Appalachia: What is a "Certified Business Location"

I recently did some driving through Appalachia (VA and WV). It seems that several counties advertise themselves as being “A Certified Business Location” at their jurisdictional boundaries, so when you enter the county, you see something like: “Welcome to <county> County A Certified Business Location”.

What exactly does this certification involve? Who does the certification (perhaps the US Department of Commerce?), and what are the criteria for certification?

Speaker of the County Board of Supervisors: “I have some bad news for everyone here. I just got a letter from the Office of Business Location Certification that our certification has been revoked. It turns out that during the month of January, they sent out survey vans and did street polling. It turns out that the “Perceived Corruption” rating for our County Government has risen from 17% to 28%. In order to retain Business Location Certification, we have to maintain a 25% or lower Perceived Corruption rating. I propose that we start by firing all local government workers who have at least 2 disciplinary write up slips.”

I don’t believe that it means anything other than a vain attempt to pretend like we have business friendly regulations. Every single county is a “certified business location”

In the 1980s, both Virginia and West Virginia set up programs to certify counties as “Certified Business Locations” (VA’s term) and “Certified Development Communities” (WV’s term). I think there was some federal money involved too. The county had to show that they had some plan in place to attract industry and make the area industry friendly and encourage economic development. I think Virginia got rid of the program, but West Virginia still has it in place. Here’s West Virginia’s website.