Hello All,
This article was taken from Money Magazine. Written and polled by Dow Jones. More proof that Nashville rocks and is still a great place to buy!!!
See article below…..

Top 10 Cities For Business: The Rest Of The Best

September 21, 2007: 10:31 AM EST

LOS ANGELES (Dow Jones) — The rest of MarketWatch’s top 10 centers for business are an eclectic mix, ranging from relatively small Birmingham, Ala., right up to the nation’s financial epicenter, New York City.

In between is a broad array of cities such as Denver, Boston, Nashville and Washington, D.C., all with at least one or two qualities that put them in the top 10 behind MarketWatch’s top business center: Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Some might have placed much higher on the list were it not for various weaknesses. Some slipped when it came to the number of big businesses in their metro areas. Others can’t seem to get their unemployment rates down. Those that had trouble in a multitude of areas made the Bottom 10 list.

MarketWatch measured the concentration of Fortune 1000, S&P 500, Russell 2000 and Forbes 400 private companies in the nation’s top 50 metro areas, as well as concentration of small businesses. The study also measured population growth, unemployment and job growth.

Without further ado, here are the rest of MarketWatch’s Top 10 centers for business:

2. Denver, 291 points:The Mile-High City made it to second place for various reasons. It placed in the top 20 in all categories except job growth, where it ranked 28th. Denver was particularly strong in the small-business and Russell 2000 categories, where it ranked second and sixth, respectively.

Generally, though, Denver’s slow and steady recovery from the oil industry’s mass exodus to Texas in the 1980s ushered in a diverse economy.

The region first attracted a number of cable and satellite operators like Echostar Communications Corp. (DISH) , then parlayed that into a technology boom that spawned the likes of Qwest Communications Corp. (Q) and Level 3 Communications Inc. (LVLT) .

The region steadily progressed over the years, but it hasn’t spiked to any great degree, says Joe Blake, chief executive of the Denver Chamber of Commerce. “I can understand how we would be in the middle toward the top of the Top 10, but not at the [very] top,” Blake said.

3. Richmond, Va., 287 points:This city is in the bottom 10 in size, but placed first in concentration of Fortune 1000 companies and second in unemployment rankings. Among the companies in its stable are gas-and-electric giant Dominion Resources (D) and electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc. (CC) .

“A lot of companies are doing business here for a number of factors,” said Bill Cimino, spokesman at Circuit City. “Richmond is convenient to a number of locations up and down the East Coast.”

The area has good schools, available workers, a strong university system and a diverse economy, Cimino says. In addition to Dominion and Circuit City, the city also has insurer Genworth Financial (GNW) , home security firm Brinks Co. (BCO) and chemicals maker Albemarle (ALB) .

4. Boston, 283 points:New England’s largest city not only benefits from a bevy of legacy firms like missile maker Raytheon Corp. (RTN) and retailer TJX Cos. ( TJX) , but also rides a resurgence in both health care and information technology. As a result, it placed high in the Forbes, Russell and small- business categories as well as job growth.

Along with Boston Scientific (BSX) and Biogen Idec (BIIB) , the city is home to a multitude of small tech firms like Progress Software Corp. (PRGS) and Irobot Corp. (IRBT) .

There are 2,371 software companies based in the state, many of which are in the greater Boston area, said Tom Hopcroft, vice president for the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s software unit. In the burgeoning robotics category, there are 150 companies, institutes and research firms, he added.

The secret to the region’s success is simple: Roughly 100 colleges are within 60 miles of downtown Boston, including, of course, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“It’s a fine place to live. There’s a lot of energy with all the universities here,” Hopcroft said.

5. Charlotte, N.C., 272 points:Home to a diverse number of public and private companies, Charlotte placed high in the Fortune, Forbes and S&P categories, all while its population rose at a healthy clip. The city’s population growth isn’t expected to slow any time soon either, said John Paul Galles, publisher of Greater Charlotte Business, as 80,000 people are expected to move to the region this year.

“We expect that kind of in-migration over the next 10 years,” he said. Charlotte seems to have become a central location for those seeking to flee New England, New York and the Midwest for warmer climates.

Greater Charlotte is home to financial powerhouses Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Wachovia Corp. (WB) , as well as Family Dollar Stores (FDO) and Belk, a privately held regional department-store chain.

6. Nashville, Tenn., 263 points:Its claim to fame may be as a music and recording center, but now Nashville has taken on another role: health-care hub. And that helped this city to strong showings in the Forbes, Russell and employment categories.

A slew of insurers and hospital companies make their home in Nashville. Some notables are Community Health Systems (CYH) , LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT) and privately held Vanguard Health Systems. The spawning of the health-care industry traces back to the founding of Hospital Corp. of America in the 1960s. Also known as HCA Inc., the company encouraged its own doctors and executives to branch out and start new hospital companies on their own.

One company that can trace its lineage to HCA is privately held Ardent Health Services. Originally set up as a group of psychiatric hospitals, it now is a group of acute care centers. Chief Executive David Vandewater previously was president and chief operating officer at a later incarnation of HCA, known as Columbia/HCA. It now has reverted back to HCA and is privately held.

Now, there are 300 health-care companies in the middle Tennessee region. Nineteen publicly traded firms are headquartered in Nashville.

“Nashville is going to continue to grow in this area for some time,” Vandewater said.

7. Washington, D.C., 261 points:Having the world’s most powerful government in your hometown is good for any economy. It makes for a plentiful source of direct jobs, not to mention steady work for federal contractors.

The feds, coupled with a growing private sector, vaulted the Washington, D.C., area, which includes suburban Virginia and Maryland, to the top spot in the unemployment category. The region was the only one of all 50 metro areas to post a sub-3% unemployment average for the sample months. It also posted a solid finish in the job-growth category.

The nation’s capital also is a breeding ground for younger companies, as it fared well in the Russell category. It was in the top 20 in S&P and population growth categories, and the middle of the pack or below in others.

But the area’s sunny job prospects are what vaulted the D.C. area to the top 10. And much of that came courtesy of the federal government, which pumped $55 billion into the local economy.

A move toward using local contractors helped the D.C. area supplant California several years ago as the top region for federal spending, said Stephen Fuller, director of George Mason University’s Center of Regional Analysis. He said the federal government was like a “rich uncle” to the D.C. area.

“It is our Detroit auto industry, only it’s free money and we don’t have any competition,” Fuller said.

8. New York, 249 points:Given the sheer size of the nation’s largest metro area, which includes nearly 20 million people from southwest Connecticut down to northern New Jersey, it seems almost miraculous that it could make the top 10 list. However, New York finished near the top in a number of categories.

The Big Apple has the third-highest concentration of small businesses of any metro area, and its standing as the nation’s financial center propelled it to fourth place on the S&P 500 list. It also was ninth in concentration of Russell 2000 companies and 11th in both Fortune 1000 and Forbes 400 rankings. If the study had used just those five categories, it would have placed second behind Minneapolis-St. Paul.

But it dropped down the list due to sub-par rankings in population growth, job growth and unemployment, where it ranked 47th. The jobless rate in New York averaged 5.2% for the months surveyed.

9. Birmingham, Ala., 248 points:Being smaller has its advantages. If you have just a few companies on one of these given lists, you have a better chance of moving up the chart. Birmingham was able to take the No. 1 spot on the Forbes list, even though only six companies on that list are in Alabama’s biggest city.

Birmingham also placed high in the unemployment and job growth rankings, but is well down the list on a number of other categories, particularly concentration of small businesses, where it ranked 37th.

Privately held construction companies are big in Birmingham, which is home to Brasfield & Gorrie as well as BE&K.

“What appeals to us [about Birmingham] is we probably have the highest concentration of engineers, per capita, between Houston and Philadelphia,” said Mike Goodrich, BE&K’s chief executive.

Other big private concerns include periodicals publisher Ebsco Industries, mining firm Drummond and industrial equipment maker McWane.

10. San Francisco, 247 points:Metro San Francisco includes the Oakland and San Jose regions for the purposes of the MarketWatch study, and its ties to Silicon Valley are what propelled it to this list.

The nation’s information technology capital had the distinction of being the only city to finish No. 1 in two different categories, S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 categories, an indication of a good mix between established and upstart companies. It also was fourth in the Fortune 1000 rankings.

The Bay Area didn’t place higher, though, because of slow population and job growth over this decade. It also slipped on the unemployment index, which takes the post-Internet bubble job picture into account.

“Quality of life” plays an important role in the Bay Area’s inclusion on the list. Its residents, and business leaders apparently don’t mind the high price involved for real estate and various consumer goods.

“From a cost-of-living standpoint, it makes you wonder why the Bay Area would continue to be as successful as it is,” said Michael Jacobson, a spokesman for chip giant Intel Corp. (INTC) , based in suburban Santa Clara. “You have a quality of life that people are willing to pay for.”

Almost in the top 10:Two cities, Houston and Salt Lake City, were just a shade behind San Francisco with 245 points each. The two actually were in the top 10 at various points in the study, but some late changes to the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 indexes took them out of that upper echelon.

Houston’s ties to big oil and oil services helped it to the top 10 on the Fortune, S&P and Russell lists, and its population has soared in recent years. Salt Lake City, meanwhile, is strong in the Forbes and small-business categories. Locals attribute a strong entrepreneurial spirit to the strong small-business presence.