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Hot Cities

Smart moves for entrepreneurs on a quest to find the perfect location.

To be in the right place at the right time--it's the ultimate goal of any industrious entrepreneur. Contrary to popular opinion, we've found this elusive goal may not be a matter of random luck. In fact, we have a radical theory: The right-place, right-time element can be predicted, even orchestrated. With this proactive hypothesis as our basis, we present Dun & Bradstreet and Entrepreneur's sixth annual ranking of the top cities in the nation for entrepreneurship.

As you'll see, there are actually a bunch of right places for entrepreneurs-not fantastical utopias, but down-to-earth, well-within-reach cities like Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona, and Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Well, OK, the sometimes fantastical Las Vegas and Washington, DC, did make our list.) In fact, we provide a closer look at our top-ranked city, West Palm Beach/Boca Raton, Florida, to illustrate the power of an underestimated city. While the less imaginative may move to New York City or Los Angeles, you just might find your own place in the sun in the booming, albeit less-publicized, "Treasure Coast."

We've also operated under a separate, though related, theory: The right place for your business is not necessarily the place you're in right now. If you're serious about being in the exact spot where opportunity flings open its doors, you may have to do some traveling to get there. We understand this ranking can lead to something as insignificant as a nice daydream, or to something as important as a complete business overhaul and subsequent massive success. We also understand "relocating" is a pretty scary word. To help spur you to action, we've dissected the art of moving and found four relocated entrepreneurs willing to share tales of their own moveable feats. The rest is up to you--will you be in the city that's best for you, or simply wish you were there?

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This article was originally published in the October 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Hot Cities.

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