Virginia has been ranked the third-best state for starting a business, according to a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Commonwealth came in behind only Maryland and Colorado among all states in supporting innovation and entreprenuership, as ranked by the chamber's Enterprising States report.
Virginia has the highest concentration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs in the nation, according to the report, and ranks second in STEM jobs growth. It also has the largest share of high-tech businesses, which helped it to the Top 3.
Arlington especially has a strong entrepreneur community and the County is committed to supporting start-ups and small businesses.
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During the 2012 General Assembly session, legislators passed a bill creating the Small Business Investment Grant Fund to entice potential small businesses investors.
The report measured business climate, infrastructure, exports and entrepreneurship to rate a state’s overall economic performance.
Virginia ranked fifth in overall economic performance, thanks to its top-ranking adjusted median family income.
(Click here for an interactive map to see where other states ranked and why.)
Small Businesses and the Economic Recovery
But while Virginia may be a prime location for starting a business and driving innovation, CNN reports that small businesses aren’t necessarily feeling the effects of economic recovery.
The state stands at No. 14 in long-term job growth, economic output per job and productivity growth in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's ranking.
And in a poll of more than 1,000 small business owners nationwide, CNN reports that many entrepreneurs said their customers were more wary of spending, even in the slight economic upturn. Only 40 percent of poll-takers were reporting stronger sales.
Business owners said the economy (31 percent) and growing business costs (23 percent) worried them most.