2 of 100
BACK NEXT
2. Georgetown, Texas
Population: 37,963
Pros: Business friendly tax structure, entrepreneurial camaraderie, scenic suburb of Austin
Con: Higher housing costs

Austin's entrepreneurial community may be among the strongest in the country, but its heavy traffic and urbanization have driven some experienced business folks to look elsewhere. Enter Georgetown. This suburb of Austin has transformed from a sleepy bedroom community into a city with its own identity and a rapidly growing business climate.

Located 26 miles north of the state's capital, Georgetown has welcomed 270 new businesses over the past two years. The state's lack of individual and corporate income taxes is just one reason Texas is considered business-friendly. On a local level, Georgetown charges relatively low water and electricity rates, and its property taxes are among the lowest in the region. As part of the Greater Austin area, Georgetown entrepreneurs in the city's growth industries - healthcare, life sciences, and technology - can seek out additional support from the region's business-development efforts. A convention center slated to open next year should help further build Georgetown's up-and-coming business scene.

Georgetown is considered one of the prettiest cities in Williamson County, especially during the spring and summer months when poppies and wild flowers are in full bloom. Housing costs tend to be higher than in many of Austin's other suburbs, but residents who settle into one of the city's restored Victorian homes or new Tuscan villas can enjoy a walk along the bank of the San Gabriel River or play a round of golf on one of the five local courses. Mountain biking trails around Lake Georgetown lead riders to the edge of Texas Hill Country. As the self-proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World," Austin still offers the best selection of performing arts in the region. However, Georgetown's annual food and arts festivals, independently-owned restaurants, rodeo, and nearby wineries are enough to keep residents close to home most of the time. -Brandi Stewart

Interactive map: Georgetown, Texas
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Georgetown, Texas


NEXT: 3. Buford, Ga.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
6 designers shaking up fashion These designers are changing the way we dress, accessorize and shop, from custom made-to-fit dresses to smart jewelry that's actually stylish. More
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More
Secrets to success from Smalltown USA Utah State professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.