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CNNMoney.com > Small Business > Best Places to Launch

Top midsize places
Rank Metro area Population # of small businesses
(1-49 employees)*
1 Huntsville, AL 395,645 8,995
2 Lafayette, LA 259,073 8,113
3 Omaha, NE 837,925 20,990
4 Clarksville, TN 261,220 4,136
5 Peoria, IL 372,487 8,520
6 Lexington, KY 453,424 11,248
7 Killeen, TX 378,935 5,574
8 Des Moines, IA 556,230 14,174
9 Baton Rouge, LA 774,327 16,860
10 Lincoln, NE 295,486 7,821
11 Jackson, MS 537,285 12,409
12 Lubbock, TX 270,610 6,571
13 Fayetteville, AR 443,976 5,856
14 Wilmington, NC 347,012 10,242
15 Durham, NC 489,762 11,007
16 McAllen, TX 726,604 10,028
17 El Paso, TX 742,062 12,488
18 Wichita, KS 603,716 14,091
19 Tulsa, OK 916,079 23,310
20 Madison, WI 561,505 14,654
*Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2007 County Business Patterns.
Best Places Winners
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The factors that matter most to me are:
 Affordable wages  Few foreclosures
 Educated workers  Low housing costs
 Low crime  High local incomes
 A growing economy  Population growth
 Growing small business population

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This year we partnered with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to find the 50 most business-friendly communities in America.

With help from Robert Fairlie, an economist and leading scholar of entrepreneurship at the University of California, Santa Cruz, we developed a methodology and sifted through such data on factors such as per capita income, hourly wages, workforce quality, crime rates, taxes and foreclosures. More

Comments? E-mail the editors
Data partners

This package was produced in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Foreclosure data provided by RealtyTrac.

Housing price-to-income data provided by Moody's Economy.com.