Why Charlotte?

Charlotte is the 17th most populous city in the USA.  The Queen City cracked the 800,000 population mark in 2014, and its population is now an estimated 809,958 as the city grew by 2 percent between 2013 and 2014.


Among the 50 biggest U.S. cities, Charlotte's 10.7 percent growth rate between the 2010 census and last year topped all but Austin, Texas, and New Orleans.


During that time, Charlotte gained 78,534 residents. Only seven other cities nationwide gained more people over that span.


The energy of the Charlotte region may have been sparked by its racing roots, but restaurants, craft breweries, nightlife and culture keep fueling the excitement in North Carolina's largest city.


Located in one of the nation's largest urban regions, Charlotte has more than six-million people living within a 100-mile radius. Charlotte is part of the nation's 25th largest DMA (Designated Market Area), with a market reach of over 1.8 million people across 22 counties.


Charlotte has matured as a financial, distribution, and transportation center for the entire urban region. The city has developed into a major wholesale center with the highest per capital sales in the United States.


Charlotte is also becoming recognized as a national and international financial center. The city is already the major banking center of the Southeast with more than $1 trillion in bank holding company assets. Only New York City has more banking resources. Bank of America's regional headquarters is located in downtown Charlotte, and Wells Fargo also has a major footprint in the area, employing more than 20,000 people.


Adding to the area's diverse economy, nearly 50 biotech firms are located in Charlotte and 18 optoelectronic facilities exist within the region.


273 firms employ 500 or more people. Of these firms, 151 are either regional / U.S. or world headquarters.


More than 600 foreign-owned companies - from Germany, Great Britain, Japan, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Canada, among others - have facilities in the Charlotte region, representing one-third of all foreign companies in North Carolina and South Carolina combined.

Other positive economic indicators include the recent opening of a NEIMAN MARCUS store in Charlotte - the only one in the state of North Carolina; and the opening of a new TESLA facility in 2015 -providing even more evidence of the city's financial health and buying power (TESLA is minutes from our venue).


During the 2008-2009 downturn the city, like much of the nation, was hit hard; however several sectors helped stabilize the economy during this period:

•Healthcare grew by 11%, adding 3,611, employing 36,824 in 2010
•Educational Services grew by 13% adding 1,397 jobs, employing 12,402 in 2010
•Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation grew by 21%, adding 2,142, employing 12,460.


Since 2009, Charlotte has diversified its economy and added moree than 70,000 jobs, growing by a rate of more than 11%, outpacing the United States (4.9%) and North Carolina (4.9%)


Finance and insurance has recovered all the jobs lost during the downturn, employment now exceeds 54,000..


Professional and business services accounted for 33% of the total job from 2009-2014, adding 22,702 jobs, largely fueled by demand in the financial service industry.


Key areas of growth during that same period include computer system and design-related services (growing by 48% and adding 2,895 jobs) and employment services (growing by 46% adding 7,936 jobs).


(source: Chamber of Commerce and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority)