MSA: Sioux Falls, SD
Best places ranking: #5 among small metro areas
With some of the lowest taxes in the nation and no corporate income tax, South Dakota is an attractive place for entrepreneurs, and Sioux Falls, the "Best Little City in America," is the hub of growth.
With growing finance and health care fields -- the two major hospitals in Sioux Falls employ a combined 12,000 people -- helping to keep unemployment down, the city's big businesses are creating more affluent consumers, who then spend, to the delight of retailers.
Sioux Falls features a distinct lack of red tape. Business owners agree that it's quicker to get started here than in neighboring metro areas.
One downside to South Dakota and Sioux Falls' conservative vibe is the relative difficulty of securing funding. Banks are very cautious, and unwilling to lend where they see risk. However, local venture capital firms like Bluestem and PrairieGold Venture Partners have charged in to fill the gap. -Rachel Kaufman
Resources for getting started in Sioux Falls, SD
Local startup resources
Sioux Falls Business Statistics
"I got a degree in civil engineering, started a computer business, then moved back to South Dakota and went back to what I enjoyed." -Steve Gratzfeld