Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bowling Green is a Best Place to Launch a Small Business

BOWLING GREEN, KY-Once again Bowling Green has been recognized for its positive environment for small business. recently released its "Best Places to Launch" list--ranking the best large, middle and small population metropolitan areas for small business start-ups.

Bowling Green ranked 12th in the small cities list (populations under 250,000), placing it in the ranks with cities such as Sioux Falls, S.D.; Dubuque, Iowa; and Abilene, Texas. No other Kentucky city was ranked in Bowling Green's small cities category.

CNNMoney notes, "While some entrepreneurs prefer to locate near major cities, others opt for the intellectual spark and intimacy of college towns and other small, close-knit communities. One size doesn't fit all, so our list is divided into three tiers: small, midsize and large metro areas."

The full rankings can be found online at

CNNMoney ranked the cities based on factors such as per capita income, hourly wages, workforce quality, crime rates, taxes and foreclosures, as well as population size. Partnering with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and enlisting the help of Robert Fairlie, an economist and leading scholar of entrepreneurship at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CNNMoney developed the list of the most business-friendly communities in America.

"Once again Bowling Green is receiving national attention for its ideal business climate," said Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker. "Small businesses thrive here, especially because of our strong network of business leaders through the Chamber and other organizations, and we're thrilled to see our name on another prestigious list."

Warren County Judge Executive Michael Buchanon agreed with Mayor Walker, "The entrepreneurial spirit thrives in Bowling Green and the entire South Central Kentucky region, so it's no surprise that we're being recognized for our small business environment."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2007 County Business Patterns, there are 2,704 small businesses with one to 49 employees in the Bowling Green metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The city's small business growth rate from 2004 to 2007 was 4.2% compared to the Best Places' average of 5.6%.

CNNMoney links Bowling Green's appeal to the downtown redevelopment project with the newly built Bowling Green Ballpark, Circus Square and the planned performing arts center. Other attractions include Fruit of the Loom and the Corvette plant as two of the MSA's largest and most well-known employers, as well as the city's ideal location off of Interstate 65. The article also listed the city's shift toward high-paying technology jobs, recognizing the state-of-the-art Kentucky Transpark and Western Kentucky University's small business and high-tech business incubators within the University's Center for Research and Development.

"Small businesses are an integral part of our community," said Todd Davis, 2009 Chamber Board of Directors chairman. "At the Chamber, we're proud to recognize small businesses through Small Business Appreciation Week, our CEO Roundtables and the Strategic Business Alliance. We work closely with WKU, as well as other organizations and educational institutions, to assist with resources for current and future small business owners."

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