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10. Franklin, Mass.
Population: 29,642
Pro: Tech-savvy labor force
Con: I-495 -which connects Boston to Cape Cod - turns into a parking lot during summer weekends

Once a busy hub for the production of straw bonnets back in the 18th and 19th centuries, the charming, historic town of Franklin has diversified tremendously since then. Forge Park, a 360-acre development, houses such major companies as Cisco and New England Power, and it contributes more than a million dollars a year to the city's tax base.

Startups and firms looking to relocate here can take advantage of some of the state's business incentives. For instance, manufacturers and laboratories may be eligible for research and development tax credits; biotech and medical-device manufacturing firms may take advantage of incentive payments for new-job creation.

A single tax rate for businesses and residents has helped to draw regionally and nationally known firms to the city, such as Putnam Investments and prominent New England dairy Garelick Farms. EMC, the leading company in the disk storage industry, runs two new facilities in town and has attracted a talented pool of tech-savvy workers.

Hikers and bikers will find trails in Franklin State Forest and Franklin Town Forest. Two commuter rail stations and two exits off I-495 offer easy access to Boston, Worcester, and Providence, R.I., all in less than 30 minutes. For sports fans, Foxborough - home of Gillette Stadium and the New England Patriots - is only a 15-minute drive away. -Kelsey Abbott

Interactive map: Franklin, Mass.
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NEXT: 11. American Canyon, Calif.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
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