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When making decisions about your business, costs are important. Whether its taxes, labor, construction, or anything else, it all affects business.

The Roanoke Region boasts a low cost of living so your money goes further when you invest here. Low electric rates, competitive construction costs, and reasonable health care costs combine to make business affordable.

There's a reason why Roanoke is ranked among the Top 15 places for low business costs and the Top 100 Places for Business and Careers by

Cost of Living 

A low cost of living is important to individuals and businesses. It means lower bills and less money spent on an operating budget. Compared to other areas competing for your business, you cannot beat the Roanoke Region when it comes to affordability. Compare costs for yourself with this cost of living analyzer.

Cost of Living Index: Nationwide
  Region   Index
Boston, MA 148.6
Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia 143.2
Newark, NJ 122.8
Chicago, IL 123.0
National Average 100
Chattanooga, TN 96.1
Asheville, NC 96.3
Richmond, VA 95.2
Roanoke Region 88.9
 Source: ACCRA, 1st Quarter 2017
  Cost of Living Index: Virginia
Market COLI
Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia 143.2
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News 98.6
Charlottesville 107.0
Winchester 99.0
Richmond 95.2
Lynchburg 90.6
Roanoke 88.9

 Source: ACCRA, 1st Quarter 2017

Industrial Electric Rates 

The Roanoke Region is served by Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power, and portions are served by Dominion power. The region maintains lower electric rates than comparable regions.

Monthly Bill at 75 kW 30,000 kWh/Month
Region Company Bill
National Average ---- $3,176
Columbia, SC South Carolina Electric & Gas $3,471
Birmingham, AL Alabama Power Company $3,522
Atlanta, GA Georgia Power Company $2,918
Detroit, MI Detroit Edison Company $2,880
Roanoke Region Appalachian Power $2,513
Source: Typical industrial bills, investor-owned utilities, Summer 2016, Edison Electric Institute, Washington, D.C.

Construction Costs

For any relocation or expansion decision, the cost of construction is an important factor. Construction costs in the Roanoke Region are not only competitive, but considerably lower than the national average according to the 2015 RS Means Building Construction Cost Book. The Construction Cost Index investigates over 700 communities and measures the costs of building materials, labor, climate, and local building codes.

RS Means Construction Index
Region Value Index
Newark, MJ 116.4
Los Angeles, CA 113.4
Pittsburgh, PA 102.3
Rochester, NY 101.9
National Average 100
Cleveland, OH 96.9
Charleston, WV 96.2
Baltimore, MD 94.0
Atlanta, GA 88.5
Richmond, VA 87.3
Birmingham, AL 86.1
Roanoke Region 85.0

Source: 2017 RS Means Construction Cost Rate

Labor Costs 

At 4.4%, Virginia has the fifth lowest unionization rate in the country. Also, Virginia manufacturers have one of the lowest average workers' compensation costs in the country. At $0.72 per $100 of payroll in January 2010, Virginia ranks third lowest nationally and is 39.5% percent lower than the U.S. average. Roanoke Region wages are lower than the Virginia and the national averages.
Mean Labor Wages by Occupation and Locality
Occupation Roanoke Virginia U.S.
Business and Financial Operations $30.28 $39.24 $35.48
Health Care Support $13.18 $14.00 $14.19
Protective Service $16.52 $21.41 $21.45
Food Prep, Serving $10.04 $11.00 $10.98
Personal Care Service $11.69 $12.47 $12.33
Sales and Related $17.22 $18.61 $18.90
Office, Admin, and Support $16.22 $17.58 $17.47
Construction and Extraction $17.68 $20.36 $22.88
Install, Maintenance and Repair $19.64 $22.65 $22.11
Production $16.13 $17.51 $17.41
Transport, Material Moving $15.97 $17.41 $16.90
Architecture and Engineering $34.40 $41.31 $39.89
Life, Physical and Social Sciences $30.77 $39.76 $34.24
Management $20.50 $61.79 $55.30
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015


The Roanoke Region offers some of the lowest electric rates in the United States. Read More

Cost of Living Matters

Latest News

Roanoke County Recognized for a Strong ‘Fourth Economy’

Roanoke County was recognized for short commute times, strong average wages, and outdoor recreation, among other things.
Posted on 7/20/2017 4:06:12 PM

Two Roanoke Region Properties Awarded Funding

Eight grants were awarded for projects across the state for industrial or commercial site development.
Posted on 7/19/2017 11:32:11 AM

Virginia Jumps 6 Spots in Best States for Business Ranking

Virginia ranks 7th in the annual list from CNBC.
Posted on 7/12/2017 12:26:17 PM
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