~Commonwealth continues to lead the nation with fourth consecutive award~ Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Virginia will remain in first place as’s “ Best State for Business.” It is the fourth consecutive year Virginia has been top ranked. The Commonwealth finished in the top 10 in 3 of the 6 categories examined in the review, which was published today.

“With our low corporate tax rate, highly-skilled workforce, and great quality of life, it’s no wonder Virginia consistently attracts some of the world’s most innovative and corporate leaders to our borders,” said Governor Kaine. “In these tough economic times in particular, the recognition by Forbes today is an incredible affirmation that Virginia has what it takes to compete at the national and global arenas.” looks at rigorous qualifications and the Commonwealth has come out on top again in quality of life, regulatory environment, and labor. Virginia has been named the most business friendly state ever year of Governor Kaine’s administration. The award from the world-recognized financial brand follows Virginia ’s most recent number one rankings from Pollina Corporate Real Estate and CNBC this past summer.

During Governor Kaine’s administration, Virginia has been recognized as the Best State for Business ( 2006-2009), the Top State for Business (CNBC 2007, 2009), the Top Pro-Business State (Pollina Corporate Real Estate Inc. 2003, 2007, 2009), the top-performing state government in America (Governing Magazine 2008) and the state where “a child is most likely to have a successful life (Education Week 2007).”

Utah was ranked second by, followed by Washington , North Carolina , and Georgia. Colorado , Idaho , Florida , Texas and Nebraska rounded out the top ten list.

The ranking considers states’ business costs (cost of labor, energy, and taxes), labor issues (educational attainment, net migration, and projected population growth), regulatory environment (regulatory and tort environment, incentives, and bond ratings), economic climate (job, income, and gross state product growth, as well as unemployment and corporate headquarter relocations), growth prospects (projected job, income, and gross state product growth, as well as announced business openings and closings), and quality of life (index of schools, health, crime, cost of living, and poverty rates).

"I am extremely proud of this independent ranking which once again validates the successful strategy and efforts of economic development programs throughout the Commonwealth," said Patrick O Gottschalk, Secretary of Commerce and Trade.

The Commonwealth took the lead in the quality of life ranking, took second place in the regulatory environment ranking and third in the labor issues. Virginia was 12th in growth prospects, 18th in economic climate and 20th in business costs.

Governor Kaine has announced $12.24 billion in new economic development investments and 72,928 jobs since taking office in January 2006.

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