So good to be so low

So good to be so low

Low cost of living leads to high ranking for Winston-Salem

A recent blurb in the Winston-Salem Journal reported that our fair city ranks as one of the least expensive places to live in the world.

The Cost of Living Survey for 2011, conducted by Mercer LLC, ranked Winston-Salem 18th out of 214 cities after comparing cost related to things such as housing, food, clothing, transportation and entertainment. Winston-Salem made the list in 2010 at number 17 as well.

This underlines one of the factors that makes Winston-Salem, Forsyth County such an appealing place for businesses interested in expanding or relocating. What makes this ranking all the more significant is when you realize how much you can get for your money here. Winston-Salem manages to be remarkably affordable while still offering an exceptional quality of life.

Although cost of living is only one of several data points to consider when deciding on where to grow a business, the area’s combination of positive attributes (i.e. infrastructure, relatively easy access to major markets and available workforce) is what makes Winston-Salem a ideal choice.

To learn more about the survey, visit the Mercer website (a copy of the report is available for purchase).

Top 10 pro-biz community – without a beach?!

Don’t be fooled. The beach is closer to Winston-Salem than you think.

Having once again made the top 10 in Southern Business & Development’s list of best pro-business communities without a beach, one thing strikes us as somewhat peculiar. It’s the “without a beach” thing.

Yes, Winston-Salem is not a coastal community. There’s no arguing with SB&D’s logic. However, it cannot be denied that one of the things that gives Winston-Salem such a wonderful quality of life (aside from being a great city) is its relative closeness to beautiful North Carolina beaches.

Hop in the car after lunch on a Friday and head east, and you can dip your toes into the Atlantic by late afternoon on your choice of either quiet, relatively deserted beach towns or lively, activity filled resorts.

In fact, quick, summer beach trips are part of Winston-Salem culture — a summer rite of passage — with favorite destinations varying from Nag’s Head to Ocracoke to Atlantic Beach to Emerald Isle to Topsail and Surf City to Wrightsville and Carolina Beach. There’s a familiarity and connectedness that Winston-Salem folks have with certain beach towns. Everyone has a favorite, and it varies depending on who you ask and what they like to do.

One thing you’ll find that most of the destinations have in common, though, is that they are remarkably affordable. If you try hard, there are plenty of ways to spend money. But for most people, the beach and water are the biggest amenities.

Plus, when the weekend is done, they have Winston-Salem to come home to, which could be the best part of all.

ATP World Tour Event Coming to Winston-Salem

Olympus US Open Series event relocated from New Haven, CT.

Tournament to be played at Wake Forest University.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., December 13, 2010 – The USTA and ATP World Tour today announced the sale of the ATP World Tour event previously located in New Haven, Conn. to Winston-Salem Professional Tennis. Beginning in August 2011, the 48-draw tournament will take place in a to-be-constructed tennis facility on the campus of Wake Forest University.

The newly-designed state-of-the-art tennis facility will be constructed to host both professional and collegiate tennis events. The facility will be located between the current indoor tennis training center and BB&T Field, home of the Wake Forest Demon Deacon football team. Plans call for the construction of 10-12 Deco-Turf II courts, and will include center court seating with a minimum of 3,500 and two additional show courts which will hold at least 1,500 each.

“We are thrilled this prestigious event is coming to Winston-Salem, a community that has embraced tennis events over the past several years,” said Don Flow President of The Flow Companies and head of Winston-Salem Professional Tennis. “The entire community will embrace this event and the process has already begun with our corporate community stepping up, and with Wake Forest University being a major supporter of the event.”

“We are thrilled about the ATP’s new home at Wake Forest University, and thank Don Flow and Winston-Salem Professional Tennis for bringing men’s professional tennis back to North Carolina,” said ATP Executive Chairman and President Adam Helfant. “Globally, the game is enjoying one of the most exciting periods in its history, and it’s terrific that the tour will visit Winston-Salem as part of its U.S. summer swing.”

“We have worked with Don Flow for many years and know first hand his passion and commitment to the sport of tennis,” said Lucy S. Garvin, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “The tournament will take place with tremendous local support, both within the Winston-Salem community and the USTA Southern Section, and with a national television and marketing platform courtesy of the Olympus US Open Series.”

“It is an honor for Wake Forest to serve as the host of the Winston-Salem Open,” said Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch. “The international attention garnered by the tournament will allow us to showcase Wake Forest’s unique character.”

“We are very excited to host the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University, both for the opportunity it gives for our fans and the entire Winston-Salem community to experience an ATP tournament in their backyard, and for the improvements it will bring to our athletic facilities.” said Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman. “The world-class tennis complex that will be constructed will give our men’s and women’s tennis teams one of the best facilities in the Atlantic Coast Conference. It will perfectly compliment the recent renovations to BB&T Field and Wake Forest Baseball Park as part of our commitment to providing our fans with one of the best game day experiences in the country.”

“Winston-Salem is thrilled at the opportunity to host this tournament. The community has a rich tennis history and we have a long tradition of supporting tennis. It is great to see Wake Forest and the corporate community partnering in such an innovative way. The tournament will have a significant economic impact and it will help ensure that this is a great place to live in the future,” said Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines.

According to Flow, the entire Winston-Salem community has embraced the event. Local corporate partners who have signed as initial presenting sponsors of the tournament include BB&T Bank, Hanes Brands and the Flow Companies.

The event, with a total purse of $625,000, will take place from August 21-27, with qualifying set for August 19 and August 20. The tournament remains the final men’s event of the Olympus US Open Series, and will receive national television exposure via Tennis Channel and ESPN2. The 2011 singles final is expected to be carried by CBS Sports on Saturday, August 27. Launched in 2004, the Olympus US Open Series created a regular season for the sport of tennis in the U.S., and with a consistent television package, has doubled television viewership of the Series tournaments since its inception.

Source: Wake Forest University

Summer in Winston-Salem

No matter how old or young you may be, Winston-Salem is the perfect city to spend time in during the summer.  Not only does it provide the perfect balance between great outdoor fun and a bustling, energetic downtown, but Winston-Salem has numerous groups that work every day to ensure there’s always something to do.

One of the premier organizations for populating Winston-Salem evenings is the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership.  All summer long, throughout some of the favorite public downtown spots like 4th Street and Trade Street, the Partnership puts on fantastic and free concerts.

Whether your specialty is grooving to jazz or embracing Winston-Salem’s southern roots with down-home country and bluegrass, events like Alive After 5, Downtown Jazz, and Summer on Trade feature those and everything in between.

When you think of summer events, there’s nothing more quintessential than spending a day (or night) at a baseball game.  This year Winston-Salem has the treat of not only having our beloved minor-league team to watch, but also a brand new stadium (BB&T Field) that is beautiful, fan-friendly, and state-of-the-art. The team features promotions multiple times a week; however, no matter what night you go, you’re going to be in for a treat.  Not only are the games great to watch, but the team and organization go out of their way to create a family-friendly environment with events and promotions that are just plain fun for fans of any age.  The folks in their PR department were nice enough to provide us with some tremendous shots of the stadium and the fanfare that goes on.

Whereas downtown Winston-Salem is restless and bustling, Forsyth County offers it’s antithesis in the wide array of beautiful and peaceful outdoor environments.  Whether you want to play 18 holes of golf at Tanglewood Park, one of the best public golf courses in NC, or take a day on Salem Lake, there’s always a place to get away from the city.  Additionally, Tanglewood Park periodically hosts events throughout the year including it’s Steeplechase, Wine Festival, March of Dimes Chili Championship, and the upcoming Great North Carolina Beer Festival.

We at Winston-Salem Business Inc. hope you’ve enjoyed our photo tour of summer in Winston-Salem, although it’s not the same as experiencing it first-hand.  We’d like to think you now know a little more about the tremendous community and environment that embellishes our everyday lives here in Winston-Salem.

Photo Credits for this blog go to the folks at:

The Winston-Salem Dash

Winston-Salem Downtown Partnership

Tanglewood Park

BrandMIND Group Inc. Photo Archives

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County launches

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County announces the debut of
a first-of-its-kind social events network,, that provides
a holistic, immersive online experience around events and activities within
the city and county. You could win $1,000 if you register before March 30,
2010. And…you can keep track of and invite your friends to all the movies
you want to see in the My Planner section.

So go register, check out the site and come explore our City of Arts & Innovation: