The business climate in Virginia is number 1

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Virginia has the best business climate of the 50 states, says the leading magazine for business professionals choosing locations for their companies to locate facilities.

It’s the first time in at least two decades that Virginia has been ranked #1 for business climate by Site Selection magazine.

However, the magazine’s findings suggest a discrepancy when corporate executives are evaluated for their opinions of states and how states perform on issues important to those executives.

Youngkin: All of the above on energy, with regulatory reform

Virginia was ranked 11th when Site Selection surveyed company officials deciding locations to build new plants or expand existing facilities.

But Virginia did well when it came to what it does: For its ranking, Site Selection awarded points based on number of projects won, corporate tax climate, and number of fast-growing small businesses, as tracked by Inc. magazine bipartisan support for transportation projects and percentage of high-tech workers in its workforce.

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In July, CNBC ranked Virginia as the third best state for business. Virginia fell from its first podium finish, which it had in 2019 and 2021.

In 2021, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership won 130 projects promising 18,253 jobs and $35.4 billion in investment, and has nailed 65 more since January, including Lego’s first US manufacturing facility in Chesterfield County, a project in Worth more than $1 billion, which is expected to employ 1,760 people.

Virginia slips from first to third among CNBC’s best business states

“It’s incredibly exciting to see how quickly Virginia is moving,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a statement.

He said he aims to advance this along with education initiatives, create “a tax-friendly world, a business-friendly regulatory environment” and emphasize public safety and government efficiency.

“We’ve worked on all of these fronts and I come to this role with a business leader’s perspective, so I have a deep understanding of what businesses are looking for,” he said.

Youngkin told Site Selection that he spends a lot of time on business development with the goal of “bringing people together and sometimes being the lead project manager, a role I’m happy to take on from time to time to make sure we’re delivering.”

On personnel issues, he emphasizes efforts to discourage people from leaving the state “starting with our veteran population.”

Chesterfield will be home to Lego’s only manufacturing facility in the United States

Virginia has more than 700,000 veterans and over 150,000 operatives or reservists. Youngkin said Boeing’s plan to move its headquarters to Virginia reflects this as it includes the creation of the Boeing Center for Veteran Transition and Military Families.

He said corporate feedback on the power plan he announced last month has been positive, with what he called a “moonshot” effort to start the nation’s first commercial small-scale nuclear reactor, as well as a focus on other new energy technologies.

The plan drew harsh criticism from environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers, who were the driving force behind the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which includes regulatory changes that have challenged Youngkin’s plan.

Virginia ranked 10th on the site shortlist in 2021 and 8th in 2020; The highest score in recent years was number 4 in 2010 and 2011.

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