Industries

Virginia retains top business ranking

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Virginia remains king of Forbes.com’s “Best State for Business” ranking. 

The commonwealth held the No. 1 spot on the list for the fourth year in a row — the entire history of the contest.

“With our low corporate tax rate, highly-skilled workforce, and great quality of life, it’s no wonder Virginia consistently attracts some of the world’s most innovative and corporate leaders to our borders,” said Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said in a statement.

Forbes.com ranks states in six categories, and Virginia came out near the top in three of those. The commonwealth ranked first place in the quality-of- life category, second in the regulatory environment and third in labor issues. For the other categories: Virginia ranked 12th in growth prospects, 18th in economic climate and 20th in business costs.

The accolade follows similar No. 1 business rankings from Pollina Corporate Real Estate and CNBC.

Forbes.com noted that Virginia’s economy had suffered during the recession with a 60 percent increase in unemployment and an estimated 4 percent fall in household income. “Relative to the rest of the country though, Virginia is booming,” the article says. “Its 6.5 percent unemployment rate is fifth lowest in the country with the four states ahead of it all having dramatically smaller economies and employment bases. Virginia is the only state ranked in the top 20 in each of the six broad categories we examined.”

The state’s benefits include a growing work force, energy costs 30 percent below the national average, an AAA rating from Moody’s and favorable tort environment, according to the article.

States that rounded out the top 5:

  • Washington
  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • North Carolina

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