Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Owensboro improves ranking on Forbes survey

Owensboro ranked 52nd among 179 smaller metros as good places to start businesses or careers, according to the Forbes Magazine 10th annual Best Places for Business and Careers survey. The ranking include the 112,000 metro area, which includes Daviess, Hancock and McLean counties

Owensboro ranks fourth among the nation's smaller metropolitan areas in the number of colleges per capita.

"Most of the top 50 are towns with large colleges and universities or state capitals," said Nick Brake, president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp. "Any time you rank that high on a survey in a publication like Forbes, it's good."

Sioux Falls, S.D., topped the list. Saginaw, Mich., came in last.

Owensboro ranked high compared to the 10 peer communities across the country used for measurement comparisions. The only two that came in higher than Owensboro were Dubuque, Iowa (18th) and Jonesboro, Ark. (46th).

In Kentucky, Bowling Green was 12th among smaller metros. Elizabethtown ranked 120th in the survey.

Among large metros -- 240,000 people or more -- Lexington ranked fifth; Louisville, 91st; Hopkinsville-Clarksville, Tenn., 117th; and Evansville-Henderson, 136th.

Owensboro's ranking by category shows:

Colleges: 4; Cost Of Living: 17; Crime Rate: 46; Cost of Doing Business: 47; Income Growth: 80; Net Migration: 110; Job Growth: 118; Educational Attainment: 131; Culture & Leisure: 142
Forbes said in the article, "Common themes for the business-welcoming metros include solid job growth, an educated labor supply and low business costs. Interestingly, six of the 10 metro areas are anchored by capital cities; maybe lobbyist spending boosts an economy."

To see the Forbes list go to the following link: http://www.forbes.com/2008/03/19/best-business-cities-biz-bestplaces08-cx_kb_0319places_land.html

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