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Annually, Forbes magazine releases its Best Places for Business and Careers rankings. The rankings look at both large and small metros across the 50 states in the categories of cost of doing business, job growth projected, educational attainment and metro area population.
North Dakota is proud to claim two of the cities that made the top 10 for Best Places for Business and Careers in Small Metros – Bismarck (4th) and Fargo (9th) — and let us not forget, Grand Forks who made the top 100 in the 45th spot. You may be saying great, but so what? What does something like a simple ranking do to help grow North Dakota?
Actually, it does more than you might think. Many companies use site selection firms when they think about where to locate or expand their business. These site selection firms do just what it sounds like they do — they help the company find the right “site” for them. They do this through a number of different tools, one of which just happens to be a variety of rankings done by many companies nationwide. These rankings help site selection companies and others quickly narrow a vast field of states and cities in which to locate. Many rankings, similar to the Forbes ranking, are then used by other services, to help them determin their rankings and so on. So when North Dakota does good in one ranking, it can sometimes help move it upward in other rankings as well.
So, while it may not mean much to us that the Beacon Hill Competitiveness Report named North Dakota number three overall for its ability to promote economic growth and provide high income for workers long term, it may mean a lot to someone the state would like it to mean a lot too.
In the end, everyone likes to come out on top in a good, fair competition and should celebrate when they do so. Please join us in celebrating the Forbes ranking, and if you are hungry for more fun North Dakota statistics check out the rankings database at NDBusiness.com.