CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolinians know the Tar Heel State is all about business, but now the rest of the world has caught up, thanks to a new list released by Forbes.

The American business magazine ranked the top 20 states for business, with North Carolina coming out on top.

Sporting events like the PGA championship have given the state an international spotlight.

"You can't buy this kind of positive exposure," said Bob Morgan, President of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

North Carolina ranked second in 2016 with House Bill 2, the controversial bathroom bill, expected to flush its name even further down the list.

Even with an estimated economic loss of $500 million, the state legislature's decision to partially repeal HB2 led to the NBA awarding Charlotte the 2019 All-Star game and the NCAA announcing a return for postseason sporting events.

2017 could be the tip of the iceberg with Charlotte and Raleigh submitting bids for Amazon headquarters, which would bring an estimated 50,000 jobs to the state.

Low business costs have led to the business boom in North Carolina but this ranking is a testament to small businesses and the foundation they have created.

Take Freddie Nordhoff, owner of South End Grind Coffee Shop on Clanton Road. The Washington state native could have packed up and started a coffee shop anywhere, but he chose Charlotte.

"I was kind of looking for the right opportunity and this was too good to pass up," said Nordhoff, who specializes in serving exclusively local products.

From the "Pure Intentions Coffee" to the milk he pours into lattes, everything is local.

Nordhoff says he isn't shocked by North Carolina's business boom.

"Given how young and growing Charlotte is, that doesn't surprise me at all," Nordhoff explained.

Forbes started the "the best states for business" rankings in 2006 but this is the first time North Carolina has found its name at the top of the list, which is somewhere it certainly would like to stay.