Experts say scandals swirling around Virginia leaders could hurt economy

Conflicts prompted New York Post headline: 'Virginia is for losers'

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - With the commonwealth controversy still under the national spotlight, many are wondering how it could impact Virginia beyond the capitol.

The commonwealth's top three Democrats are in the midst of a public relations nightmare, each dealing with his own scandal. It could be turning into an issue for all Virginians.

The conflicts prompted a stinging slogan on the front page of the New York Post last week: Virginia is for losers.

10 News went to experts at a local advertising agency that specializes in economic development and crisis management to find out whether this controversy will impact the economy.

Jennifer Eddy, chief strategist for Eddy Alexander, said she doesn't anticipate big impacts on tourism.

"On the economic development front, it's sort of a different story," Eddy said.

She said chaos in the capitol could keep businesses from setting up shop statewide.

"The companies know they're making a big investment. They're choosing between regions and they're going to have a lot of political will either behind them or against them when they move into a new area," Eddy said.

Commonwealth business consultant John Boyd echoed that sentiment.

"It’s good news for the Carolinas. It's good news for Georgia.  It's good news for Florida.  It's good news for the states Virginia is competing with," Boyd said.

The branding could also scare off would-be employees.

"That’s everything you don't want to see if you care about job growth and attracting millennials to your state," Boyd said.

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