The Big Book 2015
Economic growth slows but Virginia’s business climate remains attractive
Virginia faced economic headwinds in the past year. Sequestration — across-the-board federal budget cuts — slowed growth in the commonwealth, which has for years been one of the largest recipients of government contracts. The change was especially felt in Virginia’s defense industry that is largely concentrated in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.
The commonwealth’s slowing economy contributed to it being toppled from its perch as the top state for business in an annual ranking by Forbes.com. The commonwealth fell to No. 4 last year, behind Utah, North Dakota and North Carolina. The Old Dominion had been No. 1 or No. 2 for the past eight years. “Virginia is expected to rank in the bottom half of states on growth for jobs, incomes and gross state product over the next five years, according to Moody’s,” Forbes.com said in explaining the downgrade.
Nonetheless, the commonwealth still is a highly attractive place to do business. Forbes.com, for example, notes that Virginia continues to rank at the top of its regulatory category because of its strong incentive offerings and business-friendly government policies. The commonwealth also ranks well in a wide number of other lists assessing business climate and quality of life.
Despite increasing partisanship in the General Assembly, Democrats and Republicans appear to find common ground on many economic issues. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s economic strategy is to attract investment and create jobs in industries not dependent on government spending. Last year, the state announced 286 new deals and expansions, which are expected to create 18,672 jobs and $5.5 billion in investment.
The following pages offer insights into the people, companies and institutions that continue to shape Virginia’s economy and quality of life. They include:
- 50 highly influential individuals and power couples whose actions and opinions make an impact in the arts, banking, economics, education, energy, health care, manufacturing and tourism.
- Charts listing Virginia’s biggest economic development projects in 2014 and tracking trends in international investment and trade at the Port of Virginia.
- The commonwealth’s largest public and private companies, its fastest-growing firms in rankings by Inc. magazine and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Fantastic 50 program, plus an overview of CEO pay at Virginia-based corporations with at least $1 billion in revenue.
- Enrollment at Virginia’s four-year public and private colleges and a list of their endowments.
- Virginia’s top firms and companies in construction, commercial real estate, banking, insurance, health care, accounting, law and many other fields.
These industry and community leaders will play a big part in the evolution of Virginia’s economy.
Most Influential Virginians
On The Move
Fortune 500 Companies
Top 15 Announcements by Job
Top Growth Occupations/Industries in Virginia
International Investment in Virginia
Top 15 Announcements by Investment
Top 10 Sectors by Employment
Top 10 Sectors by Investment
Port of Virginia Stats
Construction & Development
Major Road Construction Projects
Architectural and Engineering Firms
Commercial Real Estate Firms
Largest Public Companies
Virginia Companies on The Black Enterprise 100
Fantastic 50 (Virginia’s 50 Fastest-Growing Companies)
Mergers & Acquisitions
Inc. 500 Companies Located in Virginia
Largest Private Companies
Virginia CEO Pay Report
Colleges & Universities (Private)
Colleges & Universities (Public)
Endowments at Virginia Colleges and Universities
Banks and Thrifts
Top SBA Lenders – Virginia District Office
Top Hospitals by Revenue
Virginia Nursing Homes
Health and Accident Insurers
A Sampling of Donations by Companies and Corporate Foundations
A Sampling of Donations by Individuals and Family Foundations
50 Largest Foundations in Virginia by Total Giving (2012)
Top Lobbyist Spending
Chambers of Commerce
Virginia Commercial Airports
Top 10 Craft Breweries
Business Incubators by Square Feet
Small Business Development Centers