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Arlington, Va.
Want to be a power player? Companies from government contractors to restaurants and retailers may find that being close to Washington, D.C., can help boost their business.

Arlington woos entrepreneurs with BizLaunch, a small business assistance network that that can connect them with business consulting, financial resources, and market research, among other services.

Since its inception in 2002, more than 18,000 people have come through BizLaunch's doors, asking for advice or attending workshops, said Tara Palacios, director of the program.

They may be referred to an on-site counselor from SCORE, a nonprofit organization that helps educate entrepreneurs, or get help deciding if a business idea really is viable. Sometimes a business that never starts can be considered a success, if it keeps a would-be entrepreneur from wasting money on an idea unlikely to succeed, said Palacios.

Beyond BizLaunch, Arlington offers tax incentives for small businesses that add employees -- depending on how many people they hire and where. To spur growth in the Crystal City neighborhood, for example, a business can get a tax break for hiring as few as four employees. In more business-heavy neighborhoods like Rosslyn, the bar is higher.

NEXT: Chattanooga, Tenn.
Last updated November 23 2010: 1:41 PM ET
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