Virginia has done it again, receiving another top ranking on the Forbes.com annual Best States for Business study. Virginia ranked No. 4 this year and had previously held the No. 1 or 2 spot since the inception of the study in 2006. While we are accustomed to a higher billing, Virginia is honored to receive the continued recognition from Forbes as a best state for business.
The Forbes.com ranking is based on six categories pulled from 36 points of data — costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
Highlights for the Commonwealth of Virginia include the No. 1 ranking for its regulatory environment. Forbes.com touted Virginia’s strong incentive offerings and business-friendly government policies.
Virginia ranked No. 2 for labor supply and was the top state on the East Coast. The Commonwealth’s skilled and well-educated workforce has long been esteemed by Virginia companies as a key component in their success. In addition, Virginia has the highest concentration of high-tech workers according to the TechAmerica Foundation’s Cyberstates 2013.
Virginia received a No. 5 ranking for quality of life. The Commonwealth’s favorable cost of living combined with access to natural resources, from the ocean to the mountains, and its historical, cultural and sports and entertainment offerings make Virginia a great place to live and work.
Concern over the effects of sequestration led to a lower score in the growth prospects category, ultimately affecting Virginia’s overall ranking this year. The growth prospects category includes a five-year forecast from Moody’s Analytics.
VEDP and the Virginia economic development community have long realized the potential impact of sequestration to our economy, and today’s No. 4 ranking further illustrates the new economic challenge facing Virginia.
The Commonwealth is committed to attracting new jobs and capital investment, and cultivating new economic growth through a proactive and aggressive economic development program. Initiatives like VEDP’s Going Global Defense Initiative, which helps Virginia defense companies mitigate the impact of federal spending cuts by launching an international strategy and growing revenue in markets overseas, will play an important role as we build a new Virginia economy.
In the meantime, Virginia takes pride in our strong showing in the 2014 Forbes.com Best States for Business report. We continue to be ranked a best state because Virginia offers a business-friendly environment, favorable operating costs, a top workforce and premier East Coast location and transportation network. To learn why companies have prospered in the Commonwealth for more than 400 years, click here.
Photo courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corp.