Forbes: Virginia reclaims title as best state for businesses


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The best state for business? It’s Virginia once again. released its annual list of the top states for business, and Virginia reclaimed its place at the top after finishing second the past three years.

“This award is a great testament to the commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure, education system, skilled workforce, regulatory environment and excellent quality of life, all of which lead to strong economic growth,” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said.

North Dakota was ranked second by, followed by Utah, North Carolina and Colorado. Nebraska, Texas, Minnesota, Washington and Georgia rounded out the top 10 list.

The magazine trumpeted Virginia’s diverse economy, strong workforce and pro-business regulatory climate along with its business-friendly government policies and strong incentive offerings.

North Dakota was pleased with its ranking as well.

“North Dakota consistently ranks among the nation’s best states for business, and that is a testament to our dedicated workforce and the opportunities created by our diverse business community,” North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. “The state will continue working hard to provide for a business climate that fosters the creation of great careers and the quality of life that people desire.”

The ranking considers the following factors in making the annual list:

  • States’ business costs (cost of labor, energy and taxes)
  • Labor supply (educational attainment, net migration and projected population growth)
  • Regulatory environment (regulatory and tort environment, incentives and bond ratings)
  • Economic climate (job, income and gross state product growth, as well as unemployment and corporate headquarter relocations),
  • Growth prospects (projected job, income and gross state product growth, as well as announced business openings and closings), and
  • Quality of life (index of schools, health, crime, cost of living and poverty rates).

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