Virginia moved up three spots to the No. 4 spot in CNBC’s ranking of business-friendly states, behind Texas, Washington and Utah. again this year in a prominent ranking of the best states for doing business.
“Not only does the state have the educated, available workforce that employers demand, it has also become a leader in business friendliness with the passage earlier this year of a bipartisan regulatory reform bill aimed at reducing regulations by 25 percent in the next three years,” CNBC said.
Virginia had been ranked seventh last year. While the new ranking is an improvement, it’s not top spot. The state had been No. 1 in CNBC’s rankings in 2007, 2009 and 2011. Gov. Ralph Northam nonetheless hailed it as welcome news.
“We welcome CNBC’s recognition of our administration’s work to make Virginia work better for families and businesses in every corner of our Commonwealth,” Northam said in a press release. “This upgraded ranking affirms our move to make 21st-century workforce development a cabinet-level priority and our bipartisan agreement to streamline regulatory requirements facing hard-working Virginians.
“The budget I signed weeks ago will continue the Commonwealth’s positive economic trajectory: creating jobs and strengthening our workforce by expanding health care access, deepening our investments in core economic priorities like education and career training, and strengthening the cash reserves we need for the next economic downturn. I look forward to building on this momentum and returning Virginia to its rightful place at the top of the list,” Northam said.
CNBC scores all 50 states on their business competitiveness each year. The Top States methodology weights 10 major categories based on analysis of state’s economic development plans. The top three categories for 2018 were Workforce, Infrastructure and Cost of Doing Business.