Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

74 of 100
BACK NEXT
74. Columbus, Ind.
Population: 40,065
Pro: Strong manufacturing hub
Con: Young workers tend to move elsewhere

Columbus, Ind., lies within a 75-minute drive of Indianapolis and Louisville. The city houses the headquarters of Cummins, a Fortune 500 engine manufacturer and distributor, as well as the 48,000-square-foot IT center for auto supplier ArvinMeritor. Manufacturing is the town's primary industry, thanks largely to Cummins: The industry employs more than 15,000 workers and pays $1.1 billion in annual wages.

Now town business leaders are working to diversify the local economy by encouraging startups and recruiting firms to relocate to Columbus. Entrepreneurs will find guidance at the small business incubator known as the Columbus Enterprise Development Center, which offers 30,000 square feet of floor space for new businesses as well as guidance on all aspects of running a business, from securing financing to marketing to business planning.

Taxes have remained stable for more than a decade, and residents expect free city-wide wireless access by the end of the year. Columbus hopes to make itself more attractive to younger workers by encouraging competitively salaried development work in tourism, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing. Those workers who do stick around will get to enjoy a town ranked sixth in the nation for architectural innovation and design by the American Institute of Architects. -Kelsey Abbott

Interactive map: Columbus, Ind.
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Columbus, Ind.


NEXT: 75. St. Cloud, Minn.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More

Special Offer