, click this link.

Why Business Loves Winston-Salem

Why Business Loves Winston-Salem

By: Bob Leak, CEcD

Upon further analysis, the data suggests Winston-Salem.

In economic development, individual regions tend to focus their efforts on specific industries. In this series of posts, we’re examining why several individual industries have focused their expansion efforts, ultimately, in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County.

Data Centers

Back in 2010, a somewhat surprising accolade was bestowed upon Winston-Salem in a specific, highly competitive industry—data management. The city earned the number four spot out of 45 metropolitan areas nationwide for cost-effective operation of data centers in a survey by Boyd Co. of Princeton, NJ. But if you dig into the details a little, you find that Winston-Salem’s allure for the data industry actually makes perfect sense.

Solid foundation

Data management is one of those crossover industries that touch virtually every other sector. However, there are specific industries where data has been a vital part of daily business for quite some time. Two of those industries are financial services and healthcare. Think of the sophistication it takes to manage, process and protect individual banking transactions and patient medical data. When you consider Winston-Salem’s enduring history and thriving relationships with these industries,the data story seems like a natural fit for the area.

Smart workers

Companies across a wide range of industries have entered the area and ended up being overwhelmed by the quality of the workforce in Winston-Salem and the surrounding Triad. In many ways, the more technologically advanced their business is, the more impressed these company leaders are by the ability of area workers to get up to speed in a hurry. That’s a big deal for data centers where companies cannot afford any slip in performance or security.

Smart institutions

Naturally, the availability of a quality workforce suggests there is either something in the water that enhances the minds of area workers, or that there are institutions in place here that do an excellent job of training and retraining people. We’ve gone on elsewhere in this blog about the success of Forsyth Technical Community College, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem Sate University and other area institutionsat developing area talent. So, we’ll just say that having these high-end institutions adds to the attraction for companies looking for new data center locations.

The ultimate proof of Winston-Salem’s value to the data management industry is in the companies that have established data centers here. Lowe’s Cos., Data Chambers LLC, Wells Fargo and other institutions have chosen to establish data centers in Winston-Salem. And more could be on the way.

As they say, the data doesn’t lie.

What other industries find Winston-Salem irresistible? More to come in Part 4.

Links to Part 1 and Part 2 in our series.

Winston-Salem is Proud to Host the RiverRun International Film Festival

Winston-Salem is Proud to Host the RiverRun International Film Festival

The RiverRun International Film Festival is a regional event based in Winston-Salem, NC and is one of the premier film festivals in the southeastern United States. The 14th annual RiverRun will be held April 13–22, 2012.  This video provides a wonderful overview of the event:



RiverRun – Sponsorship from RiverRun International Film Fest on Vimeo.