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Study: Virginia ranked No. 2 for business

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(The Center Square) — Virginia ranked second in the nation in CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business study – up from third in 2022 and scoring first in education.

The survey released Tuesday is likely to be music to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s ears, as the businessman-turned-politician has often touted the commonwealth’s business-friendly policies.

States were scored on 86 metrics in 10 broad categories of competitiveness, with the categories weighted according to how frequently they appear in states’ marketing efforts.

Based on that criteria, the strongest-weighted categories were workforce, infrastructure, economy and life, health and inclusion. The study rates states on “how effectively they are delivering on the factors” most important to businesses.

In addition to education, the commonwealth landed in the top ten states for access to capital, business friendliness, workforce and infrastructure, placing 4th, 6th, 7th and 10th, respectively. It placed lowest in cost of doing business, ranking 34th among the states.

The commonwealth’s most noticeable improvement was in the economy category, with a seven-rank jump from 20th to 13th since just last year. A lot went into that change besides the cost of doing business, where Virginia fell most in its rankings since 2022, going from 25th to 34th in the country.

States could earn a maximum of 2,500 points. The top-scoring state, North Carolina, won 1,628 points. Virginia, as the second state, claimed 1,527. North Carolina bested Virginia in the categories of workforce, economy, technology and innovation and cost of doing business, earning rankings of 1, 3, 6 and 18, respectively.

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