A new CNBC analysis has put Northern Virginia ahead of other D.C.-area jurisdictions in the hunt for Amazon’s second headquarters.

Montgomery County earned a grade of B- from the cable business news network, which cited its “tough” regulatory climate as a potential shortcoming.

CNBC analysts ranked Austin and Dallas as the two leading contenders on Amazon’s short list of 20 potential locations and recognized Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Miami, Nashville and Northern Virginia as strong competitors.

The analysis considered an area’s population, stability, talent and location in assigning an overall grade to each of the finalists. Montgomery County had an A+ grade for its population and was praised for its highly educated workforce and expanding economy. At the same time, it also has infrastructure issues and high wage costs when compared to other parts of the nation.

Northern Virginia landed a grade of B+ for a strong economy and capable workforce, although its traffic woes could still hurt its chances of landing the corporate base, according to the analysis.

Maryland ranked in middle of pack for growth of women-owned businesses


Maryland ranks 23rd in the nation for growth of women-owned businesses over the past 11 years, according to a new report commissioned by American Express.

The number of Maryland firms owned by women has risen by about 36 percent between 2007 and 2018, jumping from 172,115 to 234,300. The report placed the state No. 20 in terms of job growth in women-owned businesses and No. 10 for growth of firm revenues.

Overall, the state was 13th in the nation for clout of female business owners, a ranking that takes into account revenue, employment and the overall number of firms. Employment at female-owned firms grew by 21 percent between 2007 and 2018, while sales proceeds jumped by more than 50 percent.


Nationally, the number of women-owned businesses grew by more than 57 percent over the 11-year period, according to the report.

Nearly half—47 percent–of all Montgomery County’s businesses are owned by women, the Montgomery County Economic Development Corp. reported Tuesday.

Planning Board chair warns of failing to keep up with housing demand


Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson writes in a new blog post that housing construction isn’t happening nearly as quickly as people seem to think.

In a blog post, Anderson argues that failing to keep up with the demand for new housing will continue to drive up the cost of living in the area.

“This situation makes it harder for employers to attract and retain the workers they need to thrive, burdens middle and lower income people with higher housing costs, encourages sprawl and accompanying increases in vehicle travel, and ultimately makes everyone pay more money for lower quality housing,” he wrote.