98 of 100
98. Henderson, Nev.
Population: 241,011
Pros: Business-friendly tax structure, proximity of The Strip
Con: Often perceived - incorrectly - as a gaming and casino town

Sin City's less flashy neighbor, Henderson, is becoming a destination for entrepreneurs who want to be close to, but not live in, Las Vegas. One of the state's fastest-growing cities, Henderson and its active business organizations are working hard to recruit and foster the growth of small and mid-sized companies: The city's economic development manager visits a different local business each week to talk to its owner about his or her needs and concerns.

Small business owners can take advantage of a city-funded business coaching series, connect with mentors through the economic development division, or take up residence in the Henderson Business Resource Center small-business incubator. Nevada's business-friendly tax structure - no corporate, franchise, inventory or personal income taxes - and fast-growing southern population makes this region a desirable landscape for entrepreneurial ventures.

Many outsiders incorrectly assume that gaming and casinos are at the center of this town - it's home to just three gaming resorts. To counter that perception, city officials are working to better promote Henderson's target industries, which include higher education, finance and insurance, and an emerging medical and healthcare industry.

Henderson's smart urban planning ensures that residents are always within a five-minute walk of a city park. While Las Vegas' famed Strip still hosts the region's best performing arts, culinary, and gaming scenes, Henderson boasts an up-and-coming downtown spotted with art galleries and restaurants and a local lake for boating, jet skiing, and other water sports. -Brandi Stewart

Interactive map: Henderson, Nev.
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Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
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