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CNBC ranks Virginia “The Top State For Business”

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In a major coup for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, the Commonwealth of Virginia has retaken the top spot in the CNBC survey of “The Top States For Business. ”

McDonnell, who has based a great deal of his governorship on turning around the Virginia economy, accepted the recognition on behalf of the Commonwealth during an interview at Mount Vernon.

This is not a new honor for Virginia, in fact the Old Dominion fell from the top spot in 2010, losing the ranking to Texas.  The two states (both governed by Republicans) flipped honors in 2011.

Virginia has held the title 4 out of the last 6 years, including many under former democratic governor and current candidate for U.S. Senate, Tim Kaine.

With the economy being the dominant issue of the day, the politics of an honor like this can not be understated. CNBC, a popular business network has done a series of roll-out reports on their survey all which led to today’s big announcement.

During the build up, I filed a report for CNBC about Virginia’s business climate. (It was obviously before Virginia was named #1 in 2011)

You can see the full CNBC report here.

The entire statement from the Governor’s office can be found after the jump:


Virginia Named America’s “Top State for Business” by CNBC

**Commonwealth Achieves Highest Point Total in History of CNBC Study**

CNBC Release: “With an unprecedented fiscal crisis at the state level, never has it been tougher to stay competitive. But Virginia met the challenge on every level….”

Click Here for Detailed Information from CNBC.Com about Virginia’s #1 Ranking:


 MOUNT VERNON – Virginia has been named America’s “Top State for Business” by CNBC. The Commonwealth took the top spot in the extremely competitive yearly study, receiving the highest point total in the history of the rankings. Virginia finished in the top-half of every category ranked. The number one ranking comes on the heels of Virginia receiving the highest ranking of any state east of the Mississippi in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s economic competitiveness ranking of the states, which was released last week.

Speaking about Virginia’s top ranking, Governor McDonnell stated, “Every Virginian deserves a quality job in the community that they call home. Our focus, from day one of this administration, has been to put in place the policies that will help private sector businesses create those jobs in the Commonwealth and get our economy back on track. We’ve done that by keeping taxes low, getting government spending under control, having a strong Right to Work law, and making smart investments in transportation, economic development and higher education. And we are telling the Virginia story to job-creators from Beijing to Boston. It is paying off. CEO’s and entrepreneurs have responded to our efforts and found that Virginia is a great place to start and grow a business. The unemployment rate in the Commonwealth has dropped from 7.2% in February of 2010 to 6% today; over three points below the national average. We’re honored that CNBC has named Virginia the “Top State for Business” and that the Commonwealth received the highest score in the history of this study. Virginia is wide open for business.”

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, who also serves as Virginia’s Chief Job Creation Officer, added, “It’s a huge honor for Virginia to be ranked #1 in CNBC’s annual list of America’s Top States for Business and we are very proud of the recognition.  Virginia has been working hard to attain this status through a series of efforts including reducing spending, investing in job creating programs, improving workforce development programs, and selling Virginia around the world.  This ranking is proof that our efforts are paying off.”

In their official release announcing the top ranking, CNBC noted, “With an unprecedented fiscal crisis at the state level, never has it been tougher to stay competitive. But Virginia met the challenge on every level, achieving the highest point total in the history of our study, and finishing in the top half of every category.”

According to CNBC, to determine the rankings for America’s Top States for Business each state was scored – using publicly available data – on 43 different measures of competitiveness.  States received points based on their rankings in each metric, which were then separated into ten broad categories: Cost of Doing Business, Workforce, Quality of Life, Economy, Infrastructure & Transportation, Technology & Innovation, Education, Business Friendliness, Access to Capital and Cost of Living.


Written by Ryan Nobles

June 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm

4 Responses

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  1. […] * Ryan Nobles says this is a “major coup” for Gov. McDonnell […]

  2. […] * Ryan Nobles says this is a “major coup” for Gov. McDonnell * Anita Kumar reminds us that “Virginia ranked first on Forbes […]

  3. With the amount of closed business’s in Va. this is very surprising too me & now also scares me for the rest of the country, are things really this bad in america.

  4. […] you can see in this post and the recent posts on, CNBC Ranks Virginia as Top Business State for 2011 and Lynchburg Schools Make The Country’s Top Public High Schools List, Lynchburg truly is the City […]

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