Virginia Receives an "A" for Small Business Friendliness

Virginia received an "A" for the second year in a row from’s Small Business Friendliness Survey.

The Commonwealth also improved its rank to No. 6 in the annual study. The Kauffman Foundation and surveyed more than 7,700 small business owners nationwide to obtain the results.

Virginia outshined its competition in the mid-Atlantic. In the category of overall friendliness, Virginia received an "A" while Maryland received a "C," North Carolina received a "B+" and Tennessee received a "B+."

Virginia also received "A’s" for its ease in starting a business, regulations, and training and networking programs.

"For the second year, Virginia set an outstanding example of providing a supportive environment for small business," said Sander Daniels, co-founder of "Our research with thousands of small businesses points to the importance of clear and consistent regulations and relevant training programs, and these are exactly the areas where Virginia excels."

Another bright spot for the Commonwealth is Virginia Beach, which received an "A+" and was ranked the No. 2 city for overall friendliness and No. 1 city for ease in starting a business.

Entrepreneurs continue to start their businesses in the Commonwealth because Virginia offers an innovative environment combined with the right resources. To learn more about starting a business in Virginia click here.

Virginia Recognized as Top State for Green LEED Certifications in 2012

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) ranked Virginia as the top state for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications in its annual ranking.

In 2012, Virginia certified 170 projects, which encompassed 29.7 million square feet of LEED-certified space. With 3.71 square feet of certified space per capita, the Commonwealth moved up two places from last year.

Cooper Vineyards of Louisa County was recognized as the first winery on the East Coast to achieve LEED Platinum status.

USGBC manages LEED, one of the most renowned green building programs in the world. LEED provides certification programs for the efficient and environmentally-friendly design, construction and operation of a variety of buildings. According to USGBC, LEED certifies 1.6 million square feet of building space each day.

LEED-certified spaces not only offer a healthier environment, the efficiency gains yield a direct impact to a company’s bottom line. Virginia’s leadership in this area illustrates the Commonwealth’s innovative approach to providing a competitive environment in which companies can do business.

To learn more about Virginia’s unique combination of resources and why businesses have succeeded in the Commonwealth for more than 400 years, click here.

New Logistics Research Center Established in Central Virginia

This February, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems (CCALS) was established in Prince George County, Va. as a public-private alliance. CCALS will focus on solving logistics challenges and bringing solutions to market more quickly by partnering Virginia’s leading universities and logistics companies. Founding members include Longwood University, UVA, VCU, VSU, Logistics Management Resources and LMI.

The expertise of the founding members includes a variety of disciplines within the logistics industry, such as supply chain risk management, modeling and simulation, large-scale data management, enterprise system integration and workforce development.

To foster a collaborative research environment, the CCALS facility is expected to include computation and large-scale data mining laboratories, as well as a production warehouse for advanced simulation experiments.

CCALS complements Central Virginia’s existing logistics hub, which already includes the U.S. Army’s Logistics University at Fort Lee, two distribution centers, and significant UPS and FedEx operations.

Virginia continues to build upon the reputation of its premier logistics network, which includes six interstate highways, nine commercial airports, 14 railroads, including two Class I lines, and the International Port of Virginia, which is the only East Coast location in the U.S. able to handle post-Panamax vessels as first port of call.

To learn why companies have invested more than $1.8 billion in Virginia logistics projects over the last decade, click here.

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