We recently sat down with former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore and discussed his role in making Virginia America’s most business-friendly state. He discussed what it’s like to transition from the governor’s mansion and the campaign trail back to private industry, and gave Governor Bob McDonnell some advice on how to maintain Virginia’s pro-business legacy and keep Virginia abreast of new and emerging technologies.
ExecutiveBiz: As a former Governor you played a major role in making Virginia one of the most business friendly states in the union. What should government do to encourage growth in the private sector?
Jim Gilmore: This is a very critical moment in the history of the nation and in the state of Virginia because of the enormous recession that we“™ve had. An emphasis really has to be place right now on rebuilding the economy and allowing the economy to transform itself into something that is even more efficient. The emphasis today has to be on job creation and that means that you“™ve got to get out there and really find ways to nurture the business community and to allow it to prosper so that in fact we will have a reason to create jobs. That“™s a different philosophy from a stimulus type of a package where you throw money out into the community and hope that somehow that means economic growth. It probably doesn“™t and instead what we need to do is to find much more effective ways to allow businesses to grow and the economy to grow and that will create jobs. Yes, in my Administration we worked very hard to bring new employers to Virginia and new programs to Virginia so that we would nurture job creation. We also found ways to offer tax incentives and other opportunities. The result of all of that effort was we built a record number of jobs in Virginia during my Administration ““ over 200,000 new jobs.’
I think that was long as you are offering a good business approach that is good for the business community and at the same time offers effective protections and services to the taxpayer, I think it“™s appropriate and then the programs will stand on their own feet. -Jim Gilmore