December 27, 2002

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

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RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Microsoft’s bCentral Internet site for small business ranked Virginia 5th best in the nation in its list of the ten best and ten worst states in which to be an entrepreneur. This ranking takes into account both the regulatory environment and entrepreneurial activity and can be found on the MSN web site at

“This ranking helps validate what Virginia’s small businesses have known all along,” said Governor Warner. “The Commonwealth is an excellent location to start and grow a business.”

The Microsoft bCentral rating is a compilation of two recent studies: "Small Business Survival Index 2002: Ranking the Policy Environment for Entrepreneurship Across the Nation" and "Entrepreneurial Hot Spots: The Best Places in America to Start and Grow a Company, 2001. " The "Survival Index" is a product of the Small Business Survival Committee, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., which identifies ways in which government imposes costs on business and then measures the performance of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in each area. The "Entrepreneurial Hot Spots" were identified by Cognetics, a Massachusetts firm that researches America's fastest-growing small companies. The Cognetics study measures entrepreneurial activity.

“Part of the reason small businesses do so well here is the Commonwealth’s commitment to them,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Michael J. Schewel. “Virginia has a state agency, the Department of Business Assistance, solely devoted to helping small businesses with their financing, workforce training, and counseling needs.”

“Our research shows that 97% of all businesses in Virginia have fewer than 100 employees, and 75% of the gross new jobs created each year are the result of the establishment of new businesses, said Department of Business Assistance director Chuck Mills. “DBA is here to help these businesses and entrepreneurs prosper.”

These rankings are the most recent in a string of high ratings for Virginia by various organizations, such as Site Selection magazine, which ranked Virginia fourth in the nation for economic development success, and Price Waterhouse Coopers, which named Virginia the most flexible state in incentive negotiation.

For more information on how the Commonwealth can help your business, please contact the Virginia Department of Business Assistance at, 804-371-8200, or toll free at 1-866-248-8814.


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