Economic Development

Our Economic Development Practice Group is working statewide on business and economic development to help our clients, citizens and communities and to build a stronger North Carolina.

From helping businesses obtain economic incentives on the federal, state and local levels to strategizing on ways to recruit, retain and grow business investment, job opportunities and vibrant communities, we understand the need for sound business and economic investment while meeting energy needs and protecting our environmental treasures—all of which help our state prosper and propel it to even greater heights as one of the nation’s top locations for business and being one of the most desirable places in the country to live, work, play and retire!

Members of our Economic Development Practice Group have assisted companies with significant real estate transactions, negotiation of sales contracts, utility company compliance, applications for economic incentives at the state and county levels, and North Carolina entity formations.  We work with local, regional, and state developers, including the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Governor's Office, to help clients locate or expand their operations in our state.  Ward and Smith is recognized as a premier law firm when it comes to assisting the military with its presence in North Carolina.

The members of our practice group have spent many years working with clients to expand and to locate new operations in North Carolina.  Our team includes one member who worked in the North Carolina Department of Commerce, helping companies with government and communications issues.  This team member also worked closely with companies on state and local incentive packages and with local communities as they worked with the companies and prepared for public announcements.  Other team members have spent years working with clients in every aspect of doing business in the state, including, without limitation, business litigation, banking, business and commercial law, developing and executing contracts, and dealing with environmental issues at the local, state, and federal levels.

Our team's experience includes the following:

  • Working with an Israeli company to locate its U.S. headquarters in North Carolina;
  • Assisting a globally‑renowned small engine company to expand its operations in North Carolina;
  • Coordinating economic incentives at the city, county, and state level for two textile‑related manufacturing operations;
  • Negotiating contracts related to transportation improvement incentives for a home appliance manufacturer;
  • Recruiting companies for industrial parks by working with regional, city, and county economic developers;
  • Developing a comprehensive military‑related economic development plan;
  • Assisting in site selection and location;
  • Negotiating water/sewer access and upgrades with city and regional water authorities;
  • Addressing zoning and entitlement issues at city and county levels;
  • Managing roadway, driveway, and bridge improvements through state and local transportation authorities;
  • Coordinating city, county, and state incentives, including North Carolina Job Development Grants and tax rebates; and
  • Administering Community College training grants for training new employees.

In addition to government relationsreal estate, and environmental experience, our team consists of attorneys with experience in taxlabor and employmentfinancial transactions and regulationshealth careintellectual propertyinternationalzoning and land usetechnologyagribusiness, and alcoholic beverage control laws.  

We are your established legal network with offices in Asheville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, and Wilmington, NC.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2021
  • Super Lawyers 2020
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2021
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 2021