MSA: Logan, UT-ID
Best places ranking: #14 among small metro areas
Looking for a place off the beaten path, where entrepreneurship seems written into the local DNA? A university town teeming with top-rated engineering students? The rugged and beautiful Cache Valley near the northern Utah-Idaho border is a perfect place to start.
Anchored by Logan, Utah, and encompassing Franklin County in southeast Idaho, the region offers enviable resources for anyone eager to be their own boss. That's thanks in part to its history as a pioneer destination, but the frontier spirit reaches into more modern pursuits, such as efforts to lure high-tech firms with the Innovation Utah initiative at the University of Utah (in partnership with the University of Utah, two hours away in Salt Lake City). Also boosting the area's business profile is USU's standout engineering program.
But a focus on microelectronics doesn't mean mechanics are left out. The Cache Business Resource Center, a collaboration between the Cache Chamber of Commerce and other partners, offers a wealth of free assistance.
Mother nature is a major draw here, from the Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway to Bear Lake. It's one of the few places in America where you can snowmobile in the morning and enjoy nine holes of golf in the afternoon. Crime is also quite low. The only drawback locals could muster was that sometimes Logan's rich farming reputation can make it hard to sell the town as a hotbed of innovation. - Kathleen Ryan O'Connor
Resources for getting started in Logan, UT
Local startup resources
Logan Business Statistics
"Utah is full of people who have an entrepreneurial spirit. The quality of life is a huge draw. " -Bert Israelsen