Site Selection Magazine: Virginia Top State for Business Climate

Patrick Swanson / October 31,2022


Site Selection Magazine says Virginia is the top state in its business climate ranking, beating out Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, and Arizona for the top spot. Although the commonwealth only ranked 11th in a survey of executives, one of the indicators in the index, it performed well in the other indicators, including data on corporate expansion and rankings in other lists like the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private corporations, CNBC’s Top States for Business, and the amount of bipartisan infrastructure bills and funding in each state.

“Governor Glenn Youngkin has only been in office since January, but he wasted no time getting to work on tasks that collectively contribute to Virginia’s desirability as a location for business and industry,” Site Selection said, featuring an interview with Governor Youngkin.

Youngkin said he’s focused on a business-friendly tax and regulatory environment, workforce development through education, safe communities, and efficient government. Additionally, he said Virginia needs to help companies make investment choices through elements including sites, utilities, and permitting confidence.

“Third is to bring people together and to sometimes be the lead project manager, which is a role I’m comfortable stepping into occasionally to make sure we are delivering on the second bucket,” Youngkin told Site Selection. “I dedicate a meaningful amount of my calendar time to economic development activities, making sure we’re thinking through the long-term needs of business. You might think of me as Virginia’s chief business development officer.”

In July, Virginia fell two places in the CNBC ranking from first to third, with North Carolina and Washington topping that ranking. Still, Virginia’s performance in the CNBC ranking helped the Commonwealth score well in Site Selection’s list.

The magazine noted that in the survey of executives, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia topped the list. Those executives care most about workforce skills, the tax environment, workforce development, transportation infrastructure, and ease of permitting and regulatory procedures.

Site Selection also featured an interview with Virginia Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Jason El Koubi, who cited a rebound in 2021 from 2020 levels of project activity, and additional projects in 2022.