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America’s Best Cities For Global Trade 2015

Most of us know the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, but in terms of breaking down potential U.S. cities for your next facility, the country offers about 20,000 mouthfuls. Who’s got the appetite? I suggest the most enjoyable way to eat an elephant is to focus on the filets. With that in mind we present you with our fourth annual “America’s Best Cities for Global Trade” report, a collection of cities we regard as having something great to offer, broken into 10 categories that emphasize the things businesses need.

For instance, we’ll give you our thoughts on which locations have the top business environments, the best logistics infrastructure and the best workforce, or those that offer great site selection assistance or export support. For those in search of the next up-and-coming area, check out which cities are emerging and which you should keep an eye on as they continue to trend upward.

If you’re looking for one quantifiable metric to define each category, you’ll likely be disappointed. Rather than have those data sets serve as the Alpha and Omega of these selections, we took the liberty of reserving some editorial latitude so that we could bring you the cities that are truly making an effort to develop their local economies through attracting businesses. That’s not to say we ignored the data—we didn’t—but there are two challenges to simply regurgitating pre-ordained lists when covering 10 categories: First, some cities benefit from simply being large but perhaps aren’t hustling with noteworthy economic development efforts; and second, each of the 105 cities are in just one category, so if a truly great city appears on our list of best infrastructure, it’s out of the mix for best business environment.

In each section you can get an idea of the criteria we looked at when compiling “America’s Best Cities for Global Trade,” but as a general rule, these cities jumped on our radar by being out in front, actively working to bring new businesses to their local economies. That means you’ve got much to gain by locating your next facility in one of these great U.S. cities because they’re working to recruit you!

BEST BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Atlanta, GA
Cheyenne, WY
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Miami, FL
Las Vegas, NV
Nashville, TN
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA

BEST WORKFORCE
Baltimore, MD
Cleveland, OH
Corvallis, OR
Dallas, TX
Fort Collins, CO
Irvine, CA
Milwaukee, WI
Mobile, AL
Phoenix, AZ
Wichita, KS

EMERGING CITIES
Baton Rouge, LA
Charleston, SC
Grand Rapids, MI
Greeley, CO
Las Cruces, NM
Madison, WI
Orlando, FL
Sacramento, CA
Toledo, OH
Virginia Beach, VA

GLOBAL VIBE
Anchorage, AK
Austin, TX
Boston, MA
Bridgeport, CN
Honolulu, HI
Knoxville, TN
Louisville, KY
Oakland, CA
Tulsa, OK
Washington, D.C.

BEST INFRASTRUCTURE
Chicago, IL
Los Angeles, CA
Memphis, TN
Jacksonville, FL
Minneapolis, MN
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Savannah, GA
St. Louis, MO

BEST EXPORT ASSISTANCE
Albuquerque, NM
Brownsvile, TX
Casper, WY
Charlotte, NC
Denver, CO
El Paso, TX
Flagstaff, AZ
Greenville, SC
San Antonio, TX
Youngstown, OH

MOST INNOVATIVE
Akron, OH
Boulder, CO
Burlington, VT
Detroit, MI
Hesperia, CA
Long Beach, CA
Portland, OR
Raleigh, NC
San Diego, CA
Tampa, FL

BEST SITE SELECTION ASSISTANCE
Allentown, PA
Cincinnati, OH
Des Moines, IA
Devens, MA
Kansas City, MO
Odessa, TX
Omaha, NE
Sandy Springs, GA
Topeka, KS
Warwick, RI

MOST EMPLOYEE FRIENDLY
Asheville, NC
Birmingham, AL
Buffalo, NY
Columbus, IN
Columbus, OH
Fayetteville, AR
Oklahoma, OK
Pittsburgh, PA
Provo, UT
San Jose, CA

15 TO WATCH
Beaverton, OR
Farmington, NM
Little Rock, AR
Macon or Decatur, GA
Marietta, GA
New Jersey City, NJ
Norfolk, VA
Peoria, IL
Pueblo, CO
Reno, NV
Reston, VA
Rochester, NH
Sugarland, TX
Tucson, AZ
Warren, MI

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