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2010 RANKINGS: TX, VA Have Best Business Climate

For the second year in a row, Texas has taken the top prize in Business Facilities’ coveted Best Business Climate ranking.

There are more than 20 input factors that helped determine the final outcome in Business Facilities’ assessment of this flagship category, including its rankings for Cost of Labor, Business Tax Climate, Quality of Life, Transportation Infrastructure, Educated Workforce and Economic Growth Potential. The magazine also took a close look at per capita GDP, population growth and energy costs/energy efficiency.

The Lone Star State continues to match its surging population with a solid strategy for attracting and expanding new business. The list of recent facilities announcements is far too long to reproduce; suffice it to say that Texas is maximizing its return from an unbeatable combination of low taxes, strong incentives, low energy costs, a relatively low cost of labor and solid infrastructure.

Texas also continues to rule the roost in state-by-state comparisons of employment rates, GDP growth and personal income growth. A healthy number of the metros ranked in the top 15 for the nation’s biggest gains in private-sector employment are deep in the heart of Texas.

Virginia blasted its way into the top 10 in Best Business Climate with a second-place finish that was nailed down with a first-rate focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Immediately after taking office in January, Gov. Bob McDonnell issued an executive order creating a state Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission. McDonnell identified an improved business climate as a top priority for the new unit.

“We must be aggressive in putting in place the policies that will improve our business climate and make Virginia a global job magnet,” he said. “This Commission will be identifying new ideas and initiatives to make the Commonwealth even more competitive in the global marketplace.”

Virginia’s effort already is bearing fruit, most recently with an announcement from defense giant Northrop Grumman that it is relocating its corporate headquarters from the West Coast to northern Virginia.

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