The Harrisburg Region

Review the Business Climate

How it's done

The business climate is the general economic environment that local businesses operate in. Reviewing and understanding the local business climate provides valuable insights about the economy, costs, risks, and incentives that may impact the success of your business. This activity will guide you to better understand the business climate in The Harrisburg Region and help you answer the following fundamental questions.

What is the business climate in The Harrisburg Region?

We have compiled the most important aspects of The Harrisburg Region’s business climate as an interactive dashboard below. This dashboard provides valuable economic, resident, household, dwelling and development indicators that may influence the success of your business.

What costs and assistance should I know about?

Whether you have a new or existing business it is critical to be aware of costs, incentives and grants that impact your business. This dashboard provides you with a snapshot of the major costs of conducting business in The Harrisburg Region and assistance available to The Harrisburg Region businesses.

The Harrisburg Region has many bragging rights including its ranking as one of the most affordable places to live and do business in the U.S. The region ranks in the top of many industry lists.

In particular:

  • U.S. News has ranked the Harrisburg Region 44th in Best Places to Live and the Region ranks 4th in the nation for the Best Cities for New Grads To Live, Work, Play according to
  • The cost of living in the Harrisburg-Carlisle MSA is 8% below the national average according to Forbes. Check out just how much further you can stretch your salary in the region here.
  • The region is among the top ten cities for first-time homebuyers. The average housing price for 2019 in the region is $156,833 compared to the U.S. average of $222,408.

The table below provides the living wage requirements for the Harrisburg-Carlisle MSA. The living wage draws on these cost elements and the rough effects of income and payroll taxes to determine the minimum employment earnings necessary to meet a family’s basic needs while also maintaining self-sufficiency.

Annual Expenses

1 Adult

1 Adult 1 Child

2 Adults 1 Child





Child Care




















Required annual income after taxes




Annual taxes




Required annual income before taxes




Living Wage Calculation for Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA
The Best Places For Business And Careers
Real Estate Harrisburg, PA

How do I use this information?

Having access to business climate statistics and information is one thing, but it's quite another to use data effectively and in a way that will benefit your business. This next section will help you do just that. Learn how to use this information to make better business decisions.

Monitor the local business climate

On-going assessment of the business climate is an essential part of operating a competitive business. In any business climate, there are numerous factors outside your control that will impact your business, both positively and negatively. The health of the economy impacts all businesses, but small businesses usually feel the effect of economic changes faster than big businesses. Improvements in the economy typically provide a rapid increase in new opportunities for small businesses, while an economic downturn can have a significant and prolonged negative impact.

Unfortunately, you can’t influence the economy, but you can monitor the business climate indicators provided above and then take the necessary actions to minimize risks to your business. Staying up to date with the business climate can also help you identify new opportunities that your business can take advantage of.

Know your costs

All industries are unique and incur different types of costs when starting or operating. Understanding these costs is essential when it comes to setting prices, budgeting and planning for growth or downturns. We’ve provided some of the local costs associated with taxes, development and labor that often get overlooked by businesses. There may be other municipal and state costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.

Where can I learn more about the business climate?

While we are providing you with a range of valuable information about the business climate, the fact is that there's much more available. In this section we provide you with links to other websites that will supplement our information and help to keep your finger on the pulse.

There may also be other municipal and state costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.

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Contact us

Melissa Stone
Vice President
Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC
Phone: (717) 213-5042

3211 North Front Street, Suite 201, Harrisburg, PA, 17110