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Go to Town

Be good to your city, and it will be good to you.

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This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When the civic leaders of Dayton, Ohio, noticed their city's population was trickling out to the suburbs in the early 1990s, they put their heads together to prevent their downtown from becoming a ghost town. Their efforts exploded in the late '90s with a new stadium, a $32 million riverfront development project, a new performing arts center, and new downtown housing. And all along the way, entrepreneurs were involved.

As an entrepreneur, the first thought on your mind might not be the health of your city, but it should be. If your town thrives, your business is rewarded with a larger customer base and a better potential work force. Your business then gives back by hiring more local workers and contributing more taxes. And one of the key elements to fostering a healthy city is to attract the creative folks who will start and work in innovative businesses.

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