There's only one city within the greater Phoenix area that allows business owners to hike Camelback Mountain, play a round of golf, and dine at a five-star restaurant in the course of a day: Scottsdale. Averaging 314 days of sunshine a year, the city - 12 miles northeast of downtown Phoenix - is home to more than 2,200 small firms, many of them in the retail industry.
Although commercial rent is slightly higher here than in other cities within the county, business owners will find warehousing space and the overall cost of living more affordable than in other major cities. Retailers subsist on the affluent tourists that visit the city's high-end resorts and spas year-round. Scottsdale is revitalizing its downtown center, which has racked up around $3.3 billion in investment over the past five years. -Maggie Overfelt