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For all Virginians

Removing Barriers to Job Creation for ALL Virginians

“I will eliminate outdated regulations and tear down barriers to entry to foster greater job creation for ALL Virginians.”

— Ed Gillespie



As governor, Ed Gillespie will enact meaningful reform to remove barriers to job creation. Ed’s policies will make it easier for businesses to grow and thrive.

Our economic growth rate in 2015 was an anemic two percent. Yet that was the first time in five years it was above one percent. In 2014, we were in the bottom ten states in economic growth. Ed knows Virginia can and should be number one in economic growth and job creation.

As governor, Ed will produce the Governor’s Economic Growth Plan as required by statute. This comprehensive plan for the economy will lay the foundation for Virginia to again become the best state for business and put a greater focus on start-ups and scale-ups.

For too often and too long, when it comes to economic policy Virginia governors have had a near singular focus on trying to lure Fortune 100 companies to move their headquarters lock, stock, and barrel into Virginia. While Ed will be a relentless marketer of Virginia all across the country and all across the globe, his ‘Removing Barriers to Job Creation for ALL Virginians’ Plan is part of a broader reorientation of economic development strategy toward more natural, organic growth through small business formation and the expansion of existing businesses in Virginia.

The sweet spot of job creation is when a small business is becoming a bigger business. Ed knows the key to long-term, sustainable job creation and diversification of Virginia’s economy lies in unleashing entrepreneurs, innovators and small business owners. Rather than only being “whale hunters,” we will grow our own whales. Part of this means listening to local leaders who know their region best. Ed will listen closely to local leadership and experience to again become the best state for business.

While a governor does not directly create private sector jobs, a focused state government has a duty to foster an environment that makes it easier for the private sector to create jobs. Rational regulation is one way to do that, and Virginia is ripe for it.

Virginia is the 11th most broadly and onerously licensed state. It has the eighth most burdensome licensing laws in the country.

According to a recent analysis from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Virginia regulatory code consisted of 24 titles comprised of over 32,000 unique sections of text. As of 2016, it contained 8.8 million words and 133,094 restrictions.

It would take an individual 490 hours—over 12 weeks—to read the entire Virginia Administrative Code. That’s assuming the reader spends eight hours a day, five days a week reading at a rate of 300 words per minute. And that would be just to read it all, not even to understand it all.

Ed will pursue reforms that simplify and clarify our long, complicated regulatory code. He will eliminate unnecessary barriers to entry and propose changes to our licensing process to make it easier for people to meet the requirements of payday loans of those we do need in place. Ed will lay out a specific path to more easily start and grow a business, and advance efforts to relieve the burden of excessive litigation against businesses.


Our Founders created checks and balances on Federal power not only through three separate and equal branches of Federal Government, but also a Federalist system in which the states serve as a check on Federal Government overreach. Under the current Administration, Virginia’s state departments and agencies have too frequently acted as extensions of Federal department and agencies rather than checks on them. A Gillespie Administration would stand up for Virginia’s prerogatives in our Federalist system when the Federal Government exceeds its authority under Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, and will defend the rights of Virginia and its people under the 9th and 10th Amendments.


As governor, Ed Gillespie will reform Virginia’s regulatory climate.



Ed Gillespie will reform occupational licensing processes to tear down barriers to entry in the marketplace and ease excessive burdens on entrepreneurs.


As Governor, Ed will make it is easier to open and grow a business in Virginia.

Supporters of Ed’s Job Creation Plan

Governor George Allen

“I like Ed's regulatory policy. I know this regulatory reform can be accomplished. When I was Governor, we reviewed every Virginia regulation. After 4 years, 71% of Virginia’s outdated, redundant or excessive regulations were repealed or amended. I know that 20 years later there are similarly better ways to assure clean water, land and air and safe workplaces. With this plan, Ed Gillespie has again demonstrated his seriousness and ability to foster a business-friendly regulatory environment to spur job creation in Virginia."

Speaker Bill Howell

“I am impressed by Ed’s comprehensive plan to eliminate barriers to job creation and small business growth. He understands that we need to make it easier to start and grow a business. His detailed proposal will help all Virginians by creating a stronger, faster-growing economy.”

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment

“Ed Gillespie's plan provides a commonsense blueprint for removing barriers to job creation. Ed understands that the free market is the most powerful force for opportunity and job creation, and his plan will put Virginia on a new course toward greater prosperity.”

Speaker-designee M. Kirk Cox

“When governors focus on creating a pro-business environment, instead of only attracting a handful of major companies, the state’s economy will thrive. Virginia needs Ed Gillespie as our next governor to set the conditions necessary for our small businesses to create good-paying private sector jobs.”

Senator Mark Obenshain

“The ‘Removing Barriers to Job Creation for ALL Virginians’ is yet another thoughtful plan from Ed Gillespie to put Virginia back on the right path. Ed will continue to release bold policy proposals in the coming months. All Virginians will benefit from Ed’s pro-growth policies.”

Delegate Danny Marshall

“Encouraging job creation and growth has always been my number one priority, but we need a governor who also makes it a top priority. Virginians need someone who understands and can put forward pro-business policies to help businesses thrive and create the jobs we need. Ed will get Virginia’s economy growing again.”

Senator Frank Ruff

"Over 40 states are better focused on the heavy hand of government regulation on our citizens and businesses. We can do better. With Ed Gillespie's leadership as governor, we will do better. Ed’s plan will create a more sensible regulatory environment that promotes small business formation and expansion. That’s the best way to create the jobs we need in Southside and across Virginia.”

Delegate Steve Landes

"I'm proud to support Ed's commonsense plan to reduce burdens on small business. Virginians should be impressed with Ed's vision."

Senator Glen Sturtevant

“As governor, Ed Gillespie will focus on the fundamentals of governing, including improving our regulatory and licensing climate. He is committed to creating a pro-business environment that will make our Commonwealth more prosperous for all Virginians."

Pete Snyder

“As an entrepreneur, I know that bureaucratic red tape is one of the biggest hurdles small businesses face when working to grow their business and create jobs. Ed is the right person to transform Virginia’s regulatory system and foster an environment that will allow small businesses to thrive. As a serial entrepreneur himself, Ed knows first-hand what it takes to grow small businesses and our economy. I can't wait until he's in office and this exciting plan is online and in action!"

Dr. Nancy Dye

“Ed’s a small business owner himself, so he understands better than anyone how government over-regulation makes it difficult for us to grow our economy. I know this detailed blueprint is just the start. He’ll work tirelessly to get government out of the way, and he has my support.”

Endorsed By

Farm Bureau
National Right to Life
Richmond Times-Dispatch
National Review
Winchester Star
Bluefield Daily Telegraph