Virginia Wins 2013 Silver Shovel Award from Area Development Magazine

For the second year in a row, Virginia was honored with a Silver Shovel Award from Area Development magazine in the 5-10 million population category.

The award recognizes Virginia for its economic development achievements in creating new jobs and attracting new businesses and investment into the Commonwealth. Virginia previously won in 2006, 2009 and 2012.

Area Development, one of the leading site selection publications, has run this awards program for eight years. Each state submits 10 projects that broke ground in 2012, and the magazine uses weighted scores based on added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities and industry diversity to select the winners.

The 10 outstanding projects that helped make Virginia a winner are:

  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters – Isle of Wight County
  • Health Diagnostic Laboratory – City of Richmond
  • Bechtel Corporation – Fairfax County
  • Metron Aviation – Loudoun County
  • Web Parts LLC – City of Danville
  • McKesson Corp. – Frederick County
  • Ply Gem Windows – Franklin County
  • The Vitamin Shoppe – Hanover County
  • Phoenix Packaging Operations LLC – Pulaski County
  • BAE Systems – Montgomery County

According to the magazine, "If there’s one word to describe Virginia, it could be ‘diverse.’ From an economic point of view, that’s a great thing. There’s growth to be found in many corners of the economy, and that bodes well for prosperity as well as for making it onto the Silver Shovels list."

Virginia continues to garner accolades as a top state for business from leading institutions, including Forbes.com, CNBC, Pollina Corporate Real Estate and Site Selection magazine.

To learn how Virginia’s unique combination of assets has helped businesses succeed in the Commonwealth for more than 400 years, click here.


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Ranks Virginia a Top State for Performance, Innovation and Talent

In its fourth annual Enterprising States study, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave Virginia top marks in three out of six categories. Virginia was ranked No. 3 in Overall Innovation and Entrepreneurship, No. 5 in Overall Performance, and No. 5 in Overall Talent Pipeline.

This year’s theme, Getting Down to Small Business, focused on the importance of small businesses to lead the economic recovery, and looked at how states can implement policies to support entrepreneurs.

The study noted the importance of accelerator initiatives, economic gardening activities, business plan competitions, workforce development curricula and international trade programs—all of which Virginia does. Governor McDonnell’s 2012 Year of the Entrepreneur initiative and Virginia’s Business One Stop program received special recognition in the report.

Virginia was able to obtain a No. 3 ranking in Overall Innovation and Entrepreneurship due to its leadership in science and technology. According to the study, Virginia is the No. 1 state in STEM job concentration and has the No. 1 share of high-tech businesses.

The Commonwealth’s high standard of living and No.1 ranking in adjusted median family income helped Virginia to achieve a Top 5 spot in Overall Performance.

The report also noted Virginia’s well-educated workforce, including strong high school advanced placement scores, educational attainment, and higher education efficiency—all contributors to Virginia’s success in obtaining a Top 5 ranking in Overall Talent Pipeline.

These top rankings confirm Virginia’s position as a leading place for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Commonwealth recently received an "A" for its small business friendliness from The Kauffman Foundation and Thumbtack.com.

With June unemployment at 5.5 percent, the Commonwealth’s focus on small businesses and job creation is yielding positive results. To learn why Virginia continues to be a great place to start a business, click here.


CNBC and Pollina Name Virginia a Top State for Business—Again

Virginia once again received a top five ranking from both CNBC and Pollina Corporate Real Estate.

Virginia tied for fifth place in CNBC’s annual America’s Top States for Business 2013 report. The Commonwealth has historically performed extremely well on this ranking, receiving the No. 1 spot in 2007, 2009 and 2011, and the No. 2 spot in 2008 and 2010.

The CNBC ranking is based on 10 categories and Virginia received top 10 rankings in four of them—Workforce, Economy, Education and Business Friendliness. Virginia also gained ground in the Infrastructure & Transportation category, thanks to a $6 billion transportation bill recently approved by the General Assembly.

Virginia received a fourth place ranking from Pollina Corporate Real Estate’s Top 10 Pro-Business States 2013 report. The study develops its ranking based on 32 factors controlled at the state level, including taxes, human resources, right-to-work legislation, energy costs, infrastructure spending, workers' compensation legislation, jobs gained, financial incentives and state economic development evaluations. Virginia was the only state in the mid-Atlantic region to break the top 10.

Virginia has consistently received top marks from Pollina, taking one of the top two spots from 2005 to 2012. According to Brent Pollina, co-author of the study:

"In the 10 years of this study, no other state comes close to Virginia when it comes to being a consistent pro-business state. Virginia’s key to success is that they have found a balance between low taxes, a good labor force, and a strong economic development program, providing it with one of the most well-rounded business climates in the nation."


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