FORTUNE Small Business magazine and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced the 2009 list of the 50 best places in the United States to launch a business. Topping the list are Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as the no. 1 large city; Huntsville, Alabama, as the no. 1 medium city; and Billings, Montana no. 1 small city.
FSB Editor Jessica Bruder writes, “Historically, fast-growing small companies have led the U.S. economy out of recession. And according to our latest poll, nearly half of all small business owners would consider moving if doing so would help their companies…. Location matters more than ever before. The Great Recession redrew the map of America.”
Other cities topping each list include: big cities (1 million+), Pittsburgh, PA at no. 2 and Raleigh-Cary, NC at no. 3; medium cities (250K to 1 million), Lafayette, LA no. 2 and Omaha, NE no. 3; and small cities (fewer than 250K), Bismarck, North Dakota at no. 2 and Fargo, North Dakota at no. 3.
“More than ever, cities are facing a new imperative to boost their economies. This report provides regional leaders with a score card for where their cities rank and lessons from the best models,” said Robert E. Litan, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “We hope community leaders will use this report as they make policy and programming decisions that will either reinforce or create successful entrepreneurial cultures.”