CNBC ranks Virginia top state for business

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CNBC today unveiled the results of its 14th list of America’s Top States for Business, with Virginia taking the number one position.

This is Virginia’s fifth win, having previously taken the title in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2019 – more times than any other state. At a time when companies are clamoring for talent, Virginia performed well in the critical categories of Education (#2) and Workforce (#3).

High-performing high school students feed a well-funded higher education system. That, in turn, has helped Virginia assemble one of the most educated workforces in the nation.

“This year’s Top States study was always going to be a verdict on which states were best poised to succeed coming out of the pandemic, and Virginia is a clear winner on that score,” said CNBC Special Correspondent Scott Cohn, reporting today live from Port of Virginia in Norfolk during CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and on CNBC Digital.

“Not only does it have the talent that companies are craving, it has also taken major steps in the area of inclusiveness, which is especially important this year,” Cohn said. “But perhaps the best evidence of Virginia’s competitive strength is the fact that it was our Top State before the pandemic in 2019, and is back on top coming out of it.”

Coverage of America’s Top States for Business will continue on-air and online through CNBC’s Business Day programming today.

“Virginia continues to be the best place to do business because of our world-class education institutions, talented workforce, and shared commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion,” Gov. Ralph Northam said. “I am proud of what this coveted recognition says about the policies we have put in place and how they are driving growth and innovation across our Commonwealth. Our success is a blueprint for creating a vibrant economic climate in the post-pandemic world—and proves that when you lift everyone up, when you treat people right, and when you celebrate diversity, it’s also good for business.”

This year, CNBC adapted its formulas to address the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts, with a new focus on areas like health care, inclusiveness, and sustainability.

Information about the methodology used by CNBC to determine America’s Top States for Business in 2021 is available here.

“Today’s ranking reaffirms what we already knew – Virginia is the best state for business. The ranking reflects our long standing investments in workforce training and our robust education system, while also recognizing the increasingly inclusive nature of the Commonwealth,” said Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

“Continued growth of Virginia’s economy, support of our longstanding investments in workforce, education, and promotion of greater equity and inclusion will serve as the foundational components for the road ahead. The Virginia Chamber will continue to work for what is right for Virginia’s businesses and its workers to keep our economy strong,” DuVal said.

America’s Top 5 States for Business

  1. Virginia (Highest Rank – #2 in Education; Lowest Rank – #32 in Cost of Living)
  2. North Carolina (Highest Rank – #4 in Economy; Lowest Rank – #37 in Life, Health & Inclusion)
  3. Utah (Highest Rank – #3 in Economy; Lowest Rank – #27 in Life, Health & Inclusion)
  4. Texas (Highest Rank – #1 in Workforce; Lowest Rank – #49 in Life, Health & Inclusion)
  5. Tennessee (Highest Rank – #2 in Economy; Lowest Rank – #46 in Life, Health & Inclusion)

How Virginia ranked

Rank Category Score
1 OVERALL 1587
26 Cost of Doing Business 220
3 Workforce 244
11 Life, Health & Inclusion 245
13 Economy 158
24 Infrastructure 191
16 Technology & Innovation 104
2 Education 119
11 Business Friendliness 137
9 Access to Capital 140
32 Cost of Living 29

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press