Virginia Scores Again: Top Pro-Business State in U.S.

Virginia’s basketball teams can’t seem to make it to the top of any list, but the Old Dominion scores where it really counts. Pollina Corporate Real Estate Inc., a Chicago-based corporate relocation firm, has ranked Virginia No. 1 in its annual study, “Top Ten Pro-Business States: America’s Economy in the 21st Century.” (Pollina helped Forbes compile its “best states for business” ranking, which also rated Virginia at the top of the heap.)

What I find interesting is that Virginia is part of a very dynamic region: the south Atlantic coast. South Carolina ranks 2, Florida 3, North Carolina 4, Alabama 8 and Georgia 9. That suggests to me that something bigger is at work than individual state policies. I believe that there is a deep-rooted cultural attitude in this part of the country that regards business as a positive force to be boosted, not a negative one to be curtailed.

In support of that hypothesis, I would quote James Leaman, president of the Virginia AFL-CIO, whom the Associated Press contacted for a reaction to the news.

[Leaman] said kudos for the state’s business environment are good for labor. “We want Virginia to have a good business climate because without businesses, we don’t have unions,” he said in a telephone interview.

A quote like that is more telling than any Chamber of Commerce pronouncement. Sure, business and labor in Virginia have their issues. But Leaman doesn’t perceive business as an enemy. He understands that in a globally competitive economy, we’re all in this together.

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3 responses to “Virginia Scores Again: Top Pro-Business State in U.S.”

  1. rodger provo Avatar
    rodger provo

    I wish Virginia was
    the top state in the country
    in promoting “going

    I wish Virginia was the top state
    in the country in promoting better
    planning, thus leading to the good
    objective of rebuilding our cities
    and older suburbs.

    I wish Virginia was the top state
    in the country in building new
    rail, light rail and streetcar
    systems, thus reducing our need
    for new car dependent development.

    I wish Virginia was the top sate
    in the country in developing new
    alternative fues, thus reducing
    the need to consider building
    a Gulf Coast energy industry along
    our coast in the Chesapeake Bay.

    But alas, this is Virginia, home
    to some of the largest garbage
    dumps on the East Coast, sprawl
    that now rivals what is found in
    Southern California and mindless
    traffic jams from one end of
    our state to another, thanks to
    the bad, poor policies of our
    state government.

  2. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    I get skeptical when I read these best of whatever reports. I get even more so when some union official gives kudos.

    You see, Virginia is a Right to Work state. Except for government employees, unions have little impact here. So a union official’s comment doesn’t carry much weight. Neither does that ranking report. In fact, out of the top 25 states in that report, only six were not RoW states.

    One has to wonder about that number one ranking. Is the recent dust up over commercial real estate taxes an indicator? Or is Virginia the number one location for businesses simply because it is really number 50 for employee rights?

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    I am surprised at Mr. Provo’s perspectigve. He has always seemed pro-business.

    Virginia’s rating is more directed at its green as in cash friendly policies as opposed to green as in fields. (Certain the Farm Bureau is about as far from being environmentally correct as an entity can get.)

    In a capitalist country, this isn’t a bad thing, and the much maligned Chichester has had a role in this; he understands the process of business.

    This is not a “social” issue; this is an issue of capital. Capital is the fuel of this country, for better or worse.

    Virginia has had, since the advent of King Tobacco, a good position in the role of capital. I hope that our old dominion will keep this tradition.

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