The best ten U.S. cities to build your business

Starting up takes blood, sweat, guts and financial help -- but can the city you choose make all the difference?

Starting up takes blood, sweat, guts and financial help -- but can the city you choose make all the difference?

A recent Marketwatch report addressed this concern by analyzing economic data to find out which American cities saw businesses flourish the most in 2012.

The report, "Top Cities for Business Growth in 2012," demonstrates that business success in a city is not down to demographics -- but services and facilities that promote a healthy financial environment. Generally, diverse cities with a range of industries and a concentration of talent performed well, and factors including climate and quality of life did not make much difference.

The team divided data into three main categories, "business environments, the performance of publicly traded companies located within the metro areas and the resulting effects on their economies over the past year." Data was gathered from government agencies, stock exchanges and private studies.

1. Austin, Texas: 17 countries on the New York Stock Exchange are based there, as well as 25 on the Nasdaq. Businesses range from tech firms to grocery store chains, and Austin secured the top spot in terms of new business establishments, second in GDP improvements and fourth in the number of patents filed.

2. Boston: Although lagging behind in some economic metrics, Boston has one of the best business climates and a deep talent pool owning to over 100 colleges and universities based in the metro area.

3. Houston: Oil still dominates Houston, but biotechnology is serving as a new branch of its economy. The city is now also home to over 200 biotech and health-related companies.

4. San Jose, Calif.: The report says that this city has one of the best talent pools in the United States, and would have performed better if the companies in Silicon Valley had better financial results over 2012. However, the one key area San Jose rose in above all others is the number of patents secured.

5. Portland, Ore.: Portland secured strong metrics in many categories, and is enjoying continuing growth. However, tax structures do limit business growth.

6. Washington, D.C.: Despite its high concentration of companies, slow growth is apparent. However, the city boasts the highest proportion of graduates.

7. San Francisco: San Francisco is tops in overall education scores, but California is relying on business to cut away at the deficit.

8. Bridgeport, Conn.: The Bridgeport region is the 56th largest metro area in the U.S., and although the economy is not growing the fastest, it placed in the top quarter in GDP improvement and second in payroll growth.

9. Salt Lake City: With solid stats and a high concentration of companies that did well in 2012, Salt Lake City is showing improvement. However, a sparse population holds it back.

10. Raleigh, N.C.: Like Salt Lake, the city has few inhabitants, but thanks to the Research Triangle, the city received high marks in economic metrics.

View the full report over at MarketWatch.

Image credit: Nicolas Henderson

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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