3 MN Cities Among Forbes’ “Best Small Places For Business”

Meanwhile, the Twin Cities ranked 23rd on Forbes list of larger metro areas.
3 MN Cities Among Forbes’ “Best Small Places For Business”

Mankato ranked 10th on Forbes’ recently released “Best Small Places for Business and Careers” list, climbing one spot from last year’s 11th rank and jumping from the 25th spot on 2011’s list.

Two other Minnesota cities were also recognized on the “best small places” list: Rochester ranked 35th and St. Cloud placed 55th among a total of 184 cities on the list.

Meanwhile, the Twin Cities ranked 23rd on Forbes list of the Best Places for Business and Careers in larger metro areas, slipping one place from last year’s ranking. Duluth climbed 10 spots on this year’s list of large cities, ranking 115th.

The list on which the Twin Cities and Duluth appear looked at the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the United States, while the “small places” list looked at those with lower populations. To compile the lists, Forbes looked primarily at factors pertaining to the cost of business, job growth, and education.


Forbes’ rankings are based on past and projected metrics related to job growth, business and living costs, income growth over the past five years, educational attainment, and next year’s projected growth. Migration patterns, dropping crime rates, and cultural and recreational opportunities were also considered, although the magazine gave the most weighting to business costs and educational attainment.

It was the Mankato-North Mankato metropolitan statistical area, which encompasses all of Blue Earth and Nicollet counties, that took the 10th spot on the small places list.

“Greater Mankato has a unique combination of assets that provide an environment where both businesses and employees can experience success, and ranking in the top 10 in the country is a strong testament to such,” Jonathan Zierdt, president and CEO of Greater Mankato Growth, an economic development organization, said in a statement.

Twin Cities Business recently published an in-depth feature story on the booming southwestern Minnesota town, examining the many factors that are contributing to its success.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, topped this year’s “best small places” list. The city’s unemployment rate of 3.4 percent sits well below the national rate of 7.4 percent. North Dakota also fared well, with Fargo placing second; Bismarck, fourth; and Grand Forks, 21st.

Rapid City, South Dakota, ranked highest among cities on the list with respect to cost of business. Ithaca, New York, fared best for education, and Midland, Texas, was deemed the best place for job growth.

For the list of larger metro areas, Des Moines, Iowa took the top spot.

For the complete list of “best small places for business and careers,” click here. For the list of larger cities, click here.