For the second year in a row, the Charleston region of South Carolina has been included in Inc. magazine’s annual ranking of the Best Places to Start and Grow a Company. This year, the region’s ranking climbed to number six among the nation’s smaller metro areas.
This year’s top ten list:
1. Las Vegas, NV
2. Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN
3. Sioux Falls, SD
4. Reno, NV
5. Austin, TX
6. CHARLESTON, SC
7. Wilmington-Jacksonville, NC
8. Montgomery, AL
9. Columbia, SC
10. Baton Rouge, LA
Rankings are drawn from the 2000 edition of Entrepreneurial Hot Spots: The Best Places in America to Start and Grow a Company, produced by economic-research firm Cognetics Inc. in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Cognetics ranks places according to two measures:
1. Significant starts – local businesses, started in the past ten years, that employ at least five people today, as a percentage of all companies; and
2. Young growers – the percentage of local businesses that were ten years old or less four years ago and that had a growth index of at least three over the past four years.
To end up with a high overall index, a place must have a large number of significant start-ups and be able to support the growth of a high proportion of them.