Press release

FCEDA’s CEO Responds to CNBC Naming Virginia as America’s Top State for Business

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CNBC ranked Virginia as the No.1 state in the U.S. for business in 2021, the first state in the nation to win back-to-back victories. The Commonwealth also won top honors in 2019, the previous competition. CNBC did not publish rankings in 2020 due to the pandemic. This is Virginia’s fifth win since the study began in 2007—more than any other state.

“A year of pandemic and social reckoning has changed the nation in countless ways. But one thing has stayed the same: America’s Top State for Business is Virginia,” CNBC reported. “Virginia pulls off the repeat performance despite a vastly altered competitive landscape – a testament to the resilience of the state’s business climate.”

“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,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “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.”

Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, had this to say about the CNBC ranking:

“The Commonwealth of Virginia’s business climate is a testament to the collaboration between local and state government, companies and non-profit organizations in the state. In Virginia, there is an outstanding standard of living, excellent schools and universities, and commitment to workforce training and building the talent pipeline.”

According to CNBC, Virginia’s greatest strength prior to and coming out of the pandemic has been its ability to “nurture and retain talent.”

CNBC notes that Virginia employers benefit from one of the best-educated workforces in the country, with nearly 39 percent of workers having a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Virginia also has the nation’s third-highest concentration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To rank America’s Top States for Business, CNBC graded all 50 states on more than 60 measures of competitiveness in 10 broad categories. States could earn a maximum of 2,500 points across the 10 categories, and Virginia received a total of 1,587 points. In its 2021 ranking, CNBC noted Virginia’s highly educated workforce, strong economy and stable business environment. The study also gives Virginia top scores for education, infrastructure and technology and innovation. Read more about Virginia’s 2021 rankings here and learn more about CNBC’s categories and methodology here.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority promotes Fairfax County as a business and technology center. The FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County. In addition to its headquarters in Tysons, Fairfax County’s largest business district, the FCEDA maintains business investment offices in six important global business centers: Bangalore/Mumbai, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tel Aviv. Follow the FCEDA on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

The FCEDA is a member of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, which promotes and markets Northern Virginia outside the region and conducts activities and events to build the regional business community. Other members of NOVA EDA are the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Arlington County, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park and the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.