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Growthville, USA

I spent my Friday night in intense, concentrated thinking. Although it is not the most entertaining ways to spend my week's signature festive night, I felt I needed to.

In my exploration and deep thought, I found two US city rankings that both have Atlanta listed in the top 25. I read both articles in depth and asked myself "What makes a city good for business?" To answer that question in entirety would take more than a blog posting, but I did find a few factors that each city shared and wanted to point those out.

The rankings come from Bloomberg's America's Best Cities and Global Trade Magazine's Top 50 Cities for Global Trade. Both polls are legitimate and both are directly related to (creating and getting) jobs and investment.

Bloomberg's rankings of the top cities shared quite a few similarities: education, weather, safety, restaurants, entertainment (night life), air, crime, shopping and retail options, household income, and public parks. All of these relate to quality of life which is considered by many economic developers and city planners to be just as important as business opportunities and infrastructure. Apparently, once a city has most of these factors managed properly, growth is not too far away.

From Global Trade's list, it looks like a city with access to a water port, an airport, interstates and highways, quality education, and railroad are capable of making some noise on the global business scene. I was amazed to find that Cincinnati, OH, had 300 colleges and universities within a 200 mile radius, five airports, and three interstate highways. I knew Cincinnati was huge, but not that huge. I also found a common thread of most of the cities seems to be their leading export countries which are (in no specific order): Canada, China, Mexico, Singapore, UK, and Japan.

There is no discussion or debate about the strong ties to all of the above characteristics and their direct impact on business and job growth. This is not stating that a city or town without these assets in close proximity are not capable of growth, but only to show what puts a shining star on regional planning and development strategies and how cities are ranked according to most pollsters. A city possessing these with strong relationships between government, business, and education is a city prepared for take off.

God Bless



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