MSA: Abilene, TX
Best places ranking: #15 among small metro areas
Located a few hours west of Fort Worth, Abilene's hardly a big city, but as one community leader says, it's small enough to care about small businesses.
Abilene was the first city in Texas to implement a half-cent sales tax, funneling those earnings toward economic development. It's worked diligently to attract new employers, and local entrepreneurs can take advantage of a range of incentives, from job training and relocation grants to assistance with land purchases.
The city boasts a low cost of living, a low unemployment rate and a high population of students -- a number of colleges call it home. Soon after Texas Tech University added a pharmacy school campus in Abilene, a biotechnology company launched in the city, and others are expected to follow.
Abilene's location east of the world's largest wind farm, the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, makes the city a hot spot for the business of going green. Local companies have sprouted up to manufacture wind turbine blades, service the transport companies and oversee leases. -Tina Peng
Resources for getting started in Abilene, TX
Local startup resources
Abilene Business Statistics
"You can find a little bit of everything in this particular small town. I was amazed at how diverse and how talented the restaurants are in this community. " -Brian Green