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Site Selection magazine has ranked Virginia No.1 in its 2011 Competitiveness Award. States were evaluated against a set of 10 factors. Ranking criteria focused mainly on new and expanded facility announcements; they also looked at factors such as total number of new jobs, state tax climate and state unemployment rate.
Governor Bob McDonnell says that the award reinforces the state's economic development successes of late. "We’ve worked very hard these past two years to bolster Virginia’s reputation as a place to work and relocate businesses to, and we’ve earned top rankings on various measures of that,” says Governor McDonnell in a statement to Site Selection magazine. “This Competitiveness Award recognition is terrific, as we have put a lot of resources into economic development incentives and grants and are spending a lot of time on the road telling Virginia’s story.”
Virginia is very competitive, and rightfully so. The state has what prospects want, McDonnell asserts: "They want a reasonable and predictable climate with respect to taxes, regulation and lawsuits, and we're doing very well in those areas. And we're a right-to-work state, which I always put at the top of the list. We have world-class universities and a positive attitude in the executive and legislative branches — we're very bullish on business, particularly small business — I've declared 2012 the Year of the Entrepreneur so we can create more small-business opportunities."
Aggressive marketing is also playing a part in showing the nation—and the world—that Virginia is a great place to do business. Says McDonnell, "We're taking this story on the road with multiple trade missions around the country and recent missions to Japan, Korea, China, India, France and Israel. We're working to make the sale."