Tampa Bay area ranks low on Forbes list of best place for business

The Tampa Bay area is a worse place for business than Brownsville, Texas, and Peabody, Mass.

It's worse than Kennewick, Wash., and Clarksville, Tenn., too.

And it's not even close to the top dog, Provo, Utah, according to Forbes' recently released list of best American cities for business.

Provo has stellar job growth, a highly educated workforce and a rapidly expanding population. Tampa Bay (No. 111) has anemic job growth and so-so education. Even its ranking for price of doing business is middling (84th).

Forbes ranked the nation's 200 largest cities on job growth, cost of living and doing business, educational attainment and projected economic growth through 2014. It also weighed crime rates, migration patterns and cultural and recreational opportunities.

Many of the statistics used to compile the rankings date back more than a year. Tampa Bay, to its credit, has shown signs of stronger economic recovery in the first half of 2012 .

As for the top states for business, Utah, North Carolina and Nebraska had two cities in the top 15. Five Colorado cities made the top 50. Nine Texas cities made the top 100.

How did Florida fare? Not a single city placed in the top half of the list.

Gainesville placed highest at 101. Fort Lauderdale placed last in the state at 192, just ahead of the last city on Forbes' list, Modesto, Calif.

Top five cities

Florida rankings

1. Provo, Utah

2. Raleigh, N.C.

3. Fort Collins, Colo.

4. Des Moines, Iowa

5. Denver, Colo.

101. Gainesville

111. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater

119. Orlando

131. Jacksonville

133. Cape Coral

Tampa Bay area ranks low on Forbes list of best place for business 07/05/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 6, 2012 9:11am]

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