Virginia’s diverse economy and strong business climate provide a strategic advantage for British companies entering or expanding in the U.S. market.
Companies from the United Kingdom will find easy access to the U.S. market with 47% of the U.S. population located within a one-day drive of Virginia. The Commonwealth’s strong transportation infrastructure ensures optimal access to major east/west and north/south interstate highways and rail lines, regional and international airports, and seaports.
Virginia’s exceptional logistics include:
- Six interstate highways
- Two Class 1 railroads – CSX and Norfolk Southern
- 16 commercial airports serving Virginia, including Washington Dulles International
- 3rd-largest port on the East Coast – The Port of Virginia
The Port of Virginia is planning for additional growth with major expansion projects currently underway, and is the only port on the East Coast authorized for 55-foot channel depths to handle the larger cargo ships of the future as first and last port of call. The Port of Virginia moved 2.8 million TEUs in 2017 – making Virginia an ideal location for export centers to serve the U.S., Asia, or Latin America for British companies.
Virginia is adjacent to Washington, D.C., and within 480 kilometers of New York City.
Virginia’s proximity to Washington, D.C., allows for quick access to U.S. Embassies and federal decision-makers. Nonstop service to London is available on United Airlines, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic from Dulles International Airport, located in Virginia. United Airlines provides nonstop service to Edinburgh as of May 2018.
In Virginia, you will find a business-friendly environment. More than 800 internationally owned companies are located here, and the international base continues to grow.
Virginia’s shared history with the U.K. goes back centuries, since Virginia’s founding as a global business venture in 1607 when English colonists landed in Jamestown, the first English settlement in North America.
Virginia has a competitive cost environment for business:
- Electricity rates are below the U.S. average at 6.26 cents per kilowatt hour vs. 6.88 cents nationally
- Unemployment insurance taxes are the 7th-lowest in the nation and 53% lower than the national average
- Average workers' compensation costs among the nation’s lowest
- Building costs that range from 6% to 21% below the national average, depending on the region
BAE Systems, Manassas
Virginia is ranked No.1 by CNBC and No.4 by Forbes in their Best States for Business studies. The Commonwealth also ranked No. 3 in the Forbes study for regulatory environment, which looks at labor regulations, tax incentives, health insurance mandates, and occupational licensing.
Virginia’s biggest strength lies in the quality and productivity of its workforce. Virginia is a right-to-work state and, at 5.9%, has the ninth-lowest unionization rate in the country. Virginia is known for its world-class higher education system that provides a strong pipeline of new graduates from local and regional universities.
The Virginia Community College System, comprising 23 community colleges, provides occupational and technical training programs, many of which are designed specifically to meet the needs of nearby industries. The Workforce Industry Credentials Grant program covers 124 different community college training programs at Virginia’s community colleges geared toward providing workforce credentials at one-third of their former cost to the student.
The Virginia Registered Apprenticeship is a training system that produces highly skilled workers through a combination of on-the-job training and theoretical classroom instruction to meet the demands of employers competing in a global economy.
Virginia is also a great place to live. Virginia’s diversity can be seen in its variety of landscapes, from Atlantic Coast beaches to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Virginia is home to a moderate four-season climate and provides a wealth of options for your employees to enjoy.
British Companies with Virginia Locations
In the last 10 years, nearly $900 million in capital investment and 4,900 jobs have been announced by British companies in Virginia. (Source: fDi Markets)
Virginia ranks No. 12 in employment from British companies in the U.S. and No. 12 in employment from Europe.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, British companies employ more than 38,000 people in Virginia. Some of these companies are:
In 2016, the United Kingdom ranked 4th among Virginia export destinations.
Kevin Chidwick Former CEO, Elephant Auto Insurance
We chose Richmond for our U.S. headquarters because of simple cost-benefit economics. The labor force here is excellent – well-educated, friendly, hard-working, honest, analytical, creative. The talent pool is plentiful across our many functional business areas, including customer service, claims-handling, IT, accounting, marketing, sales, compliance, and insurance operations, as well as call center operations. Because of the region’s reasonable cost of living, the financial economics of recruiting, rewarding, and retaining this talent are not only attractive in the short-term, but aligned with our business’s long-term aspirations.