Charlotte has nine companies on the 2023 Fortune 500 list, one more than last year and more than competitor cities like Raleigh and Austin.
Why it matters: Being home to Fortune 500 companies is a major bragging point for any city — especially a fast-growing one like Charlotte. These corporations employ hundreds of thousands of people combined throughout the region. They play a major role in shaping how the city operates and how it grows.
Between the lines: The newcomer on this year’s list was Albemarle. The specialty chemicals manufacturer jumped from No. 780 on the Fortune list last year to No. 493 this year.
Zoom out: North Carolina has a total of 13 companies on the Fortune 500 list. South Carolina has one.
Of note: LPL Financial, which is “dual-headquartered” in Fort Mill and San Diego, ranked No. 442 on the Fortune 500 list. CommScope, which has its headquarters in nearby Hickory, came in at No. 405.
Here’s where companies based in the Charlotte area rank on the latest Fortune 500 list, which ranks companies by annual revenue:
32. Bank of America
141. Duke Energy
157. Truist Financial
299. Sonic Automotive
448. Brighthouse Financial
What they’re saying: The fact that Charlotte has a growing number of Fortune 500 companies speaks to three important characteristics about the region, according to Rob Horton, chief marketing and communications officer at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.
- The talent and diversity of the area’s talent base.
- Charlotte’s connectivity and location — we’re midway between New York and Miami, and we have the seventh-busiest airport in the world.
- Quality of life and cost of living.
“It’s a validation of all of those things,” Horton says.
- Employment in the headquarters sector (companies with a HQ here) is twice as large in Charlotte as the national average, based on our population, the Alliance has said. This means that relatively speaking, HQ companies here employ a higher share of people than other HQ companies in similarly sized cities.
Zoom out: Compared with competitor cities, Charlotte’s number of Fortune 500s is impressive, he adds. The Triangle only has two, the Austin region has four and the Tampa area has five. “We punch above our weight,” Horton says.