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Top small places
Rank Metro area Population # of small businesses
(1-49 employees)*
1 Billings, MT 152,005 5,687
2 Bismarck, ND 104,944 3,231
3 Fargo, ND 195,685 5,803
4 Rapid City, SD 122,522 4,130
5 Sioux Falls, SD 232,930 6,580
6 Midland, TX 129,494 4,151
7 Morgantown, WV 118,506 2,616
8 Dubuque, IA 92,724 2,585
9 Hattiesburg, MS 140,781 3,274
10 Missoula, MT 107,320 4,183
11 Tuscaloosa, AL 206,765 4,272
12 Bowling Green, KY 117,947 2,704
13 Grand Forks, ND 97,279 2,460
14 Logan, UT 125,070 3,254
15 Abilene, TX 159,521 3,752
16 Auburn, AL 133,010 2,321
17 Waterloo, IA 164,220 3,931
18 Ames, IA 86,754 1,911
19 Charlottesville, VA 194,391 5,643
20 Jefferson City, MO 146,363 3,572
*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

Video
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

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