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37. Radnor Township, Pa.
Population: 31,675
Pro: Diverse labor pool
Con: Tight regulatory environment

The Quakers first settled in what was to become Radnor Township back in 1663, and in the centuries that followed, mom-and-pop shops flung open their doors for business. Independent retailers are numerous on the main streets of this charming town and surrounding areas. Over the decades, many firms operating on a far larger scale with a breadth of expertise have joined them, from Fidelity Mutual to Kimberly-Clark to ConAgra Foods to immunology pioneer Centocor.

As a result, business owners with just about any interest can find a ready crop of skilled workers in the region. The many campuses in and around the city (Villanova, Eastern, Cabrini College) further enrich the labor pool. Although regulations are tight in Radnor, a handful of groups, such as the Widener University Small Business Development Center, Wayne Business Association and Select Greater Philadelphia, can help entrepreneurs navigate tax rules, draw up launch strategies, and target sources for funding, including state-level low-interest loans set aside specifically for eligible small businesses.

Radnor and the clutch of small towns around it offer families a top-rated school system and acres of green space, including the walking trails in Radnor Nature Park. World-class arts, culture, and dining are just 15 miles east in Philadelphia. -Joanne Chen

Interactive map: Radnor Township, Pa.
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NEXT: 38. Worcester, Mass.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
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