Forbes.com Validates Virginia as a Top State for Business

Once again Virginia has received a podium ranking from Forbes.com as a top state for business in 2011. Virginia claimed the No. 2 spot for the second year running after placing No. 1 from 2006 – 2009. Forbes.com uses six categories to determine the results and Virginia scored in the top five in three of the categories, including labor supply, regulatory environment and quality of life. 

According to Forbes.com, "Virginia has a strong, educated labor force and a pro-business regulatory climate. The only thing keeping it from the top spot is its outlook." While the article listed possible changes in federal and military spending as the reason Virginia didn’t receive the top accolade, Virginia’s strong growth story is illustrated by its recent No. 1 ranking for Economic Potential in Business Facilities magazine 2011 Rankings Report.

2011 has been an impressive year for Virginia. In addition to Business Facilities magazine’s No. 1 ranking listed above, CNBC ranked Virginia the Top State for Business and Pollina Corporate Real Estate ranked Virginia the Top Pro-Business State. Virginia’s No. 1 CNBC ranking is significant not only because it has held one of the top two places since 2007, but in 2011 Virginia received the highest point total in the history of the ranking.

The factors that are used to calculate these results include energy costs, corporate tax rates, right-to-work legislation, workers compensation laws, educational opportunities, the quality and skill of the workforce, job creation, project development, the potential and viability of the state’s growth strategy and quality of life. The results are in and Virginia has shown it is the best state for business by consistently scoring top state rankings.

To learn more about Virginia’s unique combination of resources that have encouraged entrepreneurs to prosper here for more than 400 years click here.


Virginia Beach Named Best-Run City in America

Virginia Beach was named the Best-Run City in America by online financial news provider 24/7 Wall St. According to the website, "Virginia Beach is, by our measurement, the best-run city in the U.S. Located on the eastern shore of Virginia, the city is one of the most prosperous in the country. Out of the 100 largest cities, it has among the 10 lowest violent crime, unemployment, and poverty rates, as well as among the 10 best for median income, high school graduation and health insurance coverage. Moody’s listed Virginia Beach’s three main strengths as a ‘large and diverse tax base stabilized by the presence of military bases,’ the city’s ‘strong and carefully managed financial position,’ and ‘comprehensive financial policies and conservative budgeting approach.’ The city’s credit rating is a perfect AAA."

24/7 Wall St. looked at the 100 largest cities in America, by population, and ranked them based on their local economy, fiscal discipline and standard of living. It found that the best-run cities have one thing in common – access to jobs. These cities had strong, growing industries with plenty of employment opportunities to attract job seekers. 24/7 Wall St. concluded, "Encouraging businesses to prosper and create jobs is the most important function of local government."

Nearby Chesapeake, Va. also made the list in the No. 6 position. Noted for having the second-lowest poverty rate in the U.S., 24/7 Wall St. also praised the city's low crime and unemployment rates.

To learn more about Virginia’s assets and its ability to attract world class business click here.

    

Blacksburg, Virginia Named Bloomberg Businessweek's #1 Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids

Best known as the college town surrounding Virginia Tech, Blacksburg is making a name for itself as a family-friendly community after receiving top scores on a number of factors parents consider when deciding where to live. "Excellent schools, combined with an affordable cost of living, relatively low crime, and plentiful amenities lifted Blacksburg to first place in Businessweek.com’s sixth nationwide ranking of best places in each state in the U.S. to raise kids," according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Blacksburg offers residents a high quality of life with a multitude of recreational activities. Located between the Blue Ridge and Alleghany Mountains, the town provides easy access to the Appalachian Trail and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Blacksburg also maintains more than 400 acres of parkland which houses public playgrounds, sports fields and miles of walking and biking trails. It is no surprise that the top city to raise children has an excellent educational system, with schools that score well above average on standardized tests. As for higher education, Virginia Tech was ranked 28th in U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public National Universities list and its College of Engineering was ranked 15th in the nation.

The Blacksburg workforce is highly educated, with two-thirds of residents above the age of 25 holding a bachelor’s degree or higher and 40 percent holding a graduate or professional degree. This type of educated workforce combined with the research capabilities of Virginia Tech is a huge draw for companies. The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center is home to more than 140 high-tech companies and research centers and Blacksburg Industrial Park is one of several industrial and research business parks housing numerous high-tech and manufacturing companies. In fact, Blacksburg had three companies make Inc. Magazine’s 2011 500|5000 list of the fasting growing U.S. companies.

To learn more about Virginia’s high quality of life and strong workforce capabilities click here.    

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