The Voice of Business, Industry & the Professions Since 1942
North Carolina's largest business group proudly serves as the state chamber of commerce

History of the association and its mission

With about 2,000 member companies of all types and sizes, N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry is the state's largest and most influential business group, one that is widely respected for its balanced, thoughtful approach to public policy issues. A nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization, NCCBI was founded in 1942 and has served for the past 25 years as the state chamber of commerce and the state representative to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 1997 NCCBI also became the official state affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. NCCBI operates from offices in Raleigh a short walk to the Capitol and the General Assembly building.

NCCBI was founded in 1942 when the world war convinced North Carolina business leaders how important it was for state government to become more efficient and productive when goods -- and tax dollars -- were in short supply. Early on the group realized the importance of good research and publishing the information. NCCBI began publishing the monthly North Carolina Magazine in 1943, and it's now one of the oldest continuously-published magazines in the state.

A volunteer-led organization, NCCBI takes its direction from a 100-member Board of Directors and the 25-member Executive Committee. The association's top leader is the volunteer chair, who serves a year as the business community's most visible spokesman. Barry Eveland of Cornelius (left), IBM's top North Carolina executive, is this year's chair. Other officers are first vice chair Stephen Miller of Asheville, executive vice president of The Biltmore Co., second vice chair Graham Denton of Charlotte, the Bank of America executive, and Treasurer Steve Zaytoun of Cary, of Zaytoun & Associates Inc.

NCCBI's strong voice in state government prompted a former governor to describe it as “almost a fourth branch of government.” It commands that respect because political leaders value NCCBI's well-thought-out, balanced approach to public policy issues. NCCBI's broad mandate is to improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians, a goal it pursues by working to safeguard the state's favorable business climate, by improving educational opportunities for everyone and by maintaining a clean, healthy environment.

Members provide extensive input into NCCBI's goals by serving on one of the seven public policy committees. These committees meet to hear expert speakers, evaluate research and then recommend positions the association will advocate with the Governor and the General Assembly. To make sure the business point of view is heard, NCCBI arranges several face-to-face encounters between members and political leaders, such as the annual Legislative Conference attended by top elected officials. The highlight of the NCCBI year is the Annual Meeting, usually attended by 1,000 or more leading figures, the one time each year that the state's public and private sectors meet to eat and talk business.

NCCBI leadership was most recently evident in enactment by the General Assembly of lower corporate income tax rates, repeal of the intangibles tax, reform of the workers' compensation system, increased funding for state parks, sharply higher salaries for school teachers, the expansion of Smart Start into all 100 counties, support for mass transit, and new business tax credits to foster growth and expansion.

Manufacturers represent the largest group of members in NCCBI, but the association's broad base includes all kinds of businesses, large and small, as well as most of the colleges, universities and community colleges in the state. Most local chambers of commerce also are NCCBI members as are dozens of trade groups representing specific businesses and professions. NCCBI members employ about 1.2 million people in the state.

The association's leadership over the years of efforts to improve the public schools was acknowledged with the appointment by Gov. Jim Hunt of NCCBI President Phil Kirk as chairman of the State Board of Education, a volunteer position he held until May 2003. Kirk previously was vice chairman of the State Board of Community Colleges.

NCCBI keeps its members up to date on politics and business trends through its award-winning North Carolina monthly magazine, the weekly Legislative Bulletin, the monthly For Members Only newsletter, and its extensive Web site at Membership dues are a function of a company's size and type of business, starting as low as $400 a year.

Fact Sheet
NCCBI Officers
Executive Committee
Past Chairmen and Honorees

Visit us at 225 Hillsborough Street, Suite 460, Raleigh, N.C.
Write to us at P.O. Box 2508, Raleigh, N.C. 27602
Call us at 919.836.1400 or fax us at 919.836.1425

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