Virginia named #1 state for overall business climate

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~ Press release issued by the Governor’s Office

RICHMOND — Governor Ralph Northam announced [earlier this week] that Virginia was named the state of the year for Overall Business Climate. This ranking, from Business Facilities magazine, comes in addition to Virginia’s number one ranking by CNBC as the Best State for Business.  

“I am proud of the work our administration has done to develop the strongest business-friendly environment in the nation,” said Governor Northam. “During my term, we’ve attracted more than $80 billion in economic investment, creating more than 100,000 jobs—a record for any Virginia governor. Virginia has set a new standard for all other states. Companies want to invest here and create jobs here because of our welcoming environment, commitment to developing our workforce, and our existing infrastructure.”

The next administration is inheriting a booming economy with record job creation, one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and lower than any of our neighboring states, and back to back titles as the nation’s best state for business. Virginia’s economic foundation is stronger than ever to continue to build on Governor Northam’s record of success.

Business Facilities also named Tennessee as the state with the Best Dealmaking and Massachusetts as the state with the Best Workforce/Educational System. 

“For the first time, we thought it was appropriate to name three winners in this prestigious process,” said Business Facilities Editorial Director Seth Mendelson. “As businesses look to expand or relocate, the questions they have about communities are becoming more complex. They want to know as much as they can about a community before making a final decision. We think this is going to help them make informed choices. The commonwealth’s location, right next to the District of Columbia, combined with its pro-business work environment, strong workforce and educational systems, makes it a great place to do business in.”

Virginia finished first in the Best Overall Business Climate because of work done by local and statewide economic development councils to make the Commonwealth more attractive to prospective employers. 

Virginia’s workforce exceeds 4.1 million people and the unemployment rate is the 10th lowest in the country at 3.4 percent.  The Commonwealth runs many highly-successful workforce programs, including the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a customizable job-specific training and recruitment initiative, and Fast Forward Virginia, a short-term credential program to train Virginians for top, in-demand jobs across the commonwealth. In addition, workforce development programs and workforce connection programs in Virginia assist employers in finding qualified workers and to assist workers in finding suitable jobs. 

Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.



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