Virginia a Hot Region for Fast-Growing Companies – Sort Of

Continuing to explore the topic of regional economic development in Southwest Virginia and the Roanoke and New River Valleys of Virginia, I asked several thoughtful people to comment on this excerpt from a release from PRNewswire, Inc. Magazine Unveils 28th Annual List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies – the Inc. 500:

The Hottest Regions for Fast-Growing Companies

Once again, California tops the Inc. 500 with the most companies of any state, 84, up six from last year. The Golden State is followed by Texas (45), Virginia (35), New York (35), and Florida (27).

The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area boasts 42 Inc. 500 companies, making it the top metro area for the seventh consecutive year (up three from last year). New York City and Los Angeles are close seconds with 36 each (up five and 10 from last year, respectively), followed by Chicago with 23 (down four from last year) and San Francisco with 20.

From Jim Flowers, VT KnowledgeWorks:

The success of the Washington, D.C. region is fueled principally by government spending.
 
Unfortunately, for Virginia, it (along with the government-fueled Hampton/Norfolk region) dominates state-wide statistics, making Virginia look great as a state, while the remainder of the commonwealth more closely resembles Alabama with better weather.  New York has the same statistical problem.  Cut off NYC and it is a predominantly rural, lightly populated wilderness.
 
From Stuart Mease, Rackspace:
 
Jim is right. VA #3 does not mean a lot for our region (Southwest Virginia, Roanoke Valley, New River Valley). Virginia's economy is dominated by Northern Virginia (NOVA).  This listing just furthers demonstrates the dominance of NOVA, Richmond, Hampton Roads and ROVA (the Rest of Virginia).
  
From Sam English, CIE Partners:
 
Jim’s point is spot-on.  Many of the companies in the Washington, D.C. and NOVA areas service the government.  We should acknowledge and congratulate the two companies in our region that are in the Top 5,000.

#2175 Harmonia, Blacksburg, VA, Government Services, 2008 revenue: $3.2 million, Growth: 145.2%
 
#4035 Thomas Rutherfoord, Roanoke, VA, Insurance, 2008 revenue: $76.5 million, Growth: 49.7%

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Here's the full list of the Top Inc. 5,000 Companies.

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VT KnowledgeWorks and Rackspace are clients of VT KnowledgeWorks member company Handshake Media, Incorporated. CIE Partners is a client of Thomas Rutherfoord.

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