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.

Moody’s Cost of Doing Business Index ranks the Roanoke market at 18 percent below the national average when it comes to operating a company here. The index takes labor, energy, tax costs, and rent into consideration.

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: National

RegionCost of Living Index
New York (Manhattan)239.3
Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia140.2
National Average100
Charlotte, NC94.9
Richmond, VA96.5
Chattanooga, TN91.9
Roanoke Region89.2
Source: www.coli.org, 2021-Third Quarter Data

Cost of Living Index: Market

Region/MarketCost of Living Index
Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia140.2
Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News98.5
Roanoke Region89.2
Source: www.coli.org, 2021-Third Quarter

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 75kW, 30,000 kWh/month

National Average$3,245
Columbia, SCSouth Carolina Electric & Gas$3,042
Birmingham, ALAlabama Power Company$3,794
Atlanta, GAGeorgia Power Company$2,957
Detroit, MIDTE Electric Co. $2,892
Roanoke RegionAppalachian Power$2,445
Source: Typical industrial bills, investor-owned utilities, Edison Electric Institute, Washington, D.C., Winter 2019

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

RegionValue Index
Newark, NJ116.1
Los Angeles, CA112.8
Pittsburgh, PA101.5
Rochester, NY100.9
National Average100
Cleveland, OH96.5
Charleston, WV95.9
Baltimore, MD94.1
Richmond, VA89.5
Roanoke Region88.3
Source: 2018 RS Means Construction Cost Rate

Labor Costs

At 4%, Virginia has the third lowest unionization rate in the country. Also, Virginia manufacturers have one of the lowest average workers’ compensation costs in the country. At $1.24 per $100 of payroll in January 2016, Virginia ranks third lowest nationally and is 33 percent lower than the U.S. average. Roanoke Region wages are lower than the Virginia and the national averages.

Median Labor Wages

OccupationRoanokeVirginiaUnited States
Business and Financial Operations$32.58$42.58$38.79
Health Care Support$13.89$14.58$15.50
Protective Service$20.45$24.33$25.11
Food Preparation, Serving$11.47$12.48$13.30
Personal Care & Service$13.98$15.01$15.68
Sales and Related$20.02$22.00$22.00
Office, Administrative, and Support$18.23$20.61$20.38
Construction and Extraction$19.63$23.28$25.93
Install, Maintenance, and Repair$22.51$25.78$25.17
Transportation, Material Moving$17.37$18.83$19.08
Architecture and Engineering$38.20$45.42$43.41
Life, Physical, and Social Sciences$35.24$42.78$38.15
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020