Virginia has been named the best state in the U.S. to do business for the second time in a row, according to CNBC’s annual Top States for Business ranking released Tuesday.
The ranking, which measured 85 metrics across 10 categories, found the state’s educated workforce continued to boost its position despite economic setbacks during the pandemic. North Carolina, Utah, Texas and Tennessee rounded out the report’s top five states to do business.
Virginia has been ranked first five times since the list began in 2007, including consecutive wins in 2019 and 2021. CNBC did not release a list in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The state’s strongest categories were education (ranking 2nd) and workforce (3rd), the report found. Its worst category was the cost of living, where it placed 32nd. Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam held a Tuesday ceremony to celebrate at the Port of Virginia in Norfolk, according to local news outlet WAVY.
“CNBC confirmed to the world what we have known for a long time: Virginia is the top state for business again this year,” Northam said. “I could not be prouder of what this says about the inclusive, commonsense policies that we put in place and how they encourage business investment.”
Governor Northam confirming VIrginia number one state in business. CNBC. @WAVY_News pic.twitter.com/y2YX7Ly0KC
— Andy Fox (@AndyFoxWAVY) July 13, 2021
Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin has made the case that Virginia’s business environment is actually suffering in his race against former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to succeed Northam. (RELATED: PolitiFact Virginia Retracts Fact Check Against Deceptive Terry McAuliffe Ad, Reposts The Same Conclusion A Day Later)
“Virginia may be #1 for political correctness, pushing critical race theory in schools, and not requiring a photo ID to vote under Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam, but Virginia ranks among the worst states when it comes to things that actually determine the success of small businesses and opportunities for workers,” Youngkin spokesman Matt Wolking said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Youngkin stressed the state’s tax burden will impede its economic growth in a May interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“What Terry McAuliffe absolutely believes in is … big government spending and as a result, big government taxes,” Youngkin said. “This does not result in a durable economic recovery with strong job growth for all Virginians.”
The state ranked 26th in the cost of doing business, according to the CNBC rankings.