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Virginia Business Site Locator: A Guide to Selecting a Business Location in Virginia

When it comes to site selection, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but there are key questions most businesses have when they’re considering expanding or establishing new operations. The 2016 Virginia Business Site Locator Guide aims to answer those questions, and much more. We hope that when you’re done reading, you’ll agree that the Commonwealth is the best place for business.

Q3 2016
Editors Note: This article is Contributed Content, paid for by Virginia Business. If you expand or locate your business in the Commonwealth, you’ll join some of the country’s largest and most successful enterprises. Twenty-one Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Virginia, including Capital One, CarMax and Advance Auto Parts. Other major corporations — such as Amazon, Ikea and Geico - also have established operations in the state.

The Commonwealth also continues to shine on business rankings, snagging spots on Forbes’ and CNBC’s best states for business lists. More important than rankings, however, are the reasons why companies are choosing Virginia. The Site Locator Guide lets you hear from company executives who said yes to locating or expanding their businesses in the Commonwealth. It also provides a breakdown on the state’s research and development facilities; colleges and universities; industry employment projections and much more.

Why Virginia?

Location: Virginia’s central, East Coast location provides access to many customers.
  • More than half of the U.S. population lives within a 750-mile radius.
  • Virginia is next to Washington, D.C.; within 300 miles of New York City; and halfway between Maine and Florida.
Labor Force: The Commonwealth’s workforce is large, well educated and, most importantly, ready to work.
  • Virginia has a labor force of more than 4 million.
  • One in three Virginians holds a bachelor’s or advanced degree.
  • The Commonwealth has one of the lowest unionization rates in the country — 6.2 percent.
Low Business Costs: Locating in Virginia could mean more money in your pocket.
  • The corporate income tax rate (6 percent) has not increased since 1972.
  • The unemployment insurance tax rate is 12 percent lower than the national average.
  • Virginia has one of the lowest average workers’ compensation costs in the nation.
  • Building costs range from 6 percent to 21 percent below the national average, depending on the region.
  • The Commonwealth’s cost of living is below the national average in many categories.
  • There’s no franchise or net worth tax.
Infrastructure: The Old Dominion is proud to offer a worldclass infrastructure.
  • The Port of Virginia is one of the three busiest container ports on the U.S. East Coast.
  • Six major highways connect Virginia to the rest of the nation: I-95, I-81, I-64, I-85, I-77 and I-66.
  • There are 14 commercial airports, including Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports.
  • Ten railroads operate in the state, including two of the nation’s largest, CSX Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp.
  • Virginia is one of the most connected states in the country. Seventy percent of the world’s Internet traffic passes through the Metropolitan Area Exchange East in Ashburn.
  • There are more than 60 broadband providers in the state.
Incentives: Virginia offers many incentives to companies expanding or locating their business in the Commonwealth, including financial assistance, tax credits and customized training. Below are examples of grants available to businesses. For a more comprehensive list visit
  • The Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund: This grant is administered by Virginia’s governor and must be matched by localities.
  • The Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID): These grants are available to companies who add value to Virginia-grown agricultural and forestry products.
  • The Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant (VEDIG): This is a discretionary performance incentive, designed to encourage companies to invest and create jobs by locating significant operations in Virginia.
Education: The Commonwealth has an excellent education system.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses serve more than 277,000 students in middle schools and high schools. The state boasts 58 local and regional technical centers.
  • More than 575,000 students are enrolled in over 230 higher education campuses around the state. Virginia has 15 public, four-year colleges; 23 public community colleges; 45 private, accredited four-year universities; and 65 out-of-state higher education institutions that have campuses in the Commonwealth.
Quality of life: From foodies to nature aficionados, Virginia has something for everyone.
  • There are more than 500 miles of trails, 22 national parks and 36 state parks in the Commonwealth.
  • The state’s varied landscape includes beaches, mountains and rural and urban areas.
  • Virginia offers the largest concentration of historical attractions in the U.S., including Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown National Battlefield, Monticello and many Civil War sites.
  • There’s a growing craft beverage culture, including over 230 wineries and more than 140 craft breweries.
  • Live professional sporting events are available in Virginia, or nearby, including NASCAR, football, baseball, hockey and basketball.

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