Fortune Small Business has a new list of the best cities in which to launch a small business. Here's their ranking for metro areas with over 1 million in population:
In conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation, Fortune picked the cities by looking at a combination of factors—per capita income, GDP, rent, number of pre-existing small businesses, crime, number of foreclosures, tax climate, number of SBA lenders, etc. Then, they threw in some qualitative considerations: They interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs about the business climates in their respective cities. That was a nice addition—each city is matched with an entrepreneur from that city who explains why his or her business has thrived here. It's great to have a face and concrete example to match to the counter-intuitive claim that Oklahoma City is a great city for life sciences.
For a list with similar goals but different methodology, click here.
Something interesting: For the list of "mid-size places" (population between 250,000 and 1 million), Huntsville, Ala., comes in at number one. Huntsville also was number one on Kiplinger's recent list of Best Cities for employment. All of this attention on Huntsville is likely a product of the recession: As a center for NASA, Huntsville has a recession-proof industry that makes its economy look better relative to cities more tied to the ebbs of the economy.