Virginia topped Forbes annual list of best states for business in 2013. The eighth annual study by Forbes, looked at six important factors for businesses: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. Virginia is the only state to rank in the top five in four areas—only missing on costs and growth prospects.
According to the report, Virginia ranks first among the states in the regulatory category because of its business-friendly government policies and strong incentive offerings. The tort system is one of the best in the country for businesses, according to a report done by the Mercatus Center, “Freedom in 50 States”. In addition, Virginia is one of 24 right-to-work states, which explains why only 4.4% of its workers are in unions — fifth lowest in the U.S.
The study further reports that Virginia’s $446 billion economy held up better than most states during the Great Recession thanks in part to spending by the federal government. Virginia has a diverse economy with strengths in bioscience, logistics, manufacturing and technology. There are 31 companies both public and private with more $3 billion in sales headquartered in Virginia, this includes corporate giants, Altria Group, Capital One Financial and General Dynamics.
However, Virginia could face the biggest fallout of any state from sequestration and cuts in federal spending with roughly 30% its’ economy tied to the federal government. Because of this, VEDP launched a $2 million “Going Global” program last month to help defense contractors in Virginia pitch their expertise to customers overseas.
Read the full story on Forbes.com.