CNBC Releases Top States for Business: Virginia No. 1, Calif. 32

By July 24, 2009General

CNBC has completed its third annual review and rankings of the business climates in each state, it’s “America’s Top States for Business ’09.”

Victory Goes To Virginia

Virginia is back at the top, squeezing past last year’s winner, Texas, by a nose—just four points. Texas remains a business powerhouse, but the Old Dominion State, always a solid performer across the board, managed just enough improvement in the right areas—economy, for one–to regain the title it won in 2007.

The top five:

1. Virginia
2. Texas
3. Colorado
4. Iowa
5. Utah

Virginia is No. 1. So why are we illustrating it with a cover illustration from The Economist with Texas? Eh. It’s just a good illustration. (And a good story, too.)

A strength of the CNBC survey is its separate categories, which attempt to quantify the various factors that go into creating a state’s business climate. California these days is a wreck, a budget nightmare dragged down by the Legislature, regulators, unions and environmental utopionizers. And voters. Yet California ranks 32nd in the CNBC survey. How is that possible?

It’s because the state still has many great advantages, ranking No. 1 in access to capital and No. 1 in  technology and innovation.

But it’s living off its investments, its heritage and its weather. The disaster of its polity means the state is ranked 49th in cost of doing business, business friendliness, and cost of living.

To end on an up note, here’s the kind of thing that happens when you enact policies that put you at the top of CNBC’s list, “Areva, Northrop Grumman break ground on Virginia nuclear facility.

And kudos to CNBC reporter, Scott Cohn. He does a nice job on the state profiles.

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