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63: Lincoln, R.I.
Population: 22,314
Pro: Close to Providence and Boston, state park within town borders
Con: Lacks cultural amenities such as museums and destination dining

Lincoln's small size carries benefits for new businesses: entrepreneurs can easily meet with the town administrator and planners, and local business owners say that even senior officials like Rhode Island's governor are fairly accessible. Lincoln residents revel in the natural beauty of their town, and those who desire urban amenities are a short drive from Providence and Boston.

Start-ups accounted for 7.3% of businesses in Lincoln last year, and it's no wonder they're setting up shop. This quiet, rural town, with a 630-acre lush woodland park in its midst, offers strong economic incentives, including an "enterprise zone" in which businesses can receive a $15,000 state tax credit for each new employee.

Tech companies seeking lofty environs have been drawn to Lincoln's mills, a relic of its manufacturing-heavy past. Another perk for creative entrepreneurs: Rhode Island's new Innovation Tax Credit offers a credit of up to $100,000 for new ventures in qualifying fields. Lincoln-based Lighthouse Computer Services used that credit last year to fund the creation of a new subsidiary, Lighthouse Security Group, focusing on systems and data security. -Lisa Palmer

Interactive map: Lincoln, R.I.
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Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
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