RICHMOND — Gov. Bob McDonnell announced on Tuesday that Forbes.com has named Virginia as America’s “Best State for Business.” The commonwealth reclaims the title after being awarded the No. 2 ranking from 2010-12.
Virginia finished in the top five in four of Forbes.com’s six categories, the only state with such a strong across-the-board showing.
McDonnell said Virginia deserves the top rating because the state is, quite simply, “the best state in America for business. Our desirable business climate continues to be recognized by prestigious, independent third parties like Forbes.com and we are thrilled to regain the No. 1 spot as ‘Best State for Business.’”
The governor said the ranking “is a great testament to the commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure, education system, skilled work force, regulatory environment and excellent quality of life, all of which lead to strong economic growth. Since taking office we have worked across party lines to bring people together to put in place policies that spur private sector job creation.”
State Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, applauded his colleagues in the House of Delegates “who have worked hard to make sure Virginia is a business friendly state. Together with Gov. McDonnell we have strived to strengthen our business environment and put Virginians back to work. Today’s news makes it clear that our policies are working.”
McDonnell said Virginia has “invested wisely in the core functions of government most essential to Virginia’s future, from our world-class colleges and universities to our K-12 system, from our economic development programs to our transportation infrastructure. Today, unemployment is down and more Virginians are working.”
Virginia was rated first in regulatory environment, second in labor supply, fourth in quality of life, fifth in economic climate, 17th in growth prospects, and 22nd in business costs.
According to Forbes.com, Virginia’s “diverse economy, strong work force and pro-business regulatory climate propels the Old Dominion state to the No. 1 ranking. Virginia ranks first among the states in the regulatory category because of its business friendly government policies and strong incentive offerings. The tort system is one of the best in the country for businesses, according to the Mercatus Center’s ‘Freedom in the 50 States.’”
North Dakota ranked second by Forbes.com, followed by Utah, North Carolina and Colorado. Nebraska, Texas, Minnesota, Washington and Georgia rounding out the top 10.