MSA: Ames, IA
Best places ranking: #18 among small metro areas
Home to Iowa State University, Ames also hosts four research facilities for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which attracts research and development initiatives, agriculture-related biotechnology and renewable energy businesses. Economic incentive packages, particularly for startup businesses, are offered by the Ames Economic Commission.
Unemployment is low, but businesses requiring large numbers of workers will quickly run into the limits of the local labor pool. Business owners say the city approval process for zoning changes, permits, and related issues can be slow.
Located in the heart of the Midwest, Ames has a significantly lower cost of living than coastal metropolitan areas. Its housing market is relatively stable, and residents can take advantage of numerous golf courses, woodland parks, and biking trails. Winter brings snow for sledding and cross-country skiing. Commercial air travel is 45 minutes away at the Des Moines International Airport. Ames' municipal airport is designed primarily for private use and charters. -Dinah Eng
Resources for getting started in Ames, IA
Local startup resources
Ames Business Statistics
"We started in a small corner of our basement and now have a 7,500 square foot building in the Ames Community Development Park." -Bill Bergan