Monday, December 8, 2008

Top Cities for Business.

The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch released it's annual report of the Best and Worst Cities to do business in. The number one spot? Oh, come on guys, you should know this by now...Minneapolis!

Other top cities include Boston, Denver, Columbus and Washington D.C.. A mixed economy will always thrive in a city over a concentrated one. Look at Detriot (and no, that's not a misspelling): the entire city is based on cars, and it's facing 10% unemployment even with the possibility of a bailout. On the flip side, Columbus' main industries are healthcare, education, Government and insurance, four staples that aren't going anywhere. The same can be said for Minneapolis:

The [Twin Cities] area has managed to attract enough talent to support [UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), the country's biggest health insurer], as well as such legacy companies as industrial conglomerate 3M Co. (MMM) , food heavyweight General Mills Inc. (GIS) , insurer Travelers Cos. (TRV) and financial powerhouse U.S. Bancorp. (USB)

The Twin Cities are also home to retail giants Target Corp. (TGT) and Best Buy Co. (BBY), medical-device makers Medtronic Inc. (MDT) and St. Jude Medical (STJ), and big private firms Cargill and CHS. Cargill has replaced Kansas chemical maker Koch Industries at the very top of Forbes' rankings of the nation's biggest private firms.

Many of the region's companies are home-grown and have thrived in the environment. UnitedHealth, for example, was started in 1974 and now boasts $80 billion in annual sales.

Other companies have deeper roots, such as Traveler's in St. Paul, which got its start in 1853. It's been sustained in part by a highly ranked school system and the network of higher-education providers in the region.

"It's a very educated workforce," said Andy Bessette, Traveler's chief administrative officer. "The people here, the school systems, are very good."

Much like Columbus, Minneapolis has a wide array of industries that aren't going anywhere (unless people stop eating.)