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  • Virginia Chamber of Commerce President's Message

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    2018 has been a year of accomplishments for the business community and the Commonwealth of Virginia. As you know, one of our top priorities is to strengthen Virginia's reputation as the best state in which to do business. This year we have seen marked improvement in national business rankings with Virginia moving from seventh to fourth in CNBC's business rankings and from fifth to fourth for the Forbes business rankings. Virginia was also recognized as the best state for quality of life in the Forbes list. It is important to recognize all those involved in economic development in the Commonwealth for these improvements - it has been a productive year for economic development announcements and job growth. Notably, Amazon announced their plan to create 25,000 new jobs with an investment of $2.5 billion for part of their major corporate headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Perhaps more importantly, while all regions of Virginia are not growing at the same rate, all regions are growing and for that we are grateful. While we have a lot to be proud of, it is also important to recognize that there is much left to do in order for Virginia to remain competitive and return to the top of the rankings for states in which to do business.
    We will be very focused on the 2019 Virginia General Assembly session that is quickly approaching. Last year, Virginia Chamber advocacy saved Virginia companies over $6 billion by defeating anti-business legislation that would have increased Virginia's cost of doing business. We anticipate that a similar effort will be needed this General Assembly session and the Virginia Chamber government affairs and public policy team stands ready on behalf of the business community. We will be monitoring and informing you of 2019 General Assembly happenings throughout the legislative session and will be increasing the circulation of our monthly Chamber Briefings to a weekly update during that time period.
    At our Economic Summit on December 7th, the Virginia Chamber Foundation released a new economic impact analysis of Amazon's selection of Virginia for their second corporate headquarters. The study demonstrates that Amazon's decision to locate in Virginia will bring a historic boost to our Commonwealth's economy and our quality of life. This project is a victory for Virginia and for so many business leaders and public officials who work tirelessly to make Virginia the best state for business. The study estimates that at full-build the project could generate $14.2 billion in economic impact and 59,308 jobs a year in 2030 and beyond. Virginia's economy has traditionally relied heavily on federal defense spending, and in recent years the strategy has been to diversify our economy. Amazon's announcement, as this study shows, is a great example of this strategy paying off for all Virginians. You can find the study, fact sheet and FAQ document on the Virginia Chamber Foundation webpage
    On behalf of the Virginia Chamber and staff, we wish you the very best this holiday season and in the new year.
    Best regards,
    Barry E. DuVal
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