72 of 100
72. Brookfield, Wisc.
Population: 39,955
Pros: Growing economy that welcomes small business, charming suburb in close proximity to a research park and two major cities
Con: Higher housing costs than other nearby towns

For the past three years, Brookfield, Wisc. - a white-collar suburb of Milwaukee - has significantly increased its efforts to recruit growing businesses. Brookfield is home to 10 corporate business parks, a Fortune 500 company (Fiserv) and a diverse mix of companies in the professional services, manufacturing and financial-services industries. Businesses looking to launch in or relocate to the city can find financial, networking, and management support through the Waukesha County Economic Development Corporation, the Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce, and Brookfield's economic development office. As part of a retention effort, the members of the city's economic development office visit at least 80 companies each year.

Neighbor town Wauwatosa is home to the 175-acre Milwaukee County Research Park, which offers tech ventures affordable office space, an incubator the currently houses more than 70 tenants, and access to local angel and venture-capital networks, such as Silicon Pastures.

Brookfield boasts lower crime rates than Milwaukee, and its Elmbrook school system is known for the high academic achievement of its students. Property and housing values are higher in Brookfield than in other surrounding communities; the charming, landscaped suburb entertains residents with a variety of distinctive dining options, 1,500 acres of parks and wetlands, and a local 18-hole golf course. Fox Brook Park, a 173-acre recreational area, features a man-made lake with walking trails around its beaches, and swimming and pedal-boating opportunities during the summer. The warm months also signify the return of Starry Nights, a Friday-night tradition that brings Brookfield residents together with live music, dance and theater in Mitchell Park's Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts. While the city lacks a vibrant nightlife and professional sports scene, its residents are only a 15-minute drive from downtown Milwaukee and about 100 miles from Chicago. -Brandi Stewart

Interactive map: Brookfield, Wisc.
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Brookfield, Wisc.

NEXT: 73: Orlando, Fla.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.